Seriously, CBS, what the fuck?

And the hits keep coming over at CBS. 

Yesterday, two pretty big stories broke about what will certainly be known as The Les Moonves Era at CBS:

1. Cybill Shepherd says that Moonves propositioned her drunkenly at dinner once, and when she rebuffed his offer to drive her home, her show, Cybill was canceled soon after.

This is notable for a couple of reasons: Cybill was doing just find ratings-wise when it was canceled. But also, if you read the comments on any story about this, you’ll see people stumbling over themselves to claim the show was canceled because Cybill Shepherd was a difficult bitch to work with. I remember these stories circulating at the time the show was canceled, but now I can’t help but wonder if this wasn’t a smear campaign being launched from the top to justify punishing a woman who wouldn’t give in to the boss’ sexual demands. Also: no shows are ever canceled because a male star is difficult to work with. That doesn’t happen because networks are in the business to make money, not to coddle people’s feelings.

2.  Eliza Dushku was paid $9.5 million by CBS in a confidential settlement after she was sexually harassed by Bull star Michael Weatherly and written off the show when she confronted him about it.

This second story is a doozy, and is another vivid example of the institutional rot at CBS. One of the horrific details: after Weatherly made a joke (one of many) in front of the cast and crew about wanting to have a threesome with Dushku, a crew member approached Dushku and said he wanted to have a threesome with her, too. Then, when she took her complaints to Weatherly, he went to CBS complaining about Dushku’s “sense of humor.” She was written off the show soon after.

Dushku considered a lawsuit but went into mediation with CBS instead and some brainiac at CBS thought it would be smart to hand over to the mediator outtakes from Bull because they would show Dushku cursing on the set.


Instead, the outtakes showed the harassment itself in living color and the lawyers hired to investigate all of the CBS nonsense noted that “the company’s failure to recognize the instances of harassment caught on tape was a symptom of larger problems at CBS.” OH, YA THINK?

After this news broke last night, women’s group Ultraviolet called for Weatherly to be fired. That’s unlikely to happen, but keep an eye on what happens with the ratings and CBS’s renewal calculations. So far, season three has been holding up season two’s ratings, so it’s not a surefire cancellation.

As for what this all means, as I pointed out in last week’s Shitty Men post, it’s hard to not see this as a pattern of behavior not just limited to Les Moonves, but one that infected the entire network. When the compliance officers think that a woman cursing is more offensive than sexual harassment — when they literally can’t even see the harassment when it is happening in front of their faces ON TAPE — there is a deep-rooted cultural problem.

I highly recommend this thread by the great TV critic Mo Ryan to help refresh your memory on how many instances of sexual misconduct there have been over at CBS. Seriously, click through to read the whole thing. It’s informative because it clearly and overwhelmingly demonstrates that it’s not just a Les Moonves or a Michael Weatherly who is the problem — it’s a CBS problem. And just imagine if the Eliza Dushkus and Cybill Shepherds are being treated this way, what must the women who are not household names be dealing with?

Meanwhile, CBS just paid $20 million that was marked for Moonves to 18 organizations that fight sexual discrimination in the workplace. It’s a start, but how about we start passing out that $120 million severance.

In Other TV News

Mika Brzenzski gave an on-air apology for her use of the term “butt-boy” the other day. This is how you apologize, KEVIN HART:

“I was off yesterday for a family matter… but I wanted to address a term that I used on this show on Wednesday that was vulgar,” she said. “I knew it right away, and I tweeted that it was a terrible choice of words and that I was sorry. But please allow me to say this face to face: The term is crass and offensive and I apologize to everyone, especially the LGBTQ community and to my colleagues, for using it.

“It was a mistake,” Brzezinski continued. “My father would have found it so unbecoming and disrespectful and he would have told me. I will work hard to be better. But I just wanted to say, on camera, looking viewers straight in the eye, I am really, really sorry.”

