CBS’ new shows are resoundingly male-fronted, including the young Sheldon of Young Sheldon and David Boreanaz’s SEAL Team. When challenged on the lack of female stars while speaking to the press this morning, CBS CEO Les Moonves insisted that his network is doing just “fine.”
“Number one, more women watch CBS percentage-wise than any other network so our shows have a lot of female appeal,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve ever had to apologize for having Madam Secretary and Lucy Liu [of Elementary] on and The Good Fight and The Good Wife. I think we do fine in that area. We do a number of pilots, a lot of them have women in starring roles, there are a lot of women in this schedule, this new schedule. The best pilots win at the end of the day and we think our track record is okay.”
He then went on to combat a follow-up about CBS “facing in the wrong direction,” given that competitors like FX are actively working to put women behind the camera as well. “I don’t think that’s the case,” Moonves said. “Look, let me put on my CEO hat for a second because I’m not the president of entertainment. When I look at the totality of who CBS is, I look at news, I look at daytime, I look at sports, I look at Showtime, I look at The CW. They are all part of our family, and when you look at the totality of that I think we are fine in terms of the amount of women who are behind the camera, in front of the camera, and I think we are doing a very good job. Forgive me, I don’t think we are looking in the wrong direction, on the contrary.”
CBS’s other upcoming additions include the Jeremy Piven-as-tech-giant drama Wisdom Of The Crowd, a comedy focused on the same man at three different ages (Me, Myself & I), and the S.W.A.T. reboot. It is also retaining a number of shows from last year’s similarly dude-heavy lineup like Kevin Can Wait. And, for what it’s worth, The Good Wife is off the air, and its spin-off, The Good Fight, is relegated to the streaming service CBS All Access.