Cbs President Welcomes Controversy Over New Shows
CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler said Thursday that she will welcome controversy over the network's new programs for the fall season. Insisting that the network plans to be "adventurous ... daring and bold and different," Tassler told the TV critics' summer press tour in Beverly Hills that she expected some of the programs to generate negative comment from critics -- in particular, the wife-swapping drama Swingtown. "I hope there are concerns about it. I really do," she said. "We're going to push the envelope with that show." In regards to Kids Nation, a new reality show in which kids create their own society without adult supervision, Tassler said that she expected it "to stir public debate." Asked to explain the departure of Mandy Patinkin from Criminal Minds, Tassler said that he had left because of "personal reasons." When one reporter pointed out that the official announcement said that Patinkin had left because of "creative differences," she responded: "I think 'creative differences' is a euphemism for personal issues." She declined to discuss the matter further. "I don't feel that this is the forum in which I'd like to have that conversation," she said. However, in an interview with today's (Thursday) New York Times, Ed Bernero, the show's executive producer, expressed anger over Patinkin's sudden departure. "I don't get the idea out here that someone can walk away from their job and then everyone bends over backward to make it look like it's our fault," he said. "Everyone was worried last week about protecting the show, and then they released a statement that protects everyone but the show. Why can't we just tell the truth? We expected him to show up for work, and he didn't."