Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesThe CBS Corp. CEO does not take kindly to jokes about his network.
During ABC's upfront presentation to showcase its new slate of shows to advertisers Tuesday, Jimmy Kimmel took jabs at all of the competing networks, but may have been most harsh to CBS.
"Then we have CBS , those smug motherf------. Les Moonves told CNBC that jokes about CBS skewing old are ‘over’ . Sorry Les, but those jokes aren’t over til my grandma throws away her Mentalist hemorrhoid donut."
Moonves later threw out some fighting words of his own to reporters at CBS' upfront saying he was flattered by Kimmel's words before ripping ABC apart.
“You don’t call somebody ‘smug motherf------’ unless they’re smug and they’re winning, so we’ll try to be a little less smug and a little more gracious, but that’s hard for me, as you know. But anyway, Jimmy, ABC is still going to finish fourth in 18-49 … we had a phenomenal year in terms of ratings.”
CBSMoonves added that the network's hit comedy "The Big Bang Theory" is the most popular comedy on both broadcast and syndicated on cable.
“We are the center of the universe,” said Moonves. “This is where the shows start, then they go out to the world. We’re getting paid in so many different ways than we did before.”
Moonves is essentially right when it comes to "Big Bang Theory."
The show has a weekly steady stream of at least 15 million viewers.
Here's how the competition will look this fall:
ABC: "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland"
CBS: "The Big Bang Theory"
NBC: "Parks and Recreation"
FOX: "The X Factor" results show
So, even if ABC's "Once Upon A Time" audience came to Thursday evenings, it would still be below CBS' leading comedy.
"Parks and Rec" doesn't leave a lot of competition for the 8 p.m. slot. The Amy Poehler comedy, which just ended its fifth season, has a small audience averaging at 3 million per episode.
The peacock network may have had a better chance at stealing some viewers from CBS by airing Michael J. Fox's big return to television earlier in the evening.
The network's "The Michael J. Fox Show" will also air Thursday evenings, but in a later 9:30 p.m. slot.
The show will also feature Betsy Brandt, a big draw from AMC's hit show "Breaking Bad."
Looking at the overall ratings per network, CBS is crushing the competition.
Here's a look at the top network's total viewers to date via EW:
CBS: 11.9 million
ABC: 7.8 million
FOX: 7.1 million
NBC: 7 million
While the other networks are down from last year, CBS made gains of 2%.
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