CBS’ Tassler Has Little To Say on Patinkin Exit

CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler fended off questions from TV critics Wednesday on what led to the abrupt departure of "Criminal Minds" star Mandy Patinkin earlier this week.

Patinkin’s exit, which he attributed to “creative differences,” spurred this comment from Tassler: “Creative issues are a euphemism for personal issues.” She said she is hopeful that he would explain them soon but declined to elaborate further.

Meanwhile, the decision to bring back "Jericho" was inspired by the network’s creative love of the low-rated series, according to Tassler.

By the time network executives returned from an affiliates meeting in Las Vegas in June, she said, the “nuts” mail-in campaign from disgruntled fans had reached a “fever pitch.” CBS gave the show a seven-episode midseason order.

Tassler admitted that the long midseason hiatus this past year caused the show’s ratings demise in the spring. She acknowledged that “maybe it wasn’t good for the show” and added, “That is why we reconsidered.”

Referring to questions about reports that the controversial "Kid Nation" reality series violated child-labor laws in New Mexico, Tassler adamantly denied there were any violations. But she added that she was glad there is controversy, since public discussion is “positive.”

Tassler also revealed that there will be a first-ever crossover next season between "CSI" and "Without a Trace." In addition, she said film director Tony Scott will direct the first episode of "Numb3rs." For daytime, she confirmed that Drew Carey is among the candidates being considered to replace Bob Barker on "The Price Is Right."