July 29, 2012 5:24pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
TCA 2012 CBS Recap: 'Vegas,' a Female Watson and a Very Animated 'Partners' Pair
It was a repeat performance for CBS' Nina Tassler on Sunday at the Television Critics Association's semi-annual press tour, where the executive again touted the network's ratings -- and Emmy -- performance. In addition, the entertainment president also used her time in front of critics to offer insight into Unforgettable's recent revival and the axing of CSI: Miami before a day mostly filled with more of the network's bread and butter: procedurals.
Executive session: Tassler touted CBS' broadcast trifecta: tops in viewers, upfront revenue and Emmy nominations, noting that the network has "good performance, good business and outstanding quality on the screen." Expressing optimism to a ninth season of How I Met Your Mother, the executive explained CSI: Miami's cancelation was a difficult choice and said ultimately it came down to scheduling that prompted the veteran procedural's end.
Elementary: Yes, Watson's a woman (played by Lucy Liu). Yes, they'll introduce Sherlock's (Jonny Lee Miller) father. Beyond that, showrunner Rob Doherty says he can see a Sherlock Holmes on every procedural."Most shows have a Sherlock in them -- they just happen to be named someone else," the self-professed Sherlock Holmes junkie told reporters. As for the CBS take, Miller noted the biggest difference in his detective is that the series explores the friendship that blooms (but not the romance) between Holmes and Watson, while co-star Liu notes her character won't be a sidekick who steps in a bucket.
Partners: Loosely based on the lives of co-creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, the Will & Grace duo amused reporters with stories from their high school days -- Kohan lost a part at Beverly Hills High School to Nicolas Cage -- and addressed criticism about the series' similarities to a similarly-premised 1995 Fox sitcom of the same name that was created by Will & Grace EP Jeff Greenstein. "This was an unfortunate coincide," said Kohan. "We thought the title was what worked. … It's about three different kinds of partnerships."
Vegas: With co-star Michael Chiklis live-tweeting from the stage, the cast and creators touched on the origins of the series, which hails from James Mangold, Greg Walker, Cathy Konrad and Arthur Sarkissian, as well as what co-star Dennis Quaid's attraction to the challenges of series television. "The idea really appealed to me of getting to unfold a character over hopefully a very long period of time," he said.
Made in Jersey: If Made in Jersey creator Dana Calvo and EP Kevin Falls are as serious about getting past the familiar pop culture portrayals of the Garden State as they say they are, casting a British actress in the lead role might be a step in the right direction. "I picked Mira Sorvino for the depth of her voice and some of the characters she's played," Janet Montgomery said her research into the unfamiliar dialect, also pointing out Working Girl as a source for bridge and tunnel humor. "People don't want to see a caricature. There are enough New Jersey reality TV shows."
The Jeff Probst Show: To hear the Surivor host-turned-talk show personality tell it, saying "yes" -- to relationships, to friendships, to first kisses -- is what his daytime series will be all about. The explanation seemed to throw reporters gathered for the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour, who kept pressing him for specifics on his latest effort, The Jeff Probst Show, bowing Sept. 10.
CBS News/CBS This Morning: CBS News chairman and 60 Minutes EP Jeff Fager and CBS News president David Rhodes trumped the division's handling of recent events in Colorado and beyond before announcing that Anthony Mason will join Rebecca Jarvis on CBS This Morning's weekend edition as a co-anchor. Face the Nation, meanwhile, will be a full hour moving forward.