The newly appointed president of CBS Entertainment says the network must overhaul its antiquated prime-time lineup to rise out of last place in the ratings.
Jeff Sagansky, who joined CBS two weeks ago from his position as president of Tri-Star Pictures, said the schedule appeals to viewers "well over 45" years old and that the network "is programming too narrowly in that direction."
"I don't think the network can be just a narrow casting vehicle," Sagansky said Monday night.
"We do need more comedies," he said. "The question is which night do you open a comedy night on?"
Sagansky confessed that CBS is in worse shape than NBC was 10 years ago, when that network was a distant third. Sagansky said one of the obstacles to CBS' comeback is that the television marketplace is more competitive than in the past.
One of the network's top priorities is re-establishing contacts with some of Hollywood's more dynamic producers, he said, adding that he would offer fresh talent the chance "to do the show that they've always wanted to do."
Sagansky, whose record at Tri-Star included such flops as "Lock-up" and hits like "Steel Magnolias," said the network's struggling "Pat Sajak Show" would undergo several changes beginning in February but is in no immediate peril of cancellation.