×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Leslie Moonves Says CBS Plans to Renew Freshman Shows, Pursuing NFL Streaming Rights for All Access

Good news for “Supergirl,” “Limitless” and the rest of CBS’ freshman lineup — CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves says the network plans to renew five new shows from the 2015-16 season.

Speaking at an investor conference in Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday morning, Moonves expressed optimism about the fate of the network’s new shows: “We have five new shows on the air. Of the five, I believe all five of them will be renewed. And we own four of them,” he noted at the Deutsche Bank 2016 Media, Internet & Telecom Conference in Florida.

That means likely renewals for “Code Black,” “Limitless,” “Life in Pieces” and “Supergirl,” although the fifth show is in question, given that Jane Lynch-led comedy “Angel From Hell” was pulled from the schedule after five airings in February (usually a precursor to cancellation), and new dramas “Rush Hour” — based on the 1998 film — and “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” have yet to premiere.

The CBS topper also discussed the Eye’s 2016-17 lineup, noting that CBS has ordered 17 pilots for coming season. “You will not see more than four or five new shows ordered out of those 17,” he said, because the network has a stable roster of programs and few holes to fill.

“We don’t need that much,” Moonves said. He emphasized CBS’ intent to own most of the programs it puts on air, so it can monetize them more fully when trying to sell them to international outlets, subscription-video-on-demand companies or other parties.

CBS’ ratings have stood out this season, but it hasn’t been immune to audience erosion — “Supergirl” hit another season low last week, notching a 1.4 in adults 18-49 and falling behind Fox’s “Gotham” for the first time — about 30% below CBS’ comedies in the hour a year ago. “Limitless” also hit another low last week, dipping to a 1.1 in the demo, and down 35% from “Person of Interest” in the time slot a year ago. “Code Black” ended its modest run last month, while “Life and Pieces” is the season’s No. 1 new comedy, retaining about 55% of its lead-in from “The Big Bang Theory” and maintaining steady numbers throughout the season.

The network has yet to announce any official pick-ups.

Separately, Moonves said the company was satisfied with a recent deal struck with the National Football League that will give CBS five “Thursday Night Football” games instead of the eight it broadcast last season. The NFL has decided to run five other Thursday-night games on NBC in 2016. Moonves suggested the deal made economic sense for CBS and said the network would run the five games at the start of the TV season before launching more traditional prime-time fare on Thursdays in October and November.

Moonves said CBS is also in negotiations with the league to secure streaming rights to all of the NFL games the network carries for the CBS All Access SVOD service. At present CBS has to block those games from airing on the All Access live stream. CBS’ push comes as the NFL is pursuing yet another rights deal with a non-TV streaming service for its package of “Thursday Night Football” games.

“We are in discussions about getting it on All Access. We think that will happen,” Moonves said. “Obviously the NFL will get a piece of our subscriber fee (and) will also get bonuses as they add people. I think it’s something that once again is inevitable. It will happen, discussions continue to be ongoing with the NFL, and we think it will be valuable to get them.”

More TV

  • TV News Roundup: 'Million Dollar Mile'

    TV News Roundup: 'Million Dollar Mile' Debuts Exclusive First Look

    In today’s roundup, “Million Dollar Mile” releases an exclusive clip and CBS announces premiere dates for three shows.  DATES CBS has announced premiere dates for one new series and two returning series. The new action adventure series “Blood and Treasure” will debut with a two-hour episode Tuesday, May 21 at 9 p.m. right after the [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Threatening to Throw 'Industry Into Chaos'

    UPDATE – The dealmakers appear to be getting nowhere. Negotiators for Hollywood agents and the Writers Guild of America have achieved little progress at their seventh session on Tuesday, with a chaotic scenario looming on April 7. “When Guild leadership is ready to move on from their declared threatening phase, we stand ready to work [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Empire

    Assessing 'Empire' Options After Jussie Smollett Charges Dropped

    The shocking Jussie Smollett saga took another twist on Tuesday after prosecutors announced they have dropped all charges against the “Empire” star. Smollett had been indicted on 16 counts of filing a false police report, but now that those counts have all disappeared, studio 20th Century Fox finds itself in a sticky situation as to [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett's Legal Drama Eclipses the Rest of His Story (Column)

    Like so many other stories these days, the Jussie Smollett legal saga seemed governed not by coherent logic, but by chaos, and, in its absence of narrative, invites any observer to find in it the story they prefer hearing. Smollett, the “Empire” star who had been in legal jeopardy due to allegations of staging a [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Plans for Agency Pact Expiration: 'There Will Be Difficult Moments'

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America have sent members contingency plans for the possible expiration of its agency franchise agreement on April 7 — and admitted that it may be a rocky road. Members received the letter Tuesday from the guild’s negotiating committee as the WGA and agents were about the hold their seventh [...]

  • univision-dish blackout

    Univision, Dish Network Reach Carriage Deal After Nine-Month Blackout

    Univision and satcaster Dish Network have reached a carriage agreement after a nine-month blackout that marked one of the longest standoffs between a major programmer and distributor. Univision channels went dark on Dish Network’s satellite and streaming platforms on June 30. The sides were at odds over carriage fees that have become increasingly contentious for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content