TCA: Tassler comfortable with CBS crime wave

Eye topper addresses violence, announces net wants 'Men' back

In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, CBS president Nina Tassler defended her extensive lineup of crime procedurals and said she is very comfortable with all the dramas the network currently puts on the air.

The Eye series that has drawn the most attention in the nationwide debate on how television violence seeps into the world is “Criminal Minds.” Original star Mandy Patinkin left after only the second season in 2007 because he was disturbed by the amount of violence in the series.

“It’s a much maligned show,” Tassler said at Saturday’s Television Critics Assn. panel in Pasadena. “I happen to enjoy the show, but it’s not for everybody. It’s an adult show. … It’s given an appropriate rating every week. I don’t let my kid watch it, but I do.

“I think we’re making a huge mistake, and I would say it to Bob (Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment) to his face, to let any of the conversation devolve into a discussion of my show vs. your show or one show vs. another. This is a much bigger issue.”

Tassler said that while there may be murder in the majority of those procedurals of CBS, the bottom line is that those who are guilty of heinous crimes will be caught.

“At the end of the day, justice is served, the good guys prevail and the bad guy goes to jail. That is the paradigm of our shows,” she said. “Those are the mini morality stories that play out every week.”

The Super Bowl airs on CBS Feb. 3, and the net has opted to air first-year drama “Elementary” in the coveted post-game slot. With some 110 million expected to tune into the game, “Elementary” is set to receive a huge audience and will likely be watched by many who’ve never seen it before.

When asked why “Elementary” was the best choice in the timeslot, rather than new Friday New York cop series “Golden Boy,” which launches Feb. 26 and for which the network has high hopes, Tassler said while that move was discussed, “when there’s a jump ball, you go for the home team.”

“Elementary” is produced by CBS Studios while “Golden Boy” is from Warner Bros. Television. Because of that ownership issue, long-term success for “Elementary” would be much more profitable for CBS than having to share revenue with Warner Bros.

Net announced a handful of summer premiere dates. The Stephen King limited series “Under the Dome” will debut at 10 p.m. June 24.

“Under the Dome,” from exec producer Steven Spielberg, is the story of a small town that suddenly becomes sealed off from the rest of the world. CBS has ordered 13 episodes.

Other summer debuts include “The Great British Bake Off” (May 29) and “Big Brother” (June 26), which will air three times a week. “NCIS” will move to Tuesdays on July 2, and “Unforgettable” returns for a shortened second season on July 28, replacing repeats of “The Good Wife.”

Tassler said CBS has asked Warner Bros. for another season of “Two and a Half Men,” though none of the cast has signed aboard yet. And there will be no repercussions from either CBS or the studio regarding Angus T. Jones, who derided the laffer several months ago.

“The kid is 19 years old. I’ve got a 24-year-old. There have plenty of things my kid has said that I wish he hadn’t, but the bottom line is cooler heads prevailed,” Tassler explained. “He’s been a beloved member of cast for years, and he issued a public apology. At the end of the day, they want him back and he wants to come back.”

As for “How I Met Your Mother,” Tassler said she is very close to bringing the show back for a ninth season. There have been discussions, she said, on whether the 2013-14 might be the last season and how they would market the show if, indeed, it would finally end its run.