CBS Exec Talks Sheen, Harmon and a ‘Criminal’ Shake-up

by | January 14, 2011 at 4:06 PM | TV News

CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler (Photo: Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler (Photo: Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

The CBS session at the Television Critics press tour didn’t exactly make a “Big Bang” Friday, but CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler did address a range of current affairs at the network, from Charlie Sheen’s boozin’ to potentially losin’ Mark Harmon.

Here are the highlights of the network executive’s press conference with TV reporters:

On the elephant in the room aka the erratic behavior of very highly paid “Two and a Half Men” leading man Charlie Sheen:

“We have a high level of concern, how could we not,” Tassler admitted. For more on CBS’s thoughts on the Sheen situation, read here.

On negotiations with “NCIS” star Mark Harmon, whose contract ends this season:

“Contracts get renegotiated. It’s kind of the nature of the business. I mean, you become a victim of your own success. We are very confident that Mark will continue on with the show. He’s very happy, and we are thrilled to have him.”

Watch Full Episodes of “NCIS” on xfinityTV.com

On newly instituted Thursday night hit “The Bang Bang Theory,” now facing off against “American Idol,” which moves to a new night this season:

“I mean, ‘Idol’ is ‘Idol. It’s a force of nature, it’s a powerhouse. The good part is that ‘Big Bang’ has been a superstar, and we are thrilled with how well it’s done on Thursday. There’s a very loyal audience. The good news is that
anytime you put hit shows in one time period, there are enough eyeballs to go around.”

On the departure of A.J. Cook from “Criminal Minds,” and the reduced role for costar Paget Brewster:

“I wouldn’t say it was just a budget reason…. I would say over the past couple of years, many shows take a look at adjusting their casts. There’s opportunity here with the spin-off ["Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior" which debuts Feb. 16] to look back at the original show and say, how can we evolve some of the roles of the agents in the original show. Across the board there are discussions about cast members. It is the nature of the creative evolution of any show.”

She added (ominously?), “We hope Paget stays with the show. She has the opportunity to stay. We’d like her to continue on with the show.”

Watch Full Episodes of “Blue Bloods” on xfinityTV.com

On the possibility of “Blue Bloods” airing on Wednesday nights permanently:

“I think the nice part about taking a show like ‘Blue Bloods,’ which, we are thrilled with — the show has done incredibly well — is to look at how it does on Wednesday night [temporarily moved from its original home on Fridays]. We don’t quite know how it’s going to perform. We hope it continues to hold its numbers because it has done so well on Friday. But we wanted to take a look at it on Wednesday…. Coming out of an extremely successful fall, you can move some pieces around, see how they work.”