×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Leslie Moonves on Diversity: Judge Track Record by ‘Totality’ of CBS Corp.

As CBS unveils its new fall lineup, the Eye is facing renewed scrutiny of its track record on diversity in front of and behind the camera. CBS Corp. chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves told reporters Wednesday morning that CBS’ track record should be judged by the “totality” of programming delivered by the broader corporation, including Showtime, the CW and the CBS All Access streaming service.

Of the CBS network’s six new fall series, one features a person of color in the lead, African-American actor Shemar Moore in the police drama “SWAT.” Compared to last year, when CBS had no actors of color in lead roles among freshman shows in its fall lineup, the Eye has also added the comedy “Superior Donuts,” starring African-American comedian Jermaine Fowler.

Moonves was pressed by a reporter Wednesday during a Q&A session about the lack of female leads in new fall shows. Moonves pointed to current CBS series “Madam Secretary” and “Mom” which feature predominantly female casts. He cited the acclaimed CBS All Access drama “The Good Fight,” toplined by Christine Baranski, which has been picked up for a second season. All Access is also launching a new iteration of “Star Trek” this fall, “Star Trek: Discovery,” which is led by African-American actress Sonequa Martin-Green.

Martin-Green and Fowler will be prominently featured as part of the presentation CBS will deliver to advertisers this afternoon at Carnegie Hall.

Moonves emphasized that programming decisions come down to the quality of the pilots produced this year. “We do a number of pilots. A lot of them have women in starring roles,” he said. “The best pilots win at the end of the day. We think our track record is OK.”

Last year, CBS executives vowed to improve efforts to bring more diverse voices to the network after a drubbing from critics who pointed to the disconnect between an all-white fall slate and the increasingly multicultural nature of the U.S. population. CBS has reigned for most of the past 15 years as America’s most-watched network. Moonves noted that more women in total watch CBS than any other network.

Moonves also pointed to programming activity beyond primetime, such as news, daytime and sports, as well as Showtime and the CW. “Look a the totality of what we do,” he said. “We’re fine in terms of the amount of women in front of the camera, behind the camera. I don’t think we’re looking in the wrong direction.”

Among its off-camera employment, CBS’ new fall comedy “9JKL” is co-created and exec produced by a woman, Dana Klein. CBS’ new drama “Seal Team” and returning series “Madam Secretary,” “Mom,” “Criminal Minds,” “Elementary,” “The Amazing Race” and newsmagazine “48 Hours” have female creators or exec producers in leading roles.

More TV

  • The Bone Collector

    NBC Orders 'Bone Collector' Drama Pilot 'Lincoln'

    NBC has ordered the drama pilot “Lincoln,” formerly known as “The Bone Collector.” Based on the internationally bestselling book series, “Lincoln” follows legendary forensic criminologist Lincoln Rhyme, who was seriously injured during his hunt for the diabolic serial killer known as the Bone Collector. Called back into action when the killer re-emerges, Lincoln forms a [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Turns in Record Q4 Subscriber Gains, Price Increase Weighs on U.S. Forecast

    Netflix is beating Wall Street expectations for international subscriber growth — but its recently announced price increase in the U.S. may have put a damper on its momentum in the States. For the fourth quarter of 2018, Netflix reported 1.53 million paid net adds in the U.S. and 7.31 million internationally, to end the year [...]

  • vudu-free-movies-tv-shows

    Walmart Brushes Off Reports of Streaming Development Halt

    Walmart isn’t ruling out options for a potential streaming video service, a company spokesperson says. Responding to a CNBC report that the mega-retailer had decided not to launch its own streaming entertainment service after all, Walmart would not confirm that there was any halt in development of such a platform, and did not have anything definitive [...]

  • THE KOMINSKY METHOD

    'Kominsky Method' Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix

    Netflix has picked up “The Kominsky Method” for a second season. The comedy stars starring Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin recently won two Golden Globe Awards, one for best comedy series and the other for Douglas in the best actor in a comedy series category. Arkin was also nominated in the supporting actor category. Season 2 [...]

  • Crackle Latin America

    Sony Shuts Down Crackle Latin America Business

    Sony Pictures Television is folding the Crackle Latin America subscription VOD service, which has 400,000 subscribers across 17 countries, after concluding the business isn’t economically viable. Crackle Latin America first launched in April 2012 as an ad-supported streaming service — like the U.S. version of Crackle — before switching in 2016 to a subscription video-on-demand [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content