“We are Must See TV,” the CBS Chairman and CEO said in NYC on Tuesday, taking NBC’s mantra from the 1990s as the network unveiled its 2017-2018 schedule. The annual breakfast at Blackrock precedes CBS’ Upfronts presentation at Carnegie Hall this afternoon. It was announced that a clip of the upcoming All Access playing Star Trek Discovery would be shown at the breakfast.
Moonves took a larger role than usual at the breakfast with CBS Entertainment chief Glenn Geller on medical leave after having what has been described as a “mild heart attack” in late March. Wishing Geller well and a speedy return, Moonves joked, “not a good time to have a heart attack, just as pilot season is starting.”
“We are very bullish about the television business, bullish about CBS,” Mooves added, shifting into shilling mode. “We are doing really well at what we do,” he said, while admitting that the TV biz is going through vast and fast changes. “There has been more change in the last year than the last decade,” Moonves noted.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the exec’s shilling of the net’s successes.
Kicking off the breakfast this morning, Moonves praised the net’s lineup from the early AM of CBS This Morning through primetime and late-night with The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and The Late Late Show with James Corden. “Highest winning streak we’ve had in seven years,” Moonves said of Colbert’s viewership rises since Donald Trump won the White House last November. “I appreciate that a lot of you have written him back in,” the exec added to the assembled media of too early predictions of the host’s failing against NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, who Colbert has jumped in front of week after week of late.
As always, the economics of the biz were on Moonves’ mind.
“For the first time less than 50% of our revenue is advertising,” he told the audience on Wednesday. “The backend is now worth more than the front end,” he added with no small joy for a net that owns many of its shows.