It was a huge Sunday night for the NFL, and for CBS. The AFC Championship Game conquered the TV ratings delivering a 9.3 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic and 33.01 million viewers in early Nielsen Live+Same Day data as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Buffalo Bills 38-24 to punch their return ticket to the Super Bowl.
Two of CBS’s two top local TV executives were placed on administrative leave Monday night after the Los Angeles Times raised issues about their conduct over the weekend in a two-part report that examined their treatment of women and people of color at specific TV stations, among other allegations. Peter Dunn, president of the CBS Television Stations, and David Friend, SVP of news for the stations, were placed on the leave “pending the results of a third-party investigation,” CBS said.
Gripped by scandal in the summer of 2018, CBS came up with a way to contain the crisis. The television giant’s board hired two outside law firms to investigate sexual misconduct claims against its longtime leader, Leslie Moonves, and to scour the company for traces of a toxic atmosphere. A Los Angeles Times review of court filings, CBS internal communications and interviews with two dozen current and former CBS television station employees found that many were troubled by the outcome of the investigation and questioned the company’s commitment to cleaning up its culture.
Nine years ago, CBS bought a small Long Island TV station, WLNY, for $55 million. A CBS executive ended up with a membership at an exclusive golf club owned by the seller.
The Big Three broadcast networks are mulling a roadblock special to air in primetime Jan. 20 celebrating the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the United States and Kamala Harris as vice president. Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation tell Variety that the special would be 90 minutes to two hours in length and would be produced by Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner, the same team that handled the Democratic National Convention. Weiss is set to direct. The special would feature remote performances as well as other possible highlights such as an outdoor, ball-style “first dance” with Biden and soon-to-be-First Lady Jill Biden, and a fireworks display.
Queen Latifah is an enigmatic hero in the 30-second teaser for CBS’s The Equalizer, which is a reimagining of the 1980s series of the same name starring Edward Woodward. Latifah stars in the series as Robyn McCall, a single mother with a mysterious background who uses her skills to protect and defend those who cannot do so for themselves. Set to premiere Feb. 7 after the Super Bowl, the series marks the second reboot of The Equalizer franchise, following the 2014 film starring Denzel Washington and its 2018 sequel.
The National Football League will allow CBS, NBC and Fox to sell an additional two minutes of commercials during the playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl, according to network and league officials. That will mean several million dollars of new revenue for the networks, as NFL postseason games are among the most sought-after content for advertisers. A spot usually runs as high as $1 million during the early playoff rounds and can top $2 million for the conference championships that determine who plays in the Super Bowl, network executives said.
CBS has pushed the post-holiday restart dates on several of its series back a week as COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County have surged. Production on NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles and SEAL Team, all broadcast by CBS, as well as CBS All Access’ Why Women Kill and Disney+’s Diary of a Future President had been scheduled to return to production on Jan. 4 after their holiday break. All five shows will now resume on Jan. 11.
Even though games may look the same, most of the processes around broadcasting the games have changed. Interviews for pregame features are being done remotely, announcers are socially distanced while being separated by plexiglass, and sideline reporters are in the stands.
As the virus cuts into the annual ad blitz, CBS has yet to book all of the 30-second slots available for the big game. Above, Pringles is one advertisers that’s commiting millions for a commercial.
A federal magistrate judge in Miami has given the green light for a class-action labor law and sex and age discrimination lawsuit to go forward against CBS Broadcasting. The ruling could have nationwide impact on CBS’s 29 owned-and-operated television stations.
Trends driven by the pandemic are likely to persist into 2021 and beyond, while transitions to IP infrastructures will accelerate and aging on-prem infrastructure will give way to increased reliance on the cloud. NextGen TV will also likely pick up speed after COVID’s cooling effect on its rollout this year.
The drama Clarice is set to premiere in February along with the second season of competition show Tough As Nails.
CBS will premiere The Equalizer, a drama starring Queen Latifah, after Super Bowl LV Sunday, Feb. 7. The show is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET. It slides into the 8 p.m. slot the following Sunday.
Amanda Kloots (l) and Elaine Welteroth are joining CBS’s The Talk as new co-hosts. Kloots and Welteroth, who recently appeared as guest co-hosts on multiple episodes in October and November, have landed permanent spots alongside Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood and Carrie Ann Inaba.
Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, CBS executives expect their sales process to take longer than Fox’s did last year, according to two people familiar with the matter, and note that one factor giving potential sponsors pause is figuring out what kind of tone to strike with audiences next year.
Drama behind the scenes of daytime talk shows is heating up as Sharon Osbourne’s CBS show The Talk sinks in the ratings against ABC rival The View. CBS insiders say producers and network execs are “panicking” after The Talk’s ratings dropped to 1.5 million, half of The View’s audience of 3 million.
