CBS Boss on CSI Shakeup, Suspect Behavior's Demise, Good Wife Character Transformation

Charlie Sheen, Ashton Kutcher and Two and a Half Men weren’t the only hot topics at CBS’ opening day of the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour on Wednesday.

Eye entertainment president Nina Tassler also fielded several questions about the high profile casting shakeup at CSI that resulted in Laurence Fishburne’s exit and Ted Danson’s arrival.

Tassler acknowledged that while Fishburne was a major get for the network and an “incredibly well-respected actor,” his character, Langston, “had big shoes to fill” succeeding William Petersen. “The departure of William was impactful.”

When Danson’s name came up as a possible replacement, Tassler says the network “jumped at it… He is a huge TV star and has a tremendous amount of charisma.”

CSI Exclusive: Jorja Fox Joins Series Regular Ranks for Season 12

Other highlights from CBS’ exec session…

* Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior failed because “it never found its rhythm,” Tassler said. “It didn’t click. A spin-off has to be successful on its own.”

Good Wife Season 3 Scoop: Hotel Hook-Up Aftermath, Plus Will’s Blast from the Past

* As if The Good Wife‘s new ad campaign wasn’t enough of a tip-off, Tassler teased that Julianna Margulies’ Alicia would undergo a major character “transformation” this season. Regarding the acclaimed drama’s new Sunday time slot, Tassler conceded that while its start time will occasionally be impacted by NFL games, “we have plans in place to accommodate the show when there are overruns.”

Fall TV: CBS Sets Premiere Dates, Including NCIS, HIMYM and An Extra-Big Bang

* The network decided to slot Rules of Engagement on Saturday because “we had one extra comedy, and we see Saturday night as an opportunity. Advertisers like comedies, and it’s a terrific show.”

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  1. paul says:

    Its so terrific, we think it can do well surrounded by and competing with reruns.

    • Eric Rodgers says:

      Yeah, that’s kind of my take on it, too. I miss how comedies were once a big part of Saturday night television, but I’m as skeptical as the next guy. Maybe someone at CBS sees something I don’t in the Saturday schedule. I think more to the point, it’s an opportunity to put a show whose syndication fortunes are guaranteed in a spot which allows room for generating new hits on higher profile nights.

  2. Matt says:

    I have faith in The Good Wife’s writers, even though I’m nervous about Alicia changing too much.

  3. Jess says:

    i disagree with criminal minds:suspect behavior….everyone i know who watched the show loved it….CBS is a bunch of idiots for cutting that show

    • Katie says:

      I actually preferred suspect behavior over the original for the most part this spring. But I really didn’t like any of the leads on suspect behavior except for janeane garofalo. I think I was still just ticked off about the original getting rid of jj. Glad she is coming back.

    • Melissa says:

      I love criminal Minds, and i tried to like suspect behavior, but i just didn’t. Watching it became a chore, i didn’t get into it, i couldn’t put my finger on what it was but it just didn’t click.
      Mu husband, brother and mom and had a similar feeling- i guess we weren’t the only ones

    • Justin says:

      I really liked the spinoff too. Two hours of Criminal Minds was awesome to watch while it lasted.

  4. mb says:

    Oh no. The Good Wife on Sundays hadn’t bothered me till I read this and realized how football would impact the show. Saying they’ll be ‘occasionally impacted’ is ridiculous. I stopped watching CBS shows on Sunday nights because the football games seemed to consistently run over and mess up the rest of the night’s schedule. I hope The Good Wife doesn’t lose viewers because of this.

    • atlanta says:

      Yes, saying that CBS shows are “occasionally” delayed because of football is like saying that the ground “occasionally” gets wet in a monsoon. Every. Single. Week. I have to wait for Amazing Race, and now the Good Wife. And I wish somebody could explain why, when one football game is finally over at 7:15 or so, they switch to 2 or 3 more games. I just hate football season Sundays on CBS.

  5. Sheldon W. says:

    Funny, I thought Suspect Behavior was canceled because it wasn’t a piece of misogynist crap that pandered to the basest instincts of the lowest common denominator, like its parent series.


    • Chmarin says:

      Okay, let’s be real here – the entire CM franchise is an overrated piece of crap.

      The Good Wife FTW.

    • Tate says:

      Wow. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Despite the casting hiccups, Criminal Minds as a show is not misogynistic. This season we will have three (including Garcia) strong female characters who are just as active in solving the cases as their male counterparts. If you think the crimes are misogynistic, maybe that’s because a lot of criminals are. For me (a woman), the show appeals to my interest in behavioral science. Also, it’s hot people solving crimes–just like every other crime show. The bottom line for me is this: shows get cancelled. You’re just lucky it wasn’t on Fox, so you got an entire half-season of Suspect Behavior rather than just 3 episodes.

  6. Ethan says:

    I’m sure about The Good Wife. It makes sense for Alicia to change considering what had happened. But a “transformation”…hmm…I don’t want to see a completely new Alicia. It will be really interesting to see if the Kings can pull this off.

  7. Gary says:

    The problem with suspect behaviour was that it was too close to the original show in terms of what went on. Had it been a tad different it would have been great. I still liked what i saw and looking at the ratings so did America to a point but CBS said chop chop chop.

  8. Suncatcher says:

    I have been a huge CM fan since day 1 BUT could not get into CMSB at all. No chemistry at all between the cast like there was with CM (and CBS did their best to trash that). The past year was so dysfunctional for CBS, CM and CMSB. I hope they got it out of their systems so very loyal fans can go back to enjoying CM every Wednesday night – without wondering what shoe CBS will drop next!