CBS Boss Talks Snubbed Good Wife (and Denies End Date), Defends 'Old' NCIS, Previews Colbert's Late Show

CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler fielded questions Thursday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, addressing major developments at the network — and, of course, The Good Wife‘s recent Emmy snub.

RELATED NCIS Alum Cote de Pablo to Star in CBS’ The Dovekeepers Miniseries

“I admit it, I’m still really pissed about The Good Wife,” she began. “But overall, the nominations were very good at CBS,” which lead all broadcasters with 45 total nods. (On the topic of the acclaimed-yet-not drama, Tassler after her press conference firmly refuted any suggestion that an end date is anywhere on the horizon.)

Another veteran series up for debate — or, rather, defense — was NCIS.

“Competitors may call it old-skewing; we call it a billion-dollar franchise,” Tassler said.

Other topics tackled by Tassler during her TCA exec session:

* On passing on How I Met Your Dad, she said, “You really have to look at all of the elements…. Craig [Thomas] and Carter [Bays] and Emily [Spivey] — we adore those guys and we want to stay in business with them. [But] some things about How I Met Your Dad worked, some things didn’t. We’d love the opportunity to take another shot. Big Bang wouldn’t have been Big Bang without redoing that pilot.”

* Speaking of The Big Bang Theory, Tassler asserted that CBS is “feeling very confident that everything will work out” in terms of the cast’s current contract negotiations.

* Also on the sitcom front, Tassler said she renewed The Millers over Friends With Better Lives because as a “family-centric comedy” it has comparatively “more stories yet to be told,” and not solely because CBS owns the former.

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* The midseason drama Battle Creek — a Vince Gilligan project that was originally pitched to the network 12 years ago — was also further explained. “The year that Vince sold us that script, we bought it … and then he went across town and sold another little show [Breaking Bad] that kind of occupied his time for a couple years…. This was the first window of opportunity where he was free.”

* Former NCIS star Cote de Pablo’s upcoming Dovekeepers miniseries was briefly mentioned, but only in terms of maintaining diversity on the network.

* Though CBS hasn’t confirmed a date for Stephen Colbert to take over the Late Show, Tassler said talks have begun. They’ve also “had very early conversations [with Colbert] regarding format. We know he’s retiring his [Colbert Report] character. He does want an interview format. He’s thinking about [whether or not he’ll have a band.]”

* As for who — and what — ends up following Colbert, Tassler said we might all be surprised. “There’s certainly a knee-jerk reaction to go for a more traditional, behind-the-desk interview format, but who knows? This is an opportunity us look at all kinds of hosts — not only from the comic world, but maybe the political world. Right now, we’re doing our homework and having a lot of meetings and talking. We want to make the right decision.”

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