CBS’ reality plans: looking for a talent competition, air summer reality earlier

CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler faced TV critics this morning in L.A., and during a session that mostly involved her avoiding questions and feigning ignorance about Charlie Sheen and Two and a Half Men (her accidentally overheard end-of-session comment was telling), she talked briefly and vaguely about the network’s future reality TV plans.

Asked about singing and dance competitions like American Idol, The Voice, and Dancing with the Stars, she said, “We are still actively looking for what is going to be new and different in the performance, competition, elimination, unscripted reality show, so we are still looking for formats. We have a couple of things in development. They’re big hit shows. They’re noisy, they’re theatrical, and they’re fun. So we would love to have one. We’re looking, and hopefully we’ll find one.”

Presumably, that won’t be a second season of Live to Dance, their competition series that bombed.

Tassler also said that it is “very important” for CBS to develop new competition franchises, saying, “in order for a schedule to continue to grow and be balanced, we have to have that piece of the puzzle, and we’re looking for it.” She said they will “try a lot of different things” and “we’ve got a lot of stuff in development.”

Asked about Same Name failing to perform, Tassler said, “We’re looking at getting out earlier with some unscripted summer programming. Same Name came a little later in the season. We had conversations about maybe getting out there a little earlier than later in terms of the schedule. So we’re looking at all those scenarios.”

Their standby summer show is, of course, Big Brother, so it’d be interesting to see if they moved that to earlier in the summer, or maybe they will lead into that show with another series that will air during May and June.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.