This comes after President Individual 1 tweeted the following:

The thing that so many right-wing critics of “the media” or of “the Hollywood left” don’t understand is that liberals, for their many faults, do try to be consistent, meaning there are some lines you don’t cross, like gross sexual harassment. Goodbye, Harvey Weinstein, it doesn’t matter how much you’ve given to Democratic causes, you’re a fucking monster; goodbye, Les Moonves, despite all your big talk about your support of #MeToo, you’ve got to go; and goodbye, Al Franken, if we didn’t ask you to leave, the GOP would have rightfully called us hypocrites.

However, forgiveness is also a possibility. We are but human, after all, and so if someone did something that didn’t actually really hurt someone, like said something offensive in an inflamed moment, but then realized what they had done and SINCERELY apologized for it, we can all agree they shouldn’t be shut out in the cold. We can recognize that no one is perfect, and as long as you genuinely try to do better, there is still a place for you. And that’s why Brzezinski — who said her dead father would have been ashamed of her, for fuck’s sake — will be fine, but someone who would have responded to the same controversy by screaming about political correctness, as so many on the right have done, would be shown the door. It’s just not that hard to wrap one’s head around it.

Speaking of, Jerry Seinfeld says that Kevin Hart will be “fine,” which, yeah, no shit. Oscar-viewers weren’t exactly his audience anyway.

495 scripted original series last year. That is a 385% increase since 2014 and that is too many.

Netflix is experimenting with a feature that would let you rewatch “favorite scenes” and “memorable moments” with the push of a button. Hmm.

The Emmys have set the minimum length of a “TV movie” at 75 minutes, which is an interesting change that will impact series like Black Mirror.

Now we know what ice spiders look like, which, great, BUT GET TO WRITING, GEORGE.

Listen, I resisted watching this Game of Thrones/How to Train Your Dragon video because NO, but then I gave in and, just, OK, yes.

The Better Call Saul guys are promising that season five will explore Kim’s relationship with Jimmy Saul Goodman and, more interestingly, it doesn’t sound like next season will be its last.

They are still talking about a Riverdale/Sabrina crossover. Can we just do this already so we can stop talking about it? My 2019 resolution will be to never speculate on the Riverdale/Sabrina crossover ever again.

Leah Remini was on Watch What Happens Live! with Jennifer Lopez last night and she said that current Scientologists run away from her like she is “a pimp” when they cross paths with her. I don’t know what being a “pimp” has to do with anything, but it is interesting that Elisabeth Moss left the room when Remini was given a TCA award. This seems like something I should have already known.

Facebook is in talks to make premium cable channels (HBO, Starz) available on their platform — so long as you’re a subscriber. And Smithsonian is launching its own streaming service. Because one day in the future we will all have our own streaming services.

CONGRATULATIONS, KATY TUR! I once tweeted about having a dream where Katy Tur and I were arguing about the correct pronunciation of “guacamole” and she replied: “ɡwäkəˈmōlē.” Which I loved. She took the tweet down later, but then brought in guacamole to MSNBC the next day (although to my Texan eye it looked like more of a salad, but you know). Anyway, eat all the guacamole you crave, Katy Tur!

Julie Andrews, please come collect your granddaughter.


In Development

Casting News

  • Jennifer Grey is joining Grey’s Anatomy but is being all mysterious about who she is going to play.
  • Greg Kinnear is going to be in an episode of CBS All Access’ Twilight Zone.
  • Kaya Scodelario is going to star in Netflix’s Spinning Out, taking over the role Emma Roberts left.
  • Logan Lerman is going to star in Jordan Peele’s Nazi hunter series for Amazon, The Hunt.
  • Lou Ferrigno Jr. is joining DC Universe’s Stargirl. Brian Stapf is also joining the cast.
  • Paul James is going to star in Mixtape, a Netflix series.
  • Diego Luna and Scoot McNairy will be returning to Narcos: Mexico.
  • Julia Garner is in talks to star in a film about Harvey Weinstein’s assistant.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Star Trek: Discovery will return on CBS All Access on January 17.
  • Downton Abbey will come to theaters sometime next year.
  • Taylor Swift reputation Stadium Tour will debut on Netflix on December 31.
  • Russian Doll will debut on Netflix on February 1.
  • Magic for Humans will return on Netflix in 2019.
  • Relics and Rarities is coming to Alpha in February.


