Nina Tassler (President of CBS Entertainment) Talks Creative Development of PERSON OF INTEREST Season 2, 2 BROKE GIRLS, and THE GOOD WIFE

     January 11, 2012

As part of the network’s TCA Press Tour presentation, President of CBS Entertainment, Nina Tassler, took some time to talk about how they feel about the performance of their freshman drama Person of Interest, as well as their freshman comedy 2 Broke Girls, how both of those shows are developing creatively, and the tweaks that have been made. Although a decision has not yet been made about next Fall, they are happy with where things are headed with both shows. Check out what she had to say after the jump.

nina-tassler-imageQuestion: Is Person of Interest performing up to expectations? Have you reached any decisions about it for next Fall?

NINA TASSLER: We have reached no decisions about next Fall. The show is performing very well for us. It’s one of the top two dramas of the Fall, so I would say that’s a great achievement. We are extremely pleased with the show. We love all the characters. The Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Finch (Michael Emerson) relationship was really beginning to take off, but we felt that the Carter (Taraji P. Henson) character was somewhat marginalized. Jonathan Nolan knows how to work characters within a bigger over-arching mystery, which we loved, but we felt that the Carter character was too peripheral. So, we sat down and had a great creative meeting with them, and asked them if they were open to bringing the Carter character into the superhero cave, if you will. It was a plan that they had in place, but more for the end of the season, and we asked them if they were open to moving that up. Now, as you now can see, Carter is sort of the Commissioner Gordon, if you will. We feel that that was a key ingredient to really letting the show build and expand. And, between the brains of Finch and the brawn of Reese, we feel that the Carter character adds the heart element. Creatively, we feel they’ve got the right dynamic in place, and we have very high hopes for the show.

Kat-Dennings-2-Broke-Girls-imageWhen a show is relatively an instant hit, like 2 Broke Girls was, is the impulse to just hang back creatively and leave them alone?

TASSLER: First of all, we have a very great working relationship with Michael [Patrick King]. He’s a vigilant showrunner, and very involved. Like any of our new shows, you do take a step back and let them find their way. With all of our big-hit shows – like Big Bang Theory, and even How I Met Your Mother – when they first started, you have multiple characters to service, and you want to make sure that the audience has a chance to get the concept, get the emotional arc, and really engage with the relationships. And then, over time, you build out and dimensionalize the other supporting characters. He is completely invested in that, and it just comes with the territory. You have a big hit, you have to take care of it. You have to service the primary relationship, and then you’ll continue to develop and evolve with the rest of the characters.

julianna_marguiles_the_good_wife_imageWhat is your opinion on those scenes in the diner? Are you happy with them, or do you think they could improve?

TASSLER: First of all, I think that they’re an equal opportunity offender. Everybody gets digs. And, I think that our comments and dialogue with Michael are to continue to dimensionalize, get more specific, and build them out. We do know how to build comedy hits. We’ve done that with all of the comedies that are on the air, and we’ll continue to do that with 2 Broke Girls as well.

With moving The Good Wife to Sunday, how do you feel that show has held up in a time slot where it was often delayed because of football? Are you guys doing anything special to bring more attention to it?

TASSLER: Well, I think the interesting part has been that we do hear from a lot of viewers about the overruns, but that means we’ve got a very passionate and engaged audience. The show feels like a better fit on Sunday night. We’re thrilled with the critical response and the awards and the attention the show gets. More importantly, the audience that does watch the show on Sunday night, is very upscale and very female, and they’re very engaged. So, we feel it was a very good move.