CBS Boss Talks Moonves Allegations, Futures of ‘Code Black’ & ‘The Big Bang Theory’
Sunday morning kicked off CBS’s day at the Television Critics Association summer press tour and, while not a surprise, the majority of the questions zeroed in on Chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation Leslie Moonves, and the misconduct allegations brought up against him last week.
Before critics in attendance asked questions during the Q&A portion of the session, President of CBS Entertainment Kelly Kahl addressed the room on this past week.
He began, “First, we are committed to a collaborative, inclusive and safe workplace. I had many female colleagues come to me this week who have been saddened about what they’ve read about our company. They said it does not represent their experience at CBS. We’re not saying we’re perfect. No large company is and there’s always room for improvement. A lot of us have been here a long time precisely because CBS Entertainment is such a fulfilling place to work. I also want to note that everyone here remains laser focused on the job at hand.”
He added, “In regards to Leslie, a few people at CBS have already attempted to put their thoughts into words… I think Stephen Colbert spoke thoughtfully and powerfully on his show this past week. I know [he] struggled to express [his] feelings. I struggle as well. Leslie has been an excellent boss and a mentor for a long time. He put me in this job. At the same time, we must respect the voices that come forward. All allegations need to be and are being taken seriously.
“As you’ve read, two outside law firms have been retained to investigate. As you can imagine, the scope of what I can talk about today and this morning is limited. There’s simply nothing else i can saw about Leslie or the current investigation,” he concluded.
While rumors had circulated CBS may have pulled out of presenting at today’s TCA session, Kahl added, “I value this event, I value our relationship and what we do here and I also greatly value our team at CBS Entertainment and felt it was important to speak up on their behalf.”
Here is Colbert’s monologue about Moonves’s allegations on the July 31 broadcast of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert:
Outside of the Moonves investigation, Kahl was asked about a few CBS shows. As for medical drama Code Black, which was canceled earlier this summer but performed very well with audiences, there may be hope it could return. Kahl said, “It’s doing incredibly well. It’s a well done show. We’d like to figure out a way to maybe make it work. Economics were a little challenged on it but it’s certainly performing well and we’re going to take a look.”
He also discussed the future of the long-running The Big Bang Theory, which is going into its twelfth season this fall. Could this be the final season? “We don’t believe it’s the final year,” he said. “We are in preliminary discussions to renew the show with Warner Brothers, the studio.”