CBS Boss Talks Supergirl Plan, CSI's Future, New Criminal Minds and More

Supergirl Casting News CBS

Supergirl should fly just fine on CBS, despite the initial perception that she’s an odd fit amid the network’s countless procedurals.

Speaking at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Monday, CBS president Nina Tassler called Supergirl “a real passion of ours,” saying, “We heard the pitch and realized she embodied so many of the qualities and characteristics of the classic female heroines on the network. It’s a story and coming-of-age opportunity for us. We fell in love with the pitch.”

As for how a fanciful superhero drama will “fit” on CBS’ procedural-filled line-up, Tassler explained to TVLine, “We’re watching an evolution with regard to the way superhero characters are portrayed. There’s a humanity, they’re flawed, there’s a relatability. These are all things that made [Supergirl] imminently relatable and made the story exciting, made it an adventure.”

Other topics tackled by the Eye network’s boss at TCA:

* Given its shortened season, the imminent arrival of the Cyber spinoff and Ted Danson snatching up hiatus work (on FX’s Fargo, which begins filming after CSI Season 15 wraps), some assume the long-running crime drama is due to expire. But Tassler maintained, “We haven’t determined yet what’s going to happen with CSI. The show continues to be a strong performer and does very well in its time period. You look at the journey that the show has gone on [with assorted cast changes over the years]…. We’re just incredibly proud.”

* With a new Criminal Minds spinoff in the works, what lessons learned from the short-lived Suspect Behavior might be applied? “Do it better,” Tassler deadpanned. She then hailed Criminal Minds showrunner Erica Messer, who’s been a part of the series “since Day 1” and is writing the backdoor pilot, as “an extraordinary writer and one of the best showrunners in our business. That is one of the key differences from our previous spinoff,” which was helmed (at the start) by Chris Mundy.

* As suggested by the casting shake-up for Extant Season 2, “We are making some changes in terms of the mythology of the show,” Tassler shared. “Molly (played by Halle Berry) will be much more proactive, and the threat to her world and home life is going to be much more focused on at the beginning [of the season].”

* Though Amazing Race took an expected ratings hit with its Friday move, Tassler touted it as  a “beloved unscripted franchise,” noting that in DVR playback it “did well.” That said, the show’s producers have been tasked with “turning up the creative changes” to keep things noisy in its new home.

* Of The Millers‘ somewhat surprisingly truncated sophomore run, Tassler said, “We gave [the show] a terrific launch last year, and we’re enormous fans of Greg Garcia…. It just didn’t take off [in Season 2]. It was a tough call.”

* Tassler declined to address rumors that Charlie Sheen will return for Two and a Half Men‘s series finale, only echoing series creator Chuck Lorre’s promise of to deliver “a mystery sandwich”

* Fun fact: Tassler said that CBS was never in talks as a possible Dallas savior.

 

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64 Comments
  1. Mary says:

    Nina Tassler is just as deluded about the state of Criminal Minds as ever! There seems little hope of it getting back to the smart show it used to be.

    • Totally agree! I’m no fan of Messer either, she seems to think everything she does is gold (usually it’s the opposite!)

    • LaShawna says:

      I agree. I consider Erica to be a rather weak showrunner and Chris Mundy consistently wrote better scripts than Erica ever has. But if Erica is really taking over the spinoff, it might provide an opportunity for a showrunner commited to Criminal Minds’ core mission to come on.

      • Mary says:

        Too true! I think the only thing Messer has been great at is dumbing down what used to be the best crime show on TV. She has turned it into a generic action/cops-with-guns /romdram and has lost most of the profiling which made this show unique. I hope she goes to the spin off and someone who puts the focus back on the team and the profiling takes her place. As for the spin off – not for me. Not a fan of Messer as either a writer or showrunner.

