Never one to keep his opinions to himself, CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves took center stage at this week’s Television Critics Association press tour and slammed the racist comments from Big Brother contestants (”absolutely appalling behavior”), insisted that NCIS star Cote de Pablo was offered ”a lot of money” to stay on the hit show (to no avail), and declared it unfair that The Good Wife has to compete against shows like HBO’s Game of Thrones for Emmy attention. Thrones ”probably costs three times as much [to make]” and is given ”three times as long to shoot,” he told reporters before adding, ”It’s a brilliant show, and I love it as much as anyone.” Responding to comments made by NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt — who earlier at TCA had called broadcast TV the ”bastard child” of the industry, when compared with cable — Moonves agreed that many cable series ”get a lot more attention for a lot fewer numbers.”
At least one CBS show, Under the Dome, is getting both attention and ratings (it’s averaging 14 million viewers and a 3.5 rating/10 share in adults), so the network announced that the series will return for 13 more episodes next summer. ”It’s the way television should be,” Moonves said about Dome, which is based on a best-selling Stephen King novel. ”It’s the way television can be.” Here’s what else made noise at TCA:
? NBC ordered four miniseries for 2014 and beyond, including a four-parter about Hillary Clinton that will star Diane Lane, a reboot of Roman Polanski‘s 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby, and an update of The Tommyknockers, King’s 1987 novel about residents of a small Maine town (it was first made into a miniseries in 1993). Greenblatt also described NBC’s 2012-13 season as a ”year of improvement” and insisted that ”flat was the new up” when it comes to ratings. ”Network television declined 4 to 7 percent,” he said. ”In that environment, holding your position is a good thing…. The other nets are all down.”
? Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman will headline the Showtime pilot Trending Down, a comedy about a man facing his own obsolescence after his advertising agency is acquired.
? AMC ordered two new dramas: Halt & Catch Fire, which focuses on the rise of the personal computer; and Turn, based on Alexander Rose‘s 2007 book, Washington’s Spies.
? MTV announced that it’s producing a ”revealing” one-hour documentary about Miley Cyrus that will premiere this fall.