Les Moonves


LOS ANGELES -- "Under the Dome" will return next summer with Stephen King penning the first episode.

That was the headline from CBS chairman Les Moonves Monday at the TV Critics press tour.

"It's changed the face of summer programming," said Moonves, who was filling in for CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler, who was called away due to the passing of a good friend. "Why can't there be 'Under the Dome' for a long period of time? It's television."

In other CBS news:

"The Big Bang Theory" will premiere Sept. 26 with back-to-back original episodes

Moonves confirmed that he still has a hand in casting "Big Brother" and "Survivor." He said he was appalled bythe racist comments by some cast members of "Big Brother," which is hosted by his wife Julie Chen, but defended the show as a "social experiment."

"Unfortunately, it reflects what certain people feel in the country," he said.

The departer of Cote de Pablo on "NCIS" was NOT what CBS wanted. Moonves said the network offered her a lot of money to stay and then more money, but ultimately she made the decision to leave.

Moonves indicted that David Letterman won't be leaving CBS anytime soon.

"He's the dean," Moonves aid. "He's the best there is and, other than Johnny Carson, the best there's ever been."

CBS's day at TCA is expected to include appearances from Will Arneet, Robin WIlliams, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Claire Danes.

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