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ABC executive Steve McPherson quits the night before Summer TV Press Tour 2010

No 'View' here: The stars of the CBS chat fest "The Talk" are, from left, Julie Chen, Leah Remini, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, and Marissa Jaret WInokur.
No 'View' here: The stars of the CBS chat fest "The Talk" are, from left, Julie Chen, Leah Remini, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, and Marissa Jaret WInokur. (Chris Pizzello - AP)

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You can't make this stuff up.

A lesser woman would have called the reporter a nincompoop and moved on to the next question. Heck, Steve McPherson would have called the reporter a nincompoop and moved on to the next question. We miss McPherson so much.

But Tassler was brought up better than that. So, instead of calling the reporter a nincompoop and shoving off for the next question, she -- with incredible patience, as though she were talking to a much-loved child who had been dropped on its head in infancy -- explained that "stability is a good thing," and that CBS has stability in its executive suite because it's, you know, getting more viewers than any other network in the United States of America. And, she continued to explain slowly and clearly, when you see a lot of churn in a network's executive ranks, it usually means the network is not doing so well.

"As far as Steve goes, I thought, 'Damn, he got out of doing Press Tour!' " Tassler could not resist adding.

In case you missed it: McPherson totally upstaged everyone coming to Summer TV Press Tour 2010 this week and next when he up and quit late Tuesday.

McPherson was scheduled to appear in front of TV critics Sunday. His Q&A session was always one of the highlights of any Press Tour because it was always touch and go whether blows would be exchanged. It is a great loss to the Press Tour. The coverage of television is, like boxing, not what it used to be.

Chen's all over CBS

After grilling CBS's Tassler as to why her network did not get rid of her and others like her with greater regularity, like the other networks, TV critics wanted to know why the wife of the CEO of CBS is starring in not one, not two, but three of the network's shows. This has to be some kind of record.

Julie Chen added another show to her CBS empire last week when the network announced that she would be one of the chicks on its new daytime "The View" knockoff. Chen also hosts "Big Brother" and anchors "The Early Show."

The gag at CBS is that this new talk show is not a "The View" knockoff because:

(a) It was the idea of actress Sara Gilbert when she became a mom, and Gilbert is executive-producing.

(b) All the chicks sitting around the kitchen table on the new show are "moms," which makes it totally different than "The View."

To drive home exactly how different this show is from "The View," CBS has decided to call the new program "The Talk."


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