“We’re not going to wait until November” to kick off this fall’s new season of the sitcom, or for crime drama Elementary, CEO Les Moonves told analysts in a call to discuss Q4 earnings. “It’ll be on some other night.” And he’s unfazed by the disruption on Thursdays: The eight NFL games that CBS plans to offer will “tighten up our existing schedule” especially since the network has “a lot of O&Os in NFL markets.” Moonves’ comments confirmed the assumption that Big Bang would continue to call Thursday its permanent home and hinted that Elementary too may stay on the night (after airing originals elsewhere during the weeks NFL takes over Thursday.)
Moonves also rejected the suggestion that the male-skewing football games will make it difficult for the network to return to its female-skewing shows when the eight weeks are up. “There are still a lot of women who watch [football],” he says. “The male-female balance is not something we’re in the slightest concerned about.” CBS won the coveted deal not because of money — estimated at less than $300M — but because the league believes that the network “would do a better job” than its rivals in creating a Thursday night franchise for the NFL, Moonves says. Still, he considers it a “strategic” move for CBS that he’d like to extend past the agreement’s current duration of one year, or possibly two if the NFL wants. “Do I hope we get it longer? Sure, but so does everybody else…It’s a good short term value and long term value.”
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