Monday, August 03, 2009

CBS Versus NBC

Pity Jay Leno. Dislodged, for whatever reason (some would argue for a smoother transition process), from his perch atop the late night ratings, Leno is in the process of starting all over again in the just-North-of-Prime_time slot. And everyone -- everyone -- is taking potshots at him. Including CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler, who usually leaves that sort of thing to duelling press releases. From The Daily Wrap:

"A feisty Nina Tassler took a couple sharp digs at NBC Monday, even as she defended the network's controversial plans to revamp next month's Emmy Awards and predicted a rebound for 'CSI' following a tough season.

The CBS Entertainment president, her confidence perhaps bolstered by the network's trend-defying ratings growth last season, launched a few well-chosen verbal volleys against NBC, specifically targeting the network's plans to shakeup primetime by stripping Jay Leno at 10 p.m.

"'Whatever numbers they get, they're going to declare victory anyway,' Tassler told reporters gathered in Pasadena for the CBS portion of the TV Critics Assn. summer press tour. "So it really doesn't matter anyway."

The zinger was a not-so-subtle reference to NBC's now infamous press release declaring Conan O'Brien "the new king of late night" after just one week of ratings information had been processed.

Tassler said CBS executives were surprised by NBC's Conan hype.

"We said, 'Really? Really?', Tassler said of the Peacock's release.

"Tassler also took a few digs at outgoing NBC Entertainment co-chairman Ben Silverman.

When asked her reaction to Silverman's departure, Tassler oozed sarcasm: 'I'm really just a D-girl, so I wouldn't comment,' she said.

Does this augur the beginning of a trend of sharper elbows tossed by CBS and NBC suits?

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