Sondra Locke, Actress

Nancy Wilson, Singer

Jessica Starr, Detroit meteorologist who took her own life after complications from vision surgery



Roma:  Alfonso Cuaron’s semi-autobiographical film about growing up in Mexico City has critics saying things like “achingly beautiful” and “soulful” and “most beautiful tours in the wound of time” and “best film of 2018”  Netflix

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars: They’re back, hunty. Season premiere. 7 p.m., VH1

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale: It’s a witchy Christmas special because sure, why not. Netflix

Fuller House: Season four. Netflix

Travelers: Season three. Netflix

The Innocent Man: John Grisham brings you your next true crime obsession. Netflix

The Fix: A panel of comedians take on the world’s problems in this new talk show. Netflix

I Love Lucy Christmas Special: Lucy and Ricky and Ethel and Fred decorate a Christmas tree. 7 p.m., CBS

The Dick Van Dyke Show: Now in Living Color: The Dick Van Dyke Show gets the colorized treatment this year.  8 p.m., CBS

Christmas Movies

  • Christmas Around the Corner: 7 p.m., Lifetime


Saturday Night Live: Matt Damon & Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson

Blockers: I haven’t seen this, but what I understand is that this is a teen sex comedy with a decidedly feminist bent. Also, it stars John Cena. 7 p.m., HBO

Pete Holmes: Dirty Clean: Pete Holmes’s stand-up special ahead of the return of Crashing9 p.m., HBO

Christmas Movies

  • Christmas Pen Pals: 7 p.m., Lifetime
  • Entertaining Christmas: 7 p.m,., Hallmark
  • Country Christmas Album: 8 p.m., Ion
  • Northern Lights of Christmas: 8 p.m., HMC


Springsteen on Broadway: Exactly what it sounds like. Netflix

2018 Miss Universe: You know. 6 p.m., Fox

The Sound of Music: The hills are alive and all that. 6 p.m., ABC

Christmas Movies

  • Christmas on Holly Lane: 6 p.m., UP
  • Coins for Christmas: 6 p.m., TV One
  • A Gingerbread Romance: 7 p.m., Hallmark
  • Hometown Christmas: 7 p.m., Lifetime
  • A Christmas in Royal Fashion: 8 p.m., Ion
  • Small Town Christmas: 8 p.m., HMC

Late Night: Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Friday): Armie Hammer, Mark Ronson, Pete Lee The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: (Friday): Tony Shalhoub Watch What Happens Live (Sunday): Cynthia Bailey, Anderson Cooper


FRI. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC Fresh Off the Boat
Child Support
CBS MacGyver
Hawaii Five-0
Blue Bloods
CW Dynasty
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
FOX Last Man Standing
The Cool Kids
Hell’s Kitchen
NBC Blindspot
Midnight, Texas

SAT. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30
ABC Great American Baking Show
The Alec Baldwin Show
Magnum P.I.
48 Hours
FOX College Football: XXX
NBC Dateline Dateline Saturday Night Live
News/Local Saturday Night Live
(Matt Damon & MIley Cyrus)

SUN. 6:00 6:30 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC America’s Funniest Home Videos
Dancing with the Stars: Juniors
Shark Tank
Shark Tank
CBS 60 Minutes
God Friended Me
NCIS: Los Angeles
Madam Secretary
The CW Local Supergirl
FOX The Simpsons
Bob’s Burgers
The Simpsons
Bob’s Burgers
Family Guy
NBC Sunday Night Football: XXX

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