CBS Boss Defends Cutting 7 Shows: ‘I’m Surprised That You’re Surprised’

by | May 19, 2010 at 3:20 PM | TV News

'Ghost Whisperer's Jennifer Love Hewitt (CBS)

'Ghost Whisperer's Jennifer Love Hewitt (CBS)

CBS CEO Leslie Moonves says he was taken aback by the media’s reaction to the network’s cancellation of seven shows, ‘Ghost Whisperer‘ and ‘Old Christine‘ included.

“I’m surprised to read that you were surprised,” Moonves told a select group of reporters on hand for an annual breakfast preceding CBS’ annual upfront presentation.

Unlucky Seven: CBS Axes ‘Ghost Whisperer,’ ‘Christine’ and Others

Moonves justified the serial jiltings by lumping the cut shows into two categories.

Addressing ‘Ghost Whisperer,’ ‘Numb3rs‘ and ‘Miami Medical,’ he noted, “You have all said, ‘Oh my god, what has happened to Friday night? Is it turning to Saturday?!’ And our answer is hell no.”

Thus the decision to freshen up Friday by pairing ‘Medium’ (the night’s sole survivor) with a relocated ‘CSI: NY’ and the Tom Selleck-fronted cop drama ‘Blue Blood.’

Turning to ‘The New Adventures of Old Christine’ (starring Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus), ‘Gary Unmarried‘ and ‘Accidentally On Purpose,’ he noted that on a good day they were pulling a 1.8 rating in the coveted 18-49 demo, and that the numbers were “not heading in the right direction.”

“That’s not a good place for the No 1 network to be at,” he added. “And we think we can do better.”

Sunday night’s long-running ‘Cold Case,’ the seventh of the canceled shows, simply proved too costly to keep on the air, it has been reported.

CBS Fall Schedule Moves ‘Big Bang,’ ‘Survivor’ and Two ‘CSI’s

The multiple cuts, combined with several unexpected time-slot changes – ‘Big Bang Theory,’ ‘Survivor,’ ‘CSI: NY’ and ‘CSI: Miami’ all are on the move – “is about improving time periods,” said Moonves. “There are a couple of risks we have here, and a couple of big swings we’ve taken.”