TCA: CBS Needs to Do Better on Diversity, Says Geller

Complete Coverage: TCA Summer 2016

UPDATED: Beverly Hills, Calif. -- Glenn Geller, CBS entertainment president, was at the Beverly Hilton to talk about shows coming up for fall, but the issue of diversity on CBS’ air, or lack thereof, was repeatedly brought up by TV critics in the room. Geller pointed to strides the network has taken to show more diversity, citing cast additions and directors, but acknowledged that CBS needs to do more in terms of cast leads and showrunners.

“We need to do better and we know it,” said Geller. “That’s really it--we need to do better.”

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Critics did not let Geller off the hook, repeatedly bringing up the topic, and eating into Geller’s allotted time to talk about new creative.

In other programming news, CBS’ true crime special about JonBenét Ramsey airs over a week starting Sept. 18. Britney Spears appears in late night host James Corden’s next Carpool Karaoke segment Aug. 25, a day before her new album drops. And The Late Show With Stephen Colbert will broadcast three live shows following the presidential and VP debates, Sept. 26, Oct. 4 and Oct. 19. Geller called Chris Licht “an outstanding addition” to The Late Show.

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Geller preferred to talk about comedies on CBS, including new entrants The Great Indoors, Man With a Plan and Kevin Can Wait. “We’ve landed three remarkable TV stars, highly promotable stars,” Geller said of Joel McHale, Matt Leblanc and Kevin James. “The comedy arena clearly distinguishes us.”

Kevin Can Wait, Bull and MacGyver will debut during Premiere Week, while Man With a Plan, The Great Indoors and Pure Genius are up starting the week of Oct. 24.

Geller said he was confident comic smash TheBig Bang Theory would go on beyond season 10, while on the drama front, the network has not decided on the future of summer series BrainDead.

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Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.