The holidays are about to get a little more jolly as Dolly Parton and CBS come together for A Holly Dolly Christmas. Broadcasting on Sunday Dec. 6, A Holly Dolly Christmas will see the music and pop culture icon perform an intimate, candlelit set off faith-filled hymns and holiday classics.
CBS has handed out a series order to comedy United States of Al, which is exec produced by the Big Bang Theory co-creator. An episode count has not yet been determined for the multicamera comedy, which is slated to debut sometime during the 2020-21 broadcast season.
CBS’s slate of reality shows is set to become more diverse after the network introduced a series of representation targets. The network has introduced an edict that 50% of its casts for its unscripted shows must be Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC) and it has committed that at least 25% of its annual unscripted development budget must go towards creators and producers that are BIPOC.
CBS is putting one of the last big pieces of its 2020-21 schedule into place. The network has set premiere dates for its Friday dramas MacGyver, Magnum P.I. and Blue Bloods. All three shows are set to debut on Dec. 4, giving the network a nearly full series lineup and at least one hour of originals on every night of the week.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Eve, a host on daytime’s “The Talk” for four seasons, said she’s leaving in December to put her personal life first. On Monday’s show, the actor and singer said she wants to focus on expanding her family. She’s been appearing on CBS’ “The Talk” from London, where her husband lives, since […]
CBS has renewed its venerable summer reality hit Big Brother for its 23rd season to air in summer 2021. Julie Chen Moonves, whose previous contract was through this year’s summer/fall all-star edition, has signed a new deal to return as host. She has hosted Big Brother since the show’s launch on CBS in 2000.
The bulk of the network’s comedies and dramas will run between 16 and 18 episodes, down from the traditional 24.
CBS today announced premiere dates for five more scripted series – dramas FBI and spinoff FBI: Most Wanted, Bull and SEAL Team, and comedy The Unicorn. FBI and FBI: Most Wanted return for their third and second seasons respectively on Tuesday, Nov. 17, following the Season 18 premiere of NCIS.
CBS is in advanced discussions with Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Simon Cowell to produce the next big music competition series. The show, 50 States to Stardom, will mix a music competition with a unique documentary format in order to discover America’s next greatest talent. The docuseries will profile all 50 states in the U.S. and choose one talented musician from each. The process will culminate in a showcase competition ending in the determination of the most talented musician in the country.
CBS will begin rolling out its scripted series in November, joining its fellow broadcasters in ramping up its traditional fall schedule in the weeks before Thanksgiving. The 10 series represent half of CBS’s planned scripted lineup for the 2020-21 season and will give the network at least some original hours across five nights — Sunday through Thursday. The network is currently using a mix of acquired series, unscripted and news programs and reruns to fill out its schedule.
CBS wants to pivot from telling people it’s the nation’s most-watched TV network to making them more aware of the programs it distributes across many different screens. “We want to help people understand our brand means more. It’s not just a linear television network,” says Michael Benson, CBS’s chief marketing officer.
The network premiere of Pop TV’s One Day a Time reboot of the Norman Lear classic, originally slated for Monday, Oct. 5, has been pushed by a week, to Monday, Oct. 12. The reason is the move of the New England Patriots game against the Kansas City Chiefs from Sunday, Oct. 4, to Monday, Oct. 5, after Patriots star quarterback Cam Newton and then Chiefs practice squad quarterback Jordan Ta’amu tested positive for the coronavirus. CBS will carry that game, which starts at 7 p.m. ET.
CBS has topped primetime, daytime and latenight TV viewership for a second 52-week season in a row. While in a virtual dead-heat with NBC for overall total reach, the ViacomCBS-owned network averaged 6.32 million viewers in the highly valued 8-11 p.m. period for the 2019-20 full-year season, says Nielsen.
The 55th annual ACM Awards, normally held in April in Las Vegas, were delayed this year and moved to Nashville for the first time. But while other music award shows have tried a hybrid of virtual stages, music video-style performances or at-home shows, the ACMs will be broadcast on CBS from three indoor stages in Nashville.
CBS and ABC suffered lower primetime scatter pricing in the spring and summer 2020 periods due to the cancellation or postponement of major sports events as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both networks see typically higher pricing levels during those periods.
Broadcasters, including CBS, E.W. Scripps, Hearst, Tegna and Graham Media, are bolstering their fact-checking operations as the 2020 election looms closer, partnering with outside groups like Politifact, FactCheck.org and First Draft to ensure their own trustworthiness with local viewers.
CBS’s comedy Mom will go into its eighth season without one of its two leads. In a surprise move, Anna Faris is exiting the series she has starred in for seven years. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter her departure is not due to COVID-19 concerns; instead she wanted to pursue other opportunities.