- The Washington Times
Thursday, May 18, 2017

CBS President and CEO Les Moonves is defending the network’s male-dominated new fall lineup, saying it’s the best pilots that win “at the end of the day.”

The network’s newly announced lineup is dominated by white male leads with the exception of actor Shemar Moore in “S.W.A.T.,” Entertainment Weekly reported.

A reporter at a CBS press breakfast Wednesday asked Mr. Moonves if the network was heading in the wrong direction by not including female leads in the lineup.

“Well, number one, more women watch CBS, percentage-wise, than any other network, so our shows have a lot of female appeal,” the CEO said, EW reported. “I don’t think we’ve ever had to apologize for having ‘Madam Secretary’ and Lucy Liu [on ‘Elementary’], and ‘The Good Fight’ and ‘The Good Wife.’

“We do a number of pilots, a lot of them have women in starring roles,” he continued. “There are a lot of women on the schedule. The best pilots win at the end of the day. And we think our track record is OK.”

CBS was criticized last year for a fall lineup that featured six shows all staring white males, EW reported. The reporter pressed Mr. Moonves on whether the network had repeated the same mistake.

“When I look at the totality of what CBS is, I look at news, I look at daytime, I look at sports, I look at Showtime, I look at The CW. And when you look at the totality of that, I think we’re fine in terms of the amount of women who are behind the camera and in front of the camera,” Mr. Moonves said. “I think we’re doing a very good job. I don’t think we’re looking in the wrong direction, on the contrary.”

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