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Fox press day 2, part 2 - Margulies, Sherman-Palladino on Gilmore Girls and House - TCA report

by Michael Maloney, posted Jul 23rd 2007 11:01PM
Julianne Margulies and George Clooney ER's Doug and Carol together again? Don't hold your breath unless you can do so for at least three more years.

Julianna Margulies, who's starring in the FOX mid-season replacement Canterbury's Law, says that she'd love to do another project with former ER love interest George Clooney. But the actress,who left the hospital drama in 2000, wants there to be a full decade in between projects so that fans won't think of them as lovebirds.

Alas, the reunion won't likely take place at Country General, either.

"No, I was never going back," Margulies told TV Critics during FOX's day two of the TCA tour about a possible return to ER. "I'm not one to retrace my steps."

During the panel, Margulies kept the focus on her new role as Elizabeth Canterbury, a "tough as nails" attorney who goes the extra mile to save her clients. It's no coincidence she brings to mind a female attorney version of Denis Leary's fireman Tommy Gavin on Rescue Me -- Leary serves as one of the show's executive producers.

The edgy-FX feel to the show may have been one reason that Margulies signed on the dotted line. (Dinner and drinks with FOX top man Peter Liguori was another.) In fact, a typo on some correspondence from an assistant at FOX led her to think she would be joining the F/X lineup of Rescue Me, Dirt and Nip/Tuck.

"That assistant has since gotten a raise," quipped one of CL's producers.

After lunch, Amy Sherman-Palladino (wearing one of her trademark hats), her husband Daniel Palladino, Parker Posey (Superman Returns), Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) and Scott Cohen (Kissing Jessica Stein) take the stage to talk about The Return of Jezebel James. The half-hour multi-camera sitcom, which shoots in New York, deals with opposite sisters, played by Posey and Ambrose.

I'm betting in no time at all Amy will be asked about the ending to her fan favorite series Gilmore Girls, the show she created but did not see to its final season, much to the chagrin of the program's devotees.

Amy, who also worked on Roseanne, says it was natural for her to return to the multi-camera format. "Single-camera is very lonely," says the outspoken scribe. "You're out of words, sobbing, deep into the night...this is like a play."

"We actually slipped into multi-camera work into Gilmore Girls," says Amy. Hey, she brought GG (indirectly) first! Now that's a twist I didn't see coming.

"Our only problem is getting our dog to crap on cement," Amy says of living in New York.

"Did The Cosby Show shoot at our studios?" ponders Posey, as she gets in on the action.

"You bet your ass it did," Amy says. "It took forever to get Cosby Show washer and dryers out of our offices."

I'm losing this bet on GG. Nobody's asking Amy what she thought of the finale.

Can I get a question out of the way, a reporter asks?

"I'm not a virgin," Amy says.

No, silly. What did you think of GG's finale?

"I didn't watch it," she shares. "I think I just got very drunk that night. [Daniel] read. Then, we went to bed. It wasn't going to be my ending or what I had in mind."

Would Amy revisit/revive the show, say, for a TV-movie finale that she would create? "We've talked about doing a song and a dance...wrapping it up," she says.

In the meantime, can she tell us what the last line that she envisioned for the show was going to be?

"[Lorelai's] in the shower and she says to [Rory], 'You're adopted,'" jokes Amy, wryly adding, "Let's save [what it really was] -- just it case."

House is next and the most often asked question of the tour is gotten out of the way right off the bat.

Laurie's asked about the influx of British actors coming over here -- and taking money away from hard-working Canadian performers. (The reporter who asked is Canadian.)

"I'm drawn to great writing," Laurie responds. "Canadian actors are, too."

Despite some of the characters exiting the canvas last season, practically the entire cast is present for this Q&A session. "Everyone's back," says Katie Jacobs, House's executive producer.

"We know we're back, but we're not entirely sure how," says Jesse Spencer.

House will hire a new team of doctors, but "he'll do it in a very House way...we're doing to do a House version of Survivor," says Jacobs.

"I was in bed, the phone rings and you get a piece of news," says Laurie of where he was when he got word of his Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He was also thrilled that the show got a nod for Drama Series, too. "It was a happy day."

Next, reporters wanted some dish on the characters' love lives next season. "Go ahead, run with it," Laurie teased to co-star Lisa Edelstein (Dr. Lisa Cuddy). "You know you want to."

"They don't tell me anything," hedged Edelstein.

You can tell fatigue is setting in among the reporters (the tour is over two weeks old by now) when one reporter asks about the parking accommodations on the 20th Century Fox lot where the show is filmed.

The cast is stymied...finally, Laurie steps up to the plate and answers that he has nothing to compare it to.

How's next season looking? "I've only read the first three scripts," says Laurie. "They're three of the best scripts ever. I find them absolutely phenomenal. It mixes broad comedy, tragedy...literary references...it jumps from tone to tone."

What's up with new characters? "We have deals with five new actors that could turn into series deals," says Jacobs. "House is going to give them all numbers [so he doesn't have to learn their names]."

(This must be why Laurie called me "Reporter # 67" during the follow ups.)

How does Laurie interact with his fans? "I don't," he jokes. "I have a little man [who does it for me]." On a serious note, he says, "I think people are entertained by House; he's worth putting up with. He saves lives. That's a pretty endearing quality. If you're staring death in the face, it's [actually] a very endearing quality."

The afternoon panels conclude with an informal cocktail session with F/X's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Series star Danny DeVito brought his own liquor -- limoncello -- that he's manufacturing now. TV audiences recall that this is the drink that got him in trouble with George Clooney the night before the Taxi star appeared on The View earlier this year.

DeVito says he's going back on the yak fest show to promote his latest venture, joking he won't be drinking any on-air -- but maybe some could be given to the audience before taping.

Writing -- and limoncello -- break. Then, it's off to the Santa Monica pier for the FOX "all-star" party.

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Somebody get Clooney a sandwich -- stat!

July 24 2007 at 9:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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