UPFRONTS: CBS Takes Jabs While Highlighting Successes at Carnegie Hall


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Like their network rivals NBC, CBS brought the star power to their upfront presentation as CEO Les Moonves and company presented their wares for fall to their advertiser audience. CBS performers Stephen Colbert, Young Sheldon‘s Iain Armitage, James Corden, David Boreanaz, Shemar Moore, and more took the stage.

Late-night host Stephen Colbert took to the stage for a song-and-dance number and the political humor that has made him a viral and ratings sensation. James Corden received his own set at the even here he plugged the highly-anticipated Star Trek: Discovery which will air on CBS All Access this fall. Corden also announced that he will be returning to host the 2018 Grammy Awards for the network.

CBS will be having a celebration this year in its news division as 60 Minutes has plans in the works for the show’s 50th anniversary. Oprah Winfrey will be joining the program as a contributor, which should help combat NBC’s new magazine show hosted by Megyn Kelly.

The presentation took many direct shots at competitors, such as calling American Idol “dated” and noting Colbert’s success at Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly’s recent demise saying, “A year ago who would have predicted that Stephen Colbert would be winning late-night and Bill O’Reilly would be doing a podcast in his underwear.” There was also a slam of YouTube when advertising sales chief Jo Ann Ross threw up a screenshot of a YouTube video depicting a sinking ship with an ad for a cruise ship below as she added “real people watching your commercials in hit shows with zero fraud, all from a source you can trust.”

While there was much to celebrate, the network also took some scrutiny as the topic of diversity, or lack thereof, in their upcoming series as the majority of shows debuting on primetime this fall will star white men. Moonves is unphased by this, noting that the network has strong viewing numbers from women and then listing a few current (and a few more that aren’t) series starring women.

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