Thursday, July 17 puts the spotlight on CBS, the network that brings us The Big Bang Theory, CSI, NCIS and more. We’ll be live-blogging throughout the day with highlights. Enjoy:
Nina Tassler Executive Session
The “longest-running executive in network television,” Nina Tassler, talked about the network being the most-watched network in 11 of the last 12 years. Now, there are more ways to watch their shows, and “midseason has been retired” as CBS is programming throughout the year, including summer with shows like Extant and Under the Dome.
Regarding some shows that didn’t last too long last year, “sometimes you have to take those calls,” she says. Tassler is confident that negotiations with The Big Bang Theory cast will work out, pointing out that negotiations happen any time shows are hits.
Produced by Barbara Hall, Lori McCreary, and Morgan Freeman and starring Tea Leoni and Tim Daly, Madam Secretary is a political drama that will be airing Sundays on CBS this Fall. Here is how they describe it:
MADAM SECRETARY stars Téa Leoni as Elizabeth McCord, the shrewd, determined, newly appointed Secretary of State who drives international diplomacy, battles office politics and circumvents protocol as she negotiates global and domestic issues, both at the White House and at home. A college professor and a brilliant former CIA analyst who left for ethical reasons, Elizabeth returns to public life at the request of the President following the suspicious death of her predecessor. The President values her apolitical leanings, her deep knowledge of the Middle East, her flair for languages and her ability to not just think outside the box, but to not even acknowledge there is a box. McCord’s team includes her Chief of Staff Nadine Tolliver, speechwriter Matt Mahoney, press coordinator Daisy Grant and her charming assistant Blake Moran. When McCord debates third world problems, finesses foreign dignitaries at work and does battle with the President’s combative Chief of Staff Russell Jackson, it’s just a warm-up for when she goes home to her supportive husband, Henry, and their two bright children, where “politics” and “compromise” take on new meaning.
During the panel, it was asked if Freeman will ever appear on the series. It will depend on what Barbara Hall comes up with for him.
A family sitcom premiering on Thursdays in October, the series is about an Irish-American family that loves their sports… and the one son who’s not big on the whole sports thing. Roseanne’s Laurie Metcalf and former New Kid On The Block Joey McIntyre are two of the members of the cast, as is Tyler Ritter, son of sitcom legend John.
Creator Brian Gallivan was especially funny on the panel.
Here’s how it is described:
THE McCARTHYS is a multi-camera comedy about a close-knit, sports-crazed Boston family whose somewhat athletically challenged son, Ronny, is chosen by his father to be his assistant high school basketball coach, much to the surprise of his more qualified siblings. Ronny wants nothing more than to move away, join the singles scene and find a partner. His distraught mother, Marjorie is not upset that her favorite son is gay, but that he wants to leave Boston and his family. Ronny’s plans change, however, when his politically incorrect and outspoken father, Arthur stuns everyone with his choice for an assistant. Touched by his father’s offer, Ronny embarks on a completely different future – and he can be sure that his loving family, including his twin brothers Sean and Gerard and his sister Jackie, are going to have a very vocal opinion about it.
NCIS: New Orleans
The latest NCIS entry takes place in the very unique place of New Orleans. Scott Bakula, Zoe McLellan, CCH Pounder, and Lucas Black star. Executive Producer Gary Glasberg has also announced a new cast addition; Rob Kerkovich will be playing forensic scientist Sebastian Voll on the new series.
NCIS: NEW ORLEANS is a drama about the local field office that investigates criminal cases affecting military personnel in The Big Easy, a city known for its music, entertainment and decadence. Leading the team is Special Agent Dwayne, aka “King,” a native of New Orleans who is driven by his need to do what is right. Working with Pride is Special Agent Christopher LaSalle, who plays hard but works harder; and Special Agent Meredith “Merri” Brody, a charismatic and tough interrogator who transferred from the Great Lakes office in search of a fresh start. Supporting them is coroner Dr. Loretta Wade, who is as eccentric as she is smart. This colorful city that harbors a dark side is a magnet for service personnel on leave, and when overindulgence is followed by trouble, Pride’s team is at its best.
