Upfronts 2012: THR Live-Blogs Les Moonves and Nina Tassler's CBS Presentation
Demos be damned, CBS' president and CEO Leslie Moonves and entertainment president Nina Tassler prepare to peddle the most watched network. Not much new here because, well, much of what they do works. For their audience, anyway.
4:00 p.m. The network kicks off with a 2 Broke Girls clip. The stars hatch a plan to sell cupcakes to the Madison Avenue audience. A Tim Tebow cameo. Letterman! Reeeeeg! And now sales chief Jo Ann Ross appears on stage in an apron. She assures us those cupcakes will be coming...
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4:05 p.m. Ladies Love Cool James. Rapping on stage. About ratings. Naturally.
4:10 p.m. Leslie "The MacDaddy of this whole phenomenon" Moonves has arrived.
4:11 p.m. He's earning his title of broadcast's top cheerleader. Showing us he can do this whole damn upfront thing in a minute. "Up." "No. 1" "Stability." "Sexy." (Wait, sexy?)
4:15 p.m. "I'm just the opening act," Moonves assures the packed house at Carnegie Hall. Wish he'd stay longer. Nobody is more comfortable up there than him. Now, did he mention CBS is up? Winning by the widest margin in 23 years? Got that? Also, CBS is up. Up, he says, up.
4:20 p.m. Melissa McCarthy in the house -- and her Mike & Molly costar Bill Gardell, gushing about their TV wedding. "Ted Danson got us a pony. It was awesome," jokes McCarthy. The other gifts are coming, she assures the crowd. "LL. Cool J., I know your gift Is coming... Charlie Rose. I'm expecting something very smart."
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4:25 p.m. Tassler time. In hot pink, plugging her not-so-tiny network. 9 out top 10 dramas. 8 of top 10 comedies. Up on 6 nights. Lead in more time periods than all the other networks combined. At this point, it's not even fair.
4:27 p.m. Oh yeah, and they have the Super Bowl. I know, of course they do. Wait, Eli Manning is here. Joining Jim Nantz on stage with his trophy. Big get. Cracking some jokes. Move over, LL...
4:35 p.m. Tassler touting prime time fare now. Drama first. "At CBS, the characters are big. The action is fast. And the drama is real." Clip time. CSI! Blue Bloods! Good Wife! Hawaii Five-0! Person of Interest! Every star is in the house. Waving. Awkwardly.
4:41 p.m. Moving at an enviable -- and much appreciated -- clip. New shows now. Elementary up first. A modern take on Sherlock Holmes. With Johnny Lee Miller. And Lucy Liu. Tag line: "In a city of unsolved crimes, he's the biggest mystery of them all." On brand. Works.
4:58 p.m. Comedy time. Partners. From the Will & Grace duo. "A smart comedy with a lot of heart." Or so says Tassler. A buddy comedy; one gay, one straight. Semi-autobiographical.
5:02 p.m. Vegas. A "very special" drama. Inspired by Ralph Lamb's true life story. A western-set period piece. Justified for broadcast. With big stars. And bigger expectations. Dennis Quaid. Michael Chicklis.
5:07 p.m. Time for the schedule. Partners nabs post How I Met Your Mother slot Monday at 8:30. HIMYM, Partners, 2 Broke Girls, Mike + Molly, Hawaii Five-0. (In pimping Girls, Tassler takes a subtle jab at New Girl's ratings erosion.)
5:10 p.m. Tuesday: NCIS, NCIS: LA, Vegas. Wed: Survivor, Criminal Minds, CSI. Thurs: Big Bang Theory ("Up 30 percent this year... On fire!"), Two and a Half Men, Person of Interest, Elementary.
5:12 p.m. Friday: CSI: NY, Made in Jersey, Blue Bloods. Sat: Crimetime Saturday, 48 Hours. Sun: 60 Minutes, Amazing Race, Good Wife, The Mentalist.
5:13 p.m. That's a wrap. An hour and 15 mins and out. Time for cocktails. MacDaddy Moonves, here we come.