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Les Moonves has good news and, as he sees it, even more good news.
The CEO of CBS and his TV host wife Julie Chen were all smiles at THR and Google’s Pre-White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner Party, and with good reason: the network is the clear number one in prime time ratings, and just a bit over two weeks ahead of his upfront presentation, there’s not much to sweat.
“The good news for us is we’ve renewed 18 shows already so we don’t need very much,” Moonves said. “We have terrific development, so there are going to be a few new shows, but they’re going to be good ones.”
Things aren’t looking so good for CBS’s morning fortunes, however; even with a hard news-slanted reboot featuring Charlie Rose, Erica Hill and Gayle King, they’re last in the morning show ratings amongst the big three. But Moonves had positive spin for that, too, saying their concentration on current events would end up helping them going into the election.
“Clearly that’s an advantage,” he said. “I think during an election year, people want more hard news, and I think we’re going to give it to them.”
On a less serious note, Moonves had just one choice when asked who he’d want to play him in a biopic.
“George Clooney is always going to play me, always, that’s a given,” he said; Chen, who joked that she had fewer options, chose Lucy Liu.
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