As part of the TCA Press Tour presentation for CBS, Network President Nina Tassler took some time to talk about new and returning programming. Obviously with superheroes being the hot commodity Supergirl was on everyone’s mind, but plenty other programming was discussed as well.
During the interview, she spoke about what made Supergirl right for CBS, the evolution with regard to the way superhero characters are portrayed, and why she’s a relatable character, along with what fans can expect from the Two and a Half Men series finale, how CSI: Cyber will reflect what’s happening in our world today, the future of CSI, Season 2 of Extant, and the appeal of remaking The Odd Couple. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
NINA TASSLER: Well, as you can tell from the strength of the female characters we have on television, it’s a real passion of ours. We heard the pitch for Supergirl, and we realized that she embodied so many of the qualities and the characteristics of classic female heroines on this network, and we think that it is a coming-of-age opportunity for us. We also just fell in love with the pitch. We think she’s a great character, and I love the superhero genre.
Will Supergirl feel like a superhero show, or will it be a procedural that happens to fly once in a while?
TASSLER: When I was at Warner Bros., we developed The New Adventures of Superman. I worked on Lois & Clark for ABC. There’s a human drama there. Certainly in terms of the public, there are so many superhero characters portrayed in films, but we’re watching an evolution with regard to the way superhero characters are portrayed. There’s a humanity. They are flawed. There’s a relatability. And I think for our network right now, what we did respond to was the character’s humanity, the other characters in the show, the story trajectory, and the character’s arc and growth. These are all things that made her just eminently relatable and made the story exciting. It’s an adventure, and that made her incredibility appealing. We made the decision based on the pitch that we heard.
There’s been a lot of speculation about whether or not Charlie Sheen will come back for the finale of Two and a Half Men. Can you address that and anything else having to do with the send-off of that show?
TASSLER: First of all, I have to give a shout-out to Chuck Lorre. The journey that show has gone on, over the years, is pretty miraculous. Chuck is an extraordinary showrunner. I can promise you there will be a lot of surprises. He has promised to deliver what he’s calling a “mystery sandwich.”
TASSLER: CSI: Cyber is reflecting what is happening in our world today. I think the stories are very compelling. A lot of times they’re ripped from the headlines. There’s nothing specifically addressing what we’re talking about right now, but clearly, there is a part of this show, in theme and content, that has its finger on the pulse. So in that regard, it is very relevant and it’s very topical.
Is this the final season for CSI?
TASSLER: We haven’t determined yet what is going to happen with CSI. The show continues to be a strong performer. It does very well in its time period. You look at the journey that show has gone on, and adding Ted Danson and Elisabeth Shue has really taken the show in a whole new direction. So, we don’t know yet what is going to happen with the show. We’re just incredibly proud it continues to do well.
What are the plans for Season 2 of Extant?
TASSLER: There is a big change in supporting cast. We are making some changes, in terms of the mythology of the show. Molly’s character is going to be much more proactive this year. The threat to her world and the sanctity of her family and home life is definitely going to be much more focused on, in the beginning of the show. That’s the fun part about our summer series. We can make big, broad, sweeping changes, and audiences are embracing it as part of the adventure of the show.
What prompted you to put The Odd Couple on your schedule?
TASSLER: I have to credit that to the tenacity of the Tannenbaums and Carl Beverly. When you approach doing a classic like The Odd Couple, you’re certainly going to proceed with caution. What happened is that, when Matthew Perry came in, and he came in with Thomas Lennon, we had a chance to sit down and firsthand witness the extraordinary chemistry that these guys have. The blessing was when Garry Marshall also came in and said, “I’m behind this show. I love what these guys are doing.” Truth be told, that is the origin for all comedy relationship shows on television. We think that they’re finding new ways to explore the dynamic, but there is no doubt that the chemistry between Matthew and Thomas is palpable.