Live From the CBS Upfront

CBS Upfront

Live from the network's presentation in Gotham

[REFRESH FOR LATEST]

5:36pm: Tassler offering the CBS schedule, touting the Thursday night 2-hour comedy block, but folks are hitting the stairs. Time for the party!

5:26pm: Cutdown for Robin Williams laffer “The Crazy Ones” plays, and is very, very slow to start. A riff on a McDonalds song — with sex as the main element — got some solid laughs, but the clip struggled to pull consistent chuckles. Luckily, Williams took to the stage shortly after the cutdown, and had the aud cracking up with a spiel about the TV biz, cocaine and pitching fresh shows.

5:14pm: Silver lining — “The Millers” draws laughter within the first few seconds of its cutdown. Margo Martindale and Will Arnett are crowd pleasers.

5:10pm: Chuck Lorre’s new CBS comedy “Mom,” starring Anna Faris, is shown. It’s pretty dead in Carnegie Hall, and I can count the notable in-room laughs on one hand. At least the studio audience is laughing?

5:03pm: CBS diving more into the single-cam space with “We Are Men,” but it took a solid minute before the clip drew any substantial laughs in the room. With ABC’s “Mixology,” NBC’s “Undateable” and now CBS’s “We Are Men,” it seems the bro-com will have a solid run on TV this fall. But what will stick?

4:58pm: Strength of CBS’s comedy lineup exemplified when the reel of returning series garnered plenty of laughs in Carnegie Hall.

4:49pm: Tassler introduces new drama “Intelligence” starring “Lost’s” Josh Holloway, whom Tassler dubs “sexy.” Attendees next to me agree, whistling at his image on the big screen.

4:43pm: Since CBS renewed 20 series for new seasons, it’s not boasting the same number of fresh dramas and comedies as competitor nets — a luxury, in a way, since what the Eye already has out there is working by leaps and bounds, and open slots on CBS’s already-successful lineup are few and coveted, with strong lead-ins. Tassler has begun to intro the cutdowns of the handful new series, though, beginning with “Hostages.”

4:36pm, part deux: Event programming and event series continue to be the buzz phrases at this year’s Upfronts, CBS included with a very intriguing look at Stephen King’s “Under The Dome.” This journo can’t help but wonder if it’ll become the storytelling medium of choice for high concept shows that initially intrigue with a strong hook but have trouble being drawn out over multiple seasons.

4:36pm: Sidebar:

4:29pm: *Takes time from watching reel to plug Twitter — @Variety_AJM for other Upfront tidbits.* Back to the news, with Tassler on stage.

4:23pm: “There are a lot of Jimmys out there, but there’s only one Dave,” Moonves says as he introduces David Letterman. “I’m honored to be here for your pledge drive,” Letterman opens. Short appearance, though, and Letterman departs the stage after only 2 minutes.

4:20pm: While introducing the success of CBS News is certainly a good call for the net’s Upfront, opening with dramatic footage from the Boston bombing to tout the network’s journalistic strength feels a little “too much, too soon,” and maybe insensitive. *Shrugs from the nosebleeds*

4:14pm: Cringe moment: Moonves says that drama belongs on primetime, not in the morning. On the screen behind him? The infamous shot of Anne Curry crying during her “Today” departure, Matt Lauer awkwardly comforting her. Moonves jabs again, referencing the Leno-Fallon debacle as well. The room chuckles uncomfortably but also groans. Next to me, one woman simply says, “Wow…”

4:10pm: Moonves puts a tweet from his supposed Twitter account on the screen — “CBS wins everything. #dropthemic” from handle @MoonMan1, which lands some guffaws. I am an internet lurker as a side hobby and that handle does not belong to Moonves. C’mon, CBS Social Media Team.

4:08pm: Les Moonves gives a nod to the infamous Superbowl blackout — crowd laughs, Moonves replies, “Trust me, it wasn’t so funny at the time,” before assuring ad buyers that the “lights are on” at CBS these days. Moonves has plenty to boast about during this Upfront, the final of the Big Four to present — he’s still riding the wave of Nielsen numbers that put his net at the top of the pack in total viewership.

4:05pm: Uh-oh — CBS opens with a clip of Eye series spoofing “Les Mis” song “One Day More.” It’s drawing laughs, but NBC spoofed the song during its Upfront with Leno and Fallon just two days ago. Brighter side: CBS version has live stage element and decorative yellow umbrellas. And Neil Patrick Harris. Point: CBS.

4:02pm: CBS presentation kicks into gear right on time. Sales prez Joann Ross sports a long, flowing skirt during her intro that has cheeky — and saucily placed — phrases and icons projected on it. “BUY,” her skirt reads just below her hips.

4:00pm: What’s more fun than an Upfront? An Upfront at Carnegie Hall. What’s more fun than an Upfront at Carnegie Hall? One without reserved seating. Anyone arriving at the event after 3:45pm was greeted with a daunting climb up several flights of stairs, huffing and puffing to the nosebleeds before the presentation began.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 4

Leave a Reply

4 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Please don’t cancel Bunheads!!! Some girl in Switzerland started a petition worldwild!
    Its at change. Org
    Save Bunheads @ change.org

  2. J Lakess says:

    BACKSTROM ?!??!??????? WHAT THE WHAT ???? Come on CBS – make room for Backstrom, say midseason when some of these “beloved” shows bight the big one!

  3. Peter Riva says:

    What about Amazing Race????

  4. JOE S HILL says:

    CBS,,Upfront?,,okay-let’s see how upfront this gets. canceling “VEGAS” was extremely stupid-you’ll
    loose viewers that way-and fast! aborting the “BEVERLY HILLS COP” pilot-extremely stupid and all
    out unwise! you shelve a pilot,talk about the damn thing for months,convincing viewers that this is
    almost a done deal,,and your network passes-that’s another way to loose TV viewers! i am still under
    some confusion here,because “BEVERLY HILLS COP” is a well known Paramount Pictures Franchise-so how did the people at Sony Pictures TV even get the the rights to do this Eddie Murphy
    movie as a series? in any case,CBS and Paramount could always use the pilot for another time,or
    even sell it to cable networks,like Showtime,which is Viacom owned,or Spike,also Viacom owned-
    but for the time being,,CBS’s Fall schedule is intresting,,but still questionable-“limited run series” is
    also in question-because say a show like “HOSTAGES” with the talented Toni Collete,becomes a really serious hit,and passes the 13 show mark,,will CBS consider renewing it,,or will it be left in
    some indifinate form of limbo,to be revived later on? Leslie Moonves needs to be careful here,,because while he is trying to run CBS as best he can,,he does not want to loose his
    audience numbers either,,and canceling good shows like “VEGAS” is not the way to secure a good
    audience-nor do i think that Mr Moonves would like the idea,if his audience went over to use this
    “Areo” system,that he ranted about some weeks ago. bottomline-stop canceling the wrong shows,,or
    you’ll loose your audience,,and don’t make TV pilots,if you have no intention of airing them!

More TV News from Variety

Loading