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CBS Introduces Colbert, 'Supergirl' and a Hellish Angel for Fall
August 10, 2015  | By Ed Bark  | 1 comment
 

Beverly Hills, CA -- Grandly introducing himself before striding onstage with a microphone in hand, Stephen Colbert not surprisingly got saved for last at CBS's full day of nine interview sessions -- plus lunch.

"Does anyone need clean underwear?" he asked helpfully.

Colbert officially will replace David Letterman on Sept. 8, taking over the network's Late Show franchise from the only host it had ever known. His staff has just moved into offices above New York City's Ed Sullivan Theater but Colbert's new set remains under construction. He can't wait.

"I am twitching," Colbert said while seated alone on a hotel ballroom stage and facing 100-plus TV writers. "I've had too much time in the simulator. I want to get in the jet."

He's also chafing to weigh in on the tumultuous presidential campaign.

"I'm just hoping that certain people stay in the race," Colbert said. "I want to do Donald Trump jokes so badly. Right now I'm dry-Trumping."

He urged Trump to stay healthy and encouraged fellow Americans to light a candle for him. "But no one put that candle near his hair."

Colbert's first guest will be George Clooney and his first musical guest, Kendrick Lamar. And even though Letterman's last Late Show was on May 20, it wouldn't be out of character for Colbert to pay one last tribute to him during his debut night.

"Dave was everything to us," he said. "Johnny was the king and the Olympian, but Dave was 'dumb' and Dave was for us. "I never thought I'd be given the opportunity and honor to take over the show that he did." (Yes, he without a doubt meant "dumb" as a compliment.)

Colbert, 51, will be going head-to-head against late night's new king, 40-year-old Jimmy Fallon. Their shared combat zone is both the same time zone and New York City, where Letterman's show took a severe ratings beating from Fallon in its final months on the air.

Colbert said he likes Fallon personally, and that his fun 'n' games motif reflects "what Jimmy's like."

"The idea of war between the hosts makes no sense to me . . . Fighting amongst each other is not funny. There's no joke there. I'm not interested."

He'll be shucking his right-wing pompous goofball persona from Comedy Central's The Colbert Report and be "seriously interested" in guests rather than have his questions "come through an idiot's mouth."

"That guy was a tool," he said of the character he played for nine years on Comedy Central. It's "really lovely" that he'll no longer have to run everything "through the character's bible in my head."

Veteran CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler is bullish on Colbert for more than being a seemingly effortless "creative force," as she put it. She sees additional dollar signs, too.

"It also brings new business opportunity," Tassler said of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. "For the first time we will own and produce both of our late night shows. We're now owners, not renters. And we look forward to all the traditional and emerging revenue opportunities this brings."

Late Show with David Letterman was owned by the host's Worldwide Pants production company, as was Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, which gave way to James Corden in March.

Tassler lauded Corden's "social media" prowess and nearly 200 million online "clip views" fueled by segments such as "Carpool Karaoke" and "James' fearless spirit to try new things."

"Ratings are still important," she said. "But your digital footprint and cultural currency carry significant value. And it's quite evident that our two new hosts enjoy playing in the digital space."

Letterman was a comparative Luddite in Twitter and Facebook circles, disdaining both and acknowledging near the end of his long reign on Late Show that both he and the likewise reluctant Jay Leno became increasingly antiquated and expendable for that reason.

"Bottom line is we are monetizing," Tassler said. "We'll continue to monetize. And as long as the programs themselves continue to perform, they have value across all the platforms."

***CBS is taking a big comic book hero flyer this fall with Supergirl, which will air on Monday nights and premieres Oct. 26. Its head executive producer is Greg Berlanti, who has made both Arrow and The Flash work on CBS's sister CW network. Melissa Benoist (Glee, left) plays the title role as well as the civilian-clothed Kara Danvers. She works at an online/print conglomerate called World Media, where her boss is the demanding Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart of Ally McBeal fame).

"I'm sorry, dear, I just can't hear you over the loud color of your cheap pants," Cat hisses at Kara in the premiere episode.

Fellow Kryptonian Superman is referenced in the series, but likely won't be seen in Supergirl's first season, the producers said. But Flockhart thinks it "would be a really good idea if Cat becomes romantically involved with Superman. Wouldn't that be fun?" She later amended that: "Maybe she should be involved with Clark Kent, now that I'm rethinking it a little bit."

In the opening episode, the still-learning Supergirl is left hurt and bleeding after an extended fight with a likewise super-powered criminal from outer space.

Co-executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said it's "important for us to put her in situations where she isn't all-powerful, so you can root for her. Sometimes there's a tendency with Superman to sort of make him so powerful that there isn't any danger. Week in, week out, you want to feel like Supergirl might not survive any of these things. There are plenty of thing besides Kryptonite that can take her down."

***
After playing a she-devil all those years on Glee, Jane Lynch is the equally sharp-tongued title character in CBS' Angel From Hell, which will premiere on Thursday, Nov. 5. During the course of proving her otherworldliness to the young woman she's watching over (played by Maggie Lawson), Lynch's Amy says in the first episode: "Got your first period at Red Lobster, which is super-ironic. Remember your first orgasm, when you farted just a little bit?"

Lynch reverted to automatic actress-speak, though, when tvworthwatching.com asked her if producers and viewers alike lately have come to see her as tailor made for "tart and sardonic" roles.

"Yeah, I guess I don't think about that so much," she said. "Maybe people do think of me that way, but that's kind of none of my business, and that's not why I choose a role. I really felt myself in the skin of this character when I read it. So that's what turned me on about it."

How wonderful for you. That's something a latter day Jane Lynch character would never say -- unless of course she didn't mean it.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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1 Comments
 
 
Vince Everett
Supergirl and Superman are COUSINS !! A romance might be a little creepy
Aug 11, 2015   |  Reply
 
Neil
Reread what Ed wrote: "But Flockhart thinks it 'would be a really good idea if Cat becomes romantically involved with Superman. Wouldn't that be fun?'" "Cat" is Flockhart's character, not the Kara/Supergirl character.
Aug 11, 2015
 
 
 
 
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