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CBS Adds 3 New Gay Characters To Prime Time Series

After receiving a failing diversity grade from a recent GLAAD report for the second year in a row, CBS is adding 3 gay characters to their prime time shows next season.

At the Television Critics Association press tour, entertainment president Nina Tassler said a gay character will be added to the new comedy “$#*! My Dad Says,” the sitcom, “Rules of Engagement” and one of the network’s most popular series, “The Good Wife.”

“We’re disappointed in our track record so far,” Tassler said. “We’re going to do it. We’re not happy with ourselves.”

Tassler took some heat too about casting Julie Chen on the network’s upcoming “The View”-style daytime talk show, which is now being called, “The Talk.” The panel talk show will have six female hosts, including Chen, who also happens to be the wife of CBS chief Leslie Moonves. Chen already hosts “Big Brother” and is a co-host on the “The Early Show.”

“It was Sara’s idea,” Tassler said of “The Talk” executive producer and panelist Sara Gilbert. “We talked about people who had a profile. Julie has a terrific reputation. The executive producer of the show said, ‘What about Julie, do you think she’d be interested?’ I made the decision; I don’t think Leslie is unhappy with the decision.”

Later, Gilbert confirmed she first brought up casting Chen and also defended the network’s press release announcing the show, which drew more negative headlines because it did not mention Gilbert’s lesbian partner but did note the spouses of the other panelists.

“I’ve been acting my whole life, and I’ve never discussed my personal life,” Gilbert said, “and the first place I wanted to do it wasn’t in a CBS press release.”

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