        • Sam says:

          Sounds exactly like the show it was when it began minus Mandy Patinkin and a couple others. Criminal Minds has never really been anything more than your crime of the week. This is a show meant to get big ratings not win awards

          • Mary says:

            I disagree.It sounds as though you haven;t watched it much. For the first five seasons it used to be a cleverly written look at the psychology of crime. Since it fell into Messer’s care she has turned it into the kind of show you describe – a run of the the mill crime show aimed at the widest possible demographic and dumbing it down in the process. Most of the long time fans want to lose Messer and make a return to the clever profiling.

        • Angela says:

          I dunno, Erica’s written or co-written many episodes over the course of the series’ run that I’ve thought were quite good. As for her time as showrunner, I do wonder if people even bother taking into account that just because she’s showrunner, that doesn’t mean everything that happens on the show that people don’t like was her idea. There’s other writers to consider-I’m sure some stuff on the show has been the result of their input as well, and general network influence, and trying to placate the varied fanbases out there, and so forth as well.
          That goes for any show, actually. I know the title of showrunner seems to imply total control, but those people have their restrictions and people they have to listen to as well. I think sometimes a lot of fans tend to forget that fact.

    • Sam says:

      Criminal Minds has never been smart

    • I agree with all of your statements, Mary. I am not a Erica Messer fan by any means of the imagination. Tassler is sucking up to Messer I think judging from that paragraph and her statement. I want her gone, I’ve wanted her gone ever since she took over. The profiling has taken a back seat as others have stated.

      Granted the ratings are steady, but nowhere where Criminal Minds used to be before she took over. Yes, I love the relationships with the team (and small hints of some pairings that will never be.. sadly). But since Messer took over, there was less of some people paired together on cases, and dealing more with personal life issues. I do want to know some of their back stories, like Morgan, Garcia, and others we don’t know much about. Derek is a mystery, only because we don’t know how old he truly was when his father died. (9, 10, 11 are the ages I heard) Reid, I want more of. And his relationship with Derek. We don’t see that anymore.

  2. Tran says:

    Would be great if Charlie Sheen makes an appearance on the series finale of Two and a Half Men.

  3. Jared says:

    I’d still rather see Supergirl on The CW.

  4. Boiler says:

    Can’t we have a network without cartoon characters. If the commercial at the end of the last Amazing Race is any indication their creativity has gone haywire.

  5. Steven says:

    Nothing said about The Good Wife? I know it probably isn’t in any danger, but until I hear official word that it will be back then I’m really nervous.

    • Jared says:

      I’m pretty sure this press release was just about renewals of new shows that launched this season on CBS. Don’t worry, The Good Wife isn’t going anywhere!

  6. ... says:

    Really hoping for a McCarthys renewal. The show has a lot of creative momentum right now and the ratings have been inching up.

  7. Mr. Smith says:

    “Tassler said that CBS was never in talks as a possible Dallas savior.”

    Say what you will, CBS knows quality entertainment and nuDallas wasn’t it.

  8. Drew says:

    If they do Supergirl right, it will be the first drama that I’ve been able to watch on CBS in years (I would say “series” but The Crazy Ones pulled me in while it lasted). Unfortunately, the network has a way of making even great ideas seem old and boring. I expect casting to be announced soon with Angela Lansbury landing the lead role.

  9. Marco says:

    Silly question: what The Who song will be CSI: Cyber’s theme? Personally I’m holding out for ‘The Seeker’…

  10. “The show continues to be a strong performer and does very well in its time period. ”

    No it isn’t, and no it doesn’t.

    • I laughed a little when I read that statement. Between cancelling and delaying episodes and just the fact that it’s on Sunday nights at 10, CSI is (sadly) a sinking ship. I’ll be surprised if we get a season 16.

      • ilovemycsi says:

        The fact that they are rushing the end of the season by airing the last two episodes on the 15th of February instead of airing the last one on the 22nd tels me they are in a hurry to be rid of the show. They have too many shows for the slots they’ve got. They just need to let it go.

  11. Riana says:

    I hope that they don’t screw up the casting. They should really cast an American as Supergirl. There are so many young blonde actresses in their 20s who could play the role.

