No surprise here: the CBS executive session at TCA kicked off with a question about Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen and CBS’ position on his recent erratic behavior off the set of the hit CBS sitcom.
“We have a high level of concern, how could we not,” CBS’ entertainment president Nina Tassler said. “On a very basic human level, I have a concern of course – this man is a father, he has children, a family. But you cannot look at this simplistically. He is also a performer who comes to work and does his job very well… So on a personal level, we are concerned, but he has his job, he does it well, and the show is a hit.” The subject was also broached after the Q&A session, with a reporter suggesting that in any other line of work, Sheen would’ve been fired long time ago. “For what? For going to work and doing his job?” Tassler retorted. Several other notable tidbits from Tassler’s Q&A:
– CBS plans to order pretty much the same number of pilots as last season. “We don’t have many holes to fill, so those that make it have a pretty good chance of success,” Tassler said.
– On renegotiations with NCIS star Mark Harmon whose deal is up at the end of this season: “This is the nature of the business, we’ve become the victims of our own success. But we are very confident that Mark will continue on the show.”
– On the potential impact American Idol‘s move to Thursdays at 8 PM would have on The Big Bang Theory. Even with the judge changes on Idol, “it’s a force of nature, it’s a powerhouse,” Tassler said. “The good part is that Big Bang is a superstar, we are thrilled how it has done on Thursday. And any time you put hit shows in a time period, there are enough eyeballs to go around.”
– On the decision to drop A.J. Cook from Criminal Minds. Tassler said it came out of the discussion related to the development of the show’s upcoming spinoff. “We though, ‘is there an opportunity with the sipnoff to evolve some of the roles (on the mothership series)?’.” On Paget Brewster, whose episode commitment was reduced this season and whose future on the show is uncertain: “We’d hope that she would stay, she has the option to do so.”
– On Paula Abdul’s modestly rated dancing reality show Live to Dance: “I wish we could’ve done better the other night,” Tassler said but stressed that the network is happy to do a show “that sets out to do more than exploit.”