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September 1, 2015

All CBS shows are secretly about Les Moonves

by Anna Johns, posted Dec 21st 2006 10:22AM
les moonvesThere's a tongue-in-cheek article over at The New York Times about a theory among television critics that all the procedurals on CBS are an homage to Les Moonves. I'm starting to subscribe to this theory (and feel a little jealous that I didn't come up with it first!). The columnist argues that procedurals such as all the CSI franchises, Without a Trace, Criminal Minds, Shark and NCIS all have a lead male character in his 50s who is a workaholic and young minions eager to please him. The writer suggests that this is how CBS chief exec Les Moonves sees himself.

The article points out that while guys like Jerry Bruckheimer produce many of the series, it's Moonves who does the hand-picking of the series that make air. And he chooses the man who will play the 'fatherly' lead roles. The writer notes that, like Moonves, none of these lead actors is bald (except Stanley Tucci, but 3 lbs was canceled after thre episodes). And, Moonves' marriage to Early Show anchor Joey Chen reflects the common storyline in these series about young, beautiful women falling in love with the married-to-work men.

Is it a waste of newsprint? Maybe. But it's still a cute poke at Moonves and all the similar series he has on CBS.

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Jeannine McKenna

For once Anna I have to agree w/you. I too, could see that "stereotype", middle-age, male boss, married to his job, but tries to have a personal life, even tries marriage (Horatio-CSI:Miami). Mac(CSI:NY)being a widower from 9/11/01, plunges into his work, but still "tried"a work related relationship. Gil & Sarah though, do NOT make a couple, not in my eyes. And yes, Gil Grissom WILL be back!! CBS is NOT the only network w/rating toppers. I think NBC does fairly well w/all the L&O's, & Crossing Jordan. Les Moonves is just a typical middle-aged male who needs an esteem boost through his show's, it's just a "male" thing, NOT the American way, though, as someone else commented. Shame on Les Moonves and CBS to think none of us would "see" this "stereotyping".

January 18 2007 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Chichian

It certainly does explain why they have Gil Grissom playing latent pedophile and doing the Electra Sidle. And all along I thought it was a matter of not being able to spell mid-life crisis without CSI.

January 15 2007 at 7:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think this is a great article. For once I agree with Anna Johns which is a miracle.

As much as I love CSI. I do get tired of the workaholic father-figure surrounded by eager beavers and doe-eyed young women. It really is a cliche!

For Christmas, I want Les Moonves to be transported to another planet and take his young wife and eager beavers with him.

December 24 2006 at 7:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can believe it...Furthermore, most sitcoms on Network TV are largely about big fat loud mouthed slobs married to much better looking smart beauties, could that also be a statement about most Network execs, as well - Who knows...

December 22 2006 at 2:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Already got beaten to the Joie/Julie Chen goof. Joie Chen is also with CBS to which she moved after leaving CNN in '02.


December 21 2006 at 2:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

CBS' biggest drama hit this season is Jericho, which apparently breaks this rule.

December 21 2006 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tv junkie

Les Moonves is married to Julie Chen, not Joey Chen.
If the characters relationships of these male-driven "crime" dramas on CBS represent how Les Mooves see himself ("a lead male character in his 50s who is a workaholic and young minions eager to please him",) then that must be the way most of the Americans see themselves as well (after all, CBS is the most watched network and all of its top ten shows are dominate by these crime dramas.)
Ah, finally someone explained to me why all the CBS crime dramas are so popular (people can't get enough of them! even reruns of these shows gather great ratings.) Come to think of it, maybe this is the formula to follow for successful crime dramas because other networks haven't been able to produce popular crime shows like the way CBS does.

December 21 2006 at 12:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That's quite understandable why the CBS shows are secretly about Les Moonves. They just happen to be the more mature adult shows that viewers are very comfortable with. They tend to avoid kids and sappiness, like on most family sitcoms. And the 50-year old lead male character is obvious--he gets what he wants and doesn't want anyone to get in his way. He tends to have a macho, no-nonsense attitude. And the tendency to go with young, 25-year old women instead of someone close to his own age is common on these shows. Some of those CBS dramas are too alike, they are very adult in the content and they aren't like the ensemble dramas that NBC loves to have.

December 21 2006 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Deven Werthman

I believe if you'd done a brief Google check, you'd have discovered that Les Moonves in married to JULIE Chen, CBS Morning Show co-host, not Joey Chen, CBS reporter.

December 21 2006 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
It\'s Me

I believe it's Julie Chen, not Joey.

She is sometimes called Chen-Bot for her robotic delivery.

December 21 2006 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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