    • Why should they cast an American? Supergirl’s not American. Maybe they should look at casting the best actress for the job, be she American, Canadian, British, Australian, whatever.

    • Lizo says:

      That’s ridiculous. They’ll cast a white beautiful blonde woman, but where she comes from is irrelevant in Hollywood. Plus, most of the actors in Hollywood now are Canadian, Australian or European.

  12. Lisa says:

    Save CSI!!!!

  13. herman1959 says:

    Re: Supergirl: I feel like CBS is late to the party on this one; we may be at the saturation point for TV superheroes. That said, I had been waiting for Wonder Woman, but the basic premise of Agent Carter is so similar, I’ve given up.

  14. Lizo says:

    I pray to all the TV gods that SuperGirl is good. Oh please be good. Please be good. If it and Wonder Woman fail, we won’t see female lead narratives for like a decade.

  15. Jim J. says:

    I would guess at this point, there will only be one more season of the original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Otherwise, we may be preparing ourselves for the tragedy of the season…

    The only thing dooming CSI: Vegas right now are the success of the new midseason replacement shows (which I doubt) and any new series options for next season.

    Hopefully a deal can be reached on a 16th season. The order should be for 15 to 18 installments, which will wrap up the series.

  16. Mark says:

    Have they started casting for Supergirl yet ?????

  17. DavidSask says:

    What a bunch of crap, this woman has no originality at all. Killing Amazing Race and thinking Super Girl is cool on the old people network, girl bye!

  18. Shamrock317 says:

    Wish Nina had mentioned if Hawaii Five-0 is going to be renewed or cancelled as its ratings have dropped this year. Fans are still hopeful for a Season 6!

  19. SeannyD says:

    I really hope they don’t cancel CSI, it’s one of my favorite shows have been watching since it started. Also I think they will renew Hawaii 5-0, I think it has a great cast and the cast has great chemistry. so let’s hope CBS doesn’t screw everything up. One last thing, I’m super happy they renews Scorpion. I love this show. It has a awesome cast.

  20. Kayla says:

    I love csi and criminal minds, I really hope neither one of them get canceled this time around.

  21. George says:

    I predict that the new Criminal Minds series will not survive. It’ll be hard when you can’t see the “Forrest” for the trees. Whitaker is not a very good actor.

  22. Montana Woodard says:

    I love all the CSI shows, I would really be disappointed to see any of the CSI’s,CRIMINAL MINDS, or NCIS to end please don’t. I have no care to see supergirl.

  23. Catherine says:

    Please, please, PLEASE don’t get rid of CSI! What a great show with a cast that is supreme in their acting and character development. I’m all for dumping NCIS: New Orleans; the two lower cast members [male and female sleuths] are – in my opinion – such unbelievable characters in that their acting stinks. LOVE NCIS and NCIS LA, but this third one needs the boot.

  24. Nancy says:

    I am stunned to even think that CBS would consider running something like Supergirl. How does that begin to fit in with the current hit line up. I can’t imagine where that would even fit in. Count us out! CBS has had an excellent run of good shows for years that has kept them on top. Why mess up a good thing now? AND PLEASE, leave CSI alone. It is bad enough that we have to chase it on the DVR during football, golf & whatever else comes up. The devoted fans will be there no matter what for everything you throw on the Sunday line up!

  25. Jack Steel says:

    Kaley couco would make a great supergirl.

  26. Matt Ervine says:

    Since CBS cancelled CSI:NY and Miami, what they have put on is ‘not very good’ to say the least. The hire Gary Sinise, only because the last spinoff didn’t work. I agree with the others there is no profiling in Criminal minds anymore.

  27. Ray says:

    I can’t believe they’re giving Gary Sinise another show! The man has all the charisma of a cactus! That monotone voice of his would put an insomniac to sleep!

  28. WFFE says:

    LOVE CSI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  29. Shawn says:

    I hope CBS doesn’t cancel CSI: Crime Scene Investigaton. It is my most favorite tv show ever.