God is so, like, 2004

Meg James of the Los Angeles Times has a good ear for the deadpan humor of network executives talking like network executives. Witness Leslie Moonves, the immeasurably hip 56-year-old chairman of CBS, discussing some programming changes:

“They called us the geezer network,” CBS Chairman and Viacom Inc. Co-President Leslie Moonves told more than 2,000 advertising buyers and their clients gathered in Carnegie Hall.

Departing from a years-old “big tent” strategy that embraced viewers of all ages, Moonves vowed the network was determined to be “stronger, better and younger.”

To that end, CBS canceled three dramas, “Joan of Arcadia,” “Judging Amy” and “JAG,” whose viewers had a median age of 53.9, 54 and 58, respectively. CBS also pulled from its schedule the oldest-skewing show on network television, “60 Minutes Wednesday.” The median age of its audience: 59.

. . . CBS’ riskiest move was its Friday night shake-up. This season’s schedule included “JAG” and “Joan of Arcadia” — the latter a critically acclaimed show about a young woman who speaks to God.

Beginning this fall, those shows will be replaced by “Threshold,” a sci-fi thriller, and “The Ghost Whisperer,” a supernatural drama starring former teen queen Jennifer Love Hewitt as a woman who communicates with the spirit world.

“I think talking to ghosts will skew younger than talking to God,” Moonves said at a breakfast news conference with reporters Wednesday.

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