Imagine The Big Bang Theory played serious as an hour-long drama. Based on the real life person Walter O’Brien, who appeared at TCA, the series crossing really smart people with action sequences stars Elyes Gabel, Robert Patrick, Jaden Wong, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Katharine McPhee, and Ari Stidham. Director Justin Lin did the pilot.
Here’s how it is described:
SCORPION, inspired by a true story, is a high-octane drama about eccentric genius Walter O’Brien and his team of brilliant misfits who comprise the last line of defense against complex, high-tech threats of the modern age. As Homeland Security’s new think tank, O’Brien’s “Scorpion” team includes Toby Curtis, an expert behaviorist who can read anyone; Happy Quinn, a mechanical prodigy; and Sylvester Dodd, a statistics guru. Pooling their extensive technological knowledge to solve mind-boggling predicaments amazes federal agent Cabe Gallo, who shares a harrowing history with O’Brien. However, while this socially awkward group is comfortable with each other’s humor and quirks, life outside their circle confounds them, so they rely on Paige Dineen, who has a young, gifted son, to translate the world for them. At last, these nerdy masterminds have found the perfect job: a place where they can apply their exceptional brainpower to solve the nation’s crises, while also helping each other learn how to fit in.
From noted producers David Shore and Vince Gilligan, this series stars Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters as two very different cop partners. Here’s how CBS describes it:
BATTLE CREEK stars Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters in a drama about two mismatched law enforcement officers whose polar opposite views of the world and crime-solving breed frustration, disdain, humor and possibly a grudging respect as they clean up the hardscrabble streets of Battle Creek, Mich. Det. Russ Agnew, a good but gruff, hard-boiled detective, has his world upended when strikingly handsome, charismatic Special Agent Milton Chamberlain opens an FBI field office at the police station and chooses Russ to be his partner. Milt’s polished sophistication and access to unlimited state-of-the-art equipment is impressive to his new co-workers in the absurdly underfunded department. As Russ and Milt work long hours together in the economically distressed city of Battle Creek, the question is: will it be Milt’s charm and endless supply of high-end resources or Russ’s old-fashioned cynicism, guile and deception that prove to be the keys to catching the bad guys in his beloved hometown? Janet McTeer, Kal Penn, Edward Fordham, Jr. and Aubrey Dollar also star.
Interesting trivia: Creator Vince Gilligan saw the name “Battle Creek” on the side of a cereal box, and liked it because it had the word “Battle” in it.
NFL Thursday Night Football
Thursday night football is coming to network television for the first time. Talking on the panel was CBS CEO and Preisdent Leslie Moonves, who described the program as a “sure thing” – and joining him were NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, New England Patriots CEO/Chairman Robert Kraft, and CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus.
The new show from Kevin Williamson (Scream, The Vampire Diaries) stars Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q as two detectives who investigate stalking cases. Here is how it is described:
STALKER stars Maggie Q and Golden Globe Award winner Dylan McDermott in a psychological thriller about detectives who investigate stalking incidents – including voyeurism, cyber harassment and romantic fixation – for the Threat Assessment Unit of the LAPD. Det. Jack Larsen is a recent transfer to the Unit from New York City’s homicide division, whose confidence, strong personality and questionable behavior has landed him in trouble before – but whose past behavior may also prove valuable in his new job. His boss, Lt. Beth Davis, is strong, focused and an expert in the field, driven by her traumatic personal experience as a victim. With the rest of their team, young but eager Det. Ben Caldwell and deceptively smart Det. Janice Lawrence, Larsen and Davis assess the threat level of cases and respond before the stalking and intimidation spirals out of control, all while trying to keep their personal obsessions at bay.
Williamson revealed himself as a big CBS fan, especially to CSI (“I still miss Grissom,” he says…) and he has complimentary things to say about leading lady Maggie Q as a strong woman.