CBS defends new fall shows all starring men

Ausiliatrice Cristiano
Mag 19, 2017

CEO Leslie Moonves met with reporters and was asked to defend his network's very male-leaning new programming.

Moonves was pressed by a reporter Wednesday during a Q&A session about the lack of female leads in new fall shows.

Moonves responded by saying: 'Well, number one, more women watch CBS, percentage-wise, than any other network, so our shows have a lot of female appeal. He then added, "We do a number of pilots - a lot of them have women in starring roles". "I don't think we've ever had to apologize for having Madam Secretary and Lucy Liu and [CBS All Access digital series] The Good Fight and [the since-canceled] The Good Wife and I think we do fine in that area". "The best pilots win at the end of the day, and we think our track record is okay". There are a lot of women on the schedule.

The six new CBS shows are "9JKL, ' starring Mark Feuerstein; "SEAL Team" starring David Boreanaz; "Young Sheldon" starring Iain Armitage; "Me, Myself & I" starring Bobby Moynihan; 'Wisdom of the Crowd's starring Jeremy Piven; and 'S.W.A.T" starring Shemar Moore. Let me put on my CEO hat for a second because I'm not the president of entertainment.

Moonves said that when he looks across the board at the CBS Corporation, he is "fine" with the amount of women included on and off-camera. "In terms of leads we are definitely less diverse this year than last year, and like I said we need to do better". On the development side, CBS passed on eight pilots - with six of those starring or featuring women as the co-lead (Amy Brenneman in The Get; Poppy Montgomery in Missoni Control; Kristin Chenoweth in Perfect Citizen; Sharon Leal in the untitled Jenny Lumet; Alice Eve in Hannah Royce's Questionable Choices; and Rebecca Rittenhouse in Real Life).

'I think we're doing a very good job. "I don't think we're looking in the wrong direction".

Popular shows with female leads like Elementary and Code Black are on hold for midseason. CBS has raised the episode order for the series, from 13 to 15, and said the series will premiere in the fall after its airs on the CBS network.

Do you think CBS is "facing in the wrong direction" for its 2017 fall lineup starring all men? That prompted a biting bit of satire from Late Show host Stephen Colbert, who began, "When you insult one member of the CBS family, you insult us all".

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