CBS Execs Address Diversity Issues, Hawaii Five-0 and "New Palette" | 8/1/2017 | Tim Surette
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What started out as talking about bro hugs and a couple pals in a new job quickly turned into a barrage of questions about CBS' diversity -- or lack thereof -- during the CBS executive session at the Television Critics Association summer press tour Tuesday. Kelly Kahl, president of CBS Entertainment, and Thom Sherman, senior executive vice president of programming at CBS, faced a repetitive topic at TCAs in regards to CBS: why is the network so white?

Unfortunately, Kahl and Sherman didn't have a good answer to any of the questions, mostly because they're both new to their positions and couldn't answer to the decisions of the past. Kahl was promoted to his new position in May from his old position as head of scheduling, and Sherman, who oversaw development at The CW, moved over to CBS in May.

Questions - CBS - Show - Lead - Development

That didn't stop questions about why no new CBS show has had a female lead in the past two development cycles, or why other networks have passed CBS in terms of inclusive, diverse programming.

"The way I have tended to develop in my career is to have people bring me everything, and when you cast a wide net like that, I think that you get the kind of shows that you're talking about," Sherman said. "We want our slate to be inclusive, we want it to be diverse, we want all sorts of programming, we want all sort of different types of programming and we believe that we will get that."

Sherman - Track - Record - Development - Shows

When pressed further, Sherman -- who has a solid track record in diverse development with shows like Lost, Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend -- noted that CBS had six pilots with female leads last year and that the decision to pass on all of them had nothing to do with the fact...
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