2010 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour Begins


Thursday, July 29, 2010




The 2010 TCA Summer Press Tour:

Welcome Back to The Beverly Hilton


CBS Executive Session:

Nina Tassler


On the CBS Panel Front:

Mike & Molly, Hawaii Five-O, The Defenders, Blue Bloods, $#*! My Dad Says


Press Tour Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 


The 2010 TCA Summer Press Tour:

Welcome Back to The Beverly Hilton


California here I am. Last year at this time, which seems like only yesterday, my annual foray to The Television Critics Association (TCA) Summer Press Tour was capped off with a three-day trip to Honolulu for my Fall Television Preview. Not a bad gig, I must say. Although Hawaii did not come calling this time around, I never tire of the exceptional TCA, where critics and bloggers from across the country gather to meet and greet the stars and behind the scenes forces of all the new and many of the returning series. I stress bloggers because one look at the ballroom at the famed Beverly Hilton Hotel and there will be laptops visible everywhere. Once upon a time, I was one of few TV critics who was actively wrote for a website.


Times have changed. 


As always, I will devote The Programming Insider for the remainder of this week and next to the Summer Tour, with the real scoop on what looks hot, what looks mediocre, and what is expected to fade to oblivion sooner than the networks would like to admit. You can also listen to my daily commentary via PIPodcast at www.marcberman.tv or head to Mediaweek.com for the daily tidbits and on-air coverage from my colleague Alan Frutkin and myself.  As a reminder, all regular sections of The Programming Insider — Prime-Time Metered Market Ratings, Ratings Box, TV Tidbits and TV Trivia Time — will return on Monday, August 9. 


On that note, let’s get started…LIVE FROM THE SUMMER TELEVISION CRITICS ASSOCIATION PRESS TOUR it’s the Programming Insider.  

CBS Executive Session:
Nina Tassler

Once again, CBS has the strongest fall line-up, with an abundance of hit scripted comedies and dramas and quality non-scripted hours Survivor, The Amazing Race and Undercover Boss scheduled appropriately across the week. The Eye net has, in fact, led in total viewers for seven out of the last eight seasons and there is every reason to believe its winning streak will continue. But not every hour on the schedule looks like a winner, as the critics question the merits of the five upcoming new series — sitcoms Mike & Molly and $#*! My Dad Says; and dramas The Defenders, Blue Bloods and the revival of Hawaii Five-O.


Of the five new series, the new Hawaii Five-O generated the most number of questions, with the “darkness” and excessive violence a potential concern.


“We’ve basically deconstructed the elements of the original show, looked at the characters, retooled the franchise a little bit, and reassembled it in a great, hip, smart, fun character show,” said Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment. “It’s still a small island. Everybody there knows each other — good guys, bad guys. I think those story engines are still very much a part of the series.”


Tassler defended her decision to cancel Canadian drama The Bridge after just two telecasts by citing the poor ratings, but scheduling its in the Saturday 8 p.m. hour was a suicide mission. And the future of Flashpoint, also from Canada, is also a question mark. As for the recasting of one of the sons on upcoming William Shatner sitcom $#*! My Dad Says:


“I think we have to remember that The Big Bang Theory was recast,” noted Tassler. ”Numb3rs was recast. The whole idea behind recasting is really part of the development and the evolution of any show. You make decisions relative to a pilot that are different, relative to your series that are different, relative to going into the fifth or sixth year of your series.”