Ratings are so strong for the network’s current programs that “we aren’t going to need very much” for the fall primetime lineup, CBS chief Les Moonves told analysts today. He isn’t being complacent: CBS “ordered a couple of more pilots than in previous years” and the people involved in them are “phenomenal.” (See our listings here.) Still, “my guess is there aren’t going to be a lot of new shows” in May when CBS presents its lineup at the annual upfront presentation to advertisers. Moonves was uncharacteristically reluctant to say how big a price increase he expects in this year’s upfront. “My sales department will kill me,” he says. “Last year I said double digits [percent increase] and we only had 9%.” Even though he wouldn’t mention a number, he says “I’m feeling very confident.” But he may have to wait before advertisers are ready to go along with his proposal to measure commercial viewers based on the number of people who see them on DVRs or other platforms up to a week after they air — up from the current three days. “We’re in conversations with advertisers” but “I don’t know if it will be ready for this upfront.”
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