Violence on TV has been a major topic during the current TCA press tour, and along with references to the recent massacres in Aurora and Newtown, the discussion frequently included CBS‘ dark and violent serial killer procedural Criminal Minds, which was singled out for its violent content by several network executives, ncluding NBC’s Bob Greenblatt. “Look, that’s a much-maligned show,” CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler acknowledged after the TCA executive session. “I happen to enjoy the show. It’s not for everybody. It’s an adult show. It’s a suspense thriller and a character crime procedural. I don’t let my kid watch it. I do. It’s a genre show and it’s done very well.”
Tassler warned that pointing the finger at individual shows with violent content is not the answer. “I think we’re making a huge mistake here — and I’d say it to Bob to his face — to allow the conversation to devolve into a discussion of one show vs. the other. This is a much bigger issue, and thank God it’s being discussed on the level that it is. It’s really a very personal issue.”
Earlier on stage, Tassler noted that “people come to work with a renewed sensitivity, absolutely,” following the Newtown tragedy. But that won’t weigh heavily on CBS executives’ minds when they make pilot decisions. “In looking at our pilots first and foremost it is picking the best material we can,” she said.