CBS CEO Les Moonves told investors at a media conference Tuesday that while he hopes the writers strike ends soon, CBS can supplement any programming lost because of the work stoppage with shows from other sources, including its own Showtime premium cable channel.
Moonves didn’t say which of those Showtime shows would find their way onto CBS. Possibilities include hit Showtime originals Dexter, Weeds and Brotherhood.
Moonves said that CBS already announced its new schedule that will air in February and currently is filling slots with holiday shows. In January, he said, football, reality programming and episodes from previously planned mid-season shows will also fill out the slate.
“We are prepared to have a full schedule which will include a lot of original programming starting in February,” Moonves said at the UBS Securities Media & Communications conference Tuesday. “We will also be using some programming from our sister network Showtime. There are some terrific shows on that network that will work well on CBS. We certainly are not going to go dark.”
The Writers Guild of America has been on strike for about one month and was expected to enter further negotiations today with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Moonves said at the conference that while he hoped that a deal could be reached soon, the writers and producers were “quite far apart at this point” in their negotiations.
“I am hopeful. I am not terribly optimistic,” Moonves said of a quick resolution to the dispute.