Overheard at TCAs: You can't go wrong with J.J. Abrams
August 4th, 2011
11:31 AM ET

Overheard at TCAs: You can't go wrong with J.J. Abrams

Look for lots of changes over at CBS this fall. The network held its annual summer TCA press tour on Wednesday in Beverly Hills and it was all about the evolving landscape.

CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler kicked off the day with the show we've all been talking about, "Two and a Half Men."

She said the new person replacing Charlie Sheen on the show, Ashton Kutcher, will be an Internet billionaire named William Schmidt and that everyone is glad to have Kutcher on board.

"There is great value in hiring an actor like Ashton Kutcher," Tassler said. "I mean, he is an extraordinarily professional, talented, funny, gifted actor, who comes with a tremendous amount of commitment and enthusiasm, embraced by an extraordinarily talented cast."

Another place you’ve seen change is on the "CBS Evening News." Now that anchor Katie Couric has bid adieu, longtime journalist Scott Pelley is in the anchor chair and happy to thank the man who occupied it years before him. “I got a note of congratulations from Dan Rather,” said Pelley. “Dan is a great friend and I hate the way Dan’s career ended at CBS.”

Speaking of exits, Laurence Fishburne exited the fan favorite "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" last season, making way for veteran actor Ted Danson to join the cast.

Danson still seemed on cloud nine while discussing his "CSI" move on the show’s panel Wednesday. “I’m surprised, thrilled and happy. My jaw is still hanging down a little bit from the news of it all,” said Danson. “I’m so blessed and happy to go to work.”

Danson’s arrival to the hit show is sitting very well with one co-star in particular. “It’s been a while since it’s been exciting to go to work,” said George Eads. “It’s a different feeling than it’s been in years.”

Eads' co-star Marg Helgenberger, who has decided to stay on one more season, agreed. Helgenberger said: “I was planning on leaving after last season but I had a hard time letting go and I wasn’t really done playing this character.”

So "CSI" gains Danson and will lose Helgenberger after the upcoming season. Keeping score yet?

The remaining CBS summer press tour showcased several new shows debuting in the primetime line up this fall, including "Unforgettable," "A Gifted Man" and a "Person of Interest."

"Unforgettable" is probably best summarized as the show that will remind you of actress Marilu Henner and the affliction she suffers from called “Super Autobiographical Memory,” which allows her to remember something from every day of her life.

In "Unforgettable," a New York detective also has super autobiographical memory. The show's producer said Henner was sent a screener of the pilot and just minutes into it she called one of the producers to let him know that she hadn’t finished watching it yet but had already noticed that a date was wrong right off the bat.

"A Gifted Man" is another medical drama but with a twist. It’s a story of a man who is a surgeon and begins to search for his real purpose in life after a visit from a ghost who happens to be his deceased ex-wife. The producer promises to do more than just entertain viewers. “ We will explore traditional healthcare issues…we will go into the messiness of that,” said executive producer Neal Baer.

And perhaps the most heralded show of the fall for this network is "Person of Interest." The show stars Taraji P. Henson, Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson. J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan also produce it.

When CBS tested the show it reportedly received the highest test ratings of any pilot so far. Nolan credits that to his co-workers. “Our kick-ass cast is the reason,” said Nolan. Henson adds, “When I read the script I had the feeling that this was something special and I’ve only had that feeling twice in life...You know it’s J.J Abrams and you can’t go wrong with that!”

"A Person of Interest" tells the story of a wealthy man who creates computer software which can tell who will be a crime victim. Of course with this information comes a responsibility to stop the crime from happening. The show has all the right elements and the cast to draw viewers in for good!

What are you planning to DVR?

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. newbalance

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    November 25, 2013 at 4:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. F

    Jim Caviezel is aging yummily.

    August 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bob

    Dan Rather's career ended because he got caught fabricating a major story. He deserved to be fired.

    August 5, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. ruthasaffold

    Good riddence sheen. Hope the shows success continues with out him. But as we all know for all time the crap between Lorre and sheen will be remembered when the show is thought of. http://bit.ly/plUkMu

    August 5, 2011 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  5. alecia

    Hey charlie! It is a good day even tho its 105! Hope alls well! Stay cool even tho I dont think my raindance did any good! 🙂

    August 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Evel Knievel

    Is Demi going to have a recurring role as ashton's grandma?

    August 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. charlie crack

    @portal- you're a trip! You firsty alot.....

    August 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. charlie crack

    Hey @prezpeace, @ms alecia....hope alls well....be good 🙂

    August 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jujubeans

    maybe Ashton will bring Demi to the set now and then to tease Jon Cryer.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. alecia

    Morning all! Well crack of noon anyway! I guess that leaves honorable mention for me? I cant wait for the new season of CSI and am so happy that JJ Abrams has a new show coming up! In the meantime Im going to go outside to do a raindance if I dont pass out from heat exhaustion first! Keep cool yall!

    August 4, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tracie

    Do you think this man will let me sniff his dirty underwear?

    August 4, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cletus

    I got 4th! wheres my ribbon and wafflehouse gift card?

    August 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Peace

    Anything for 3rd? Lol !

    August 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sounder

    I'll just on board and be 2nd if I get the Silver medal.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  15. portalpunk

    FIRSTY FIRSTY FIRSTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |

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