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.”