Fox's fall lineup and executive session - The Life of "Reilly" - TCA report
Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly answered inquiries from TCA members on Sunday about a big name exiting the network -- only the network was NBC and the departure was Reilly's own.
Reilly poked fun at the standard reasons found in press releases that are used to explain a person's leaving a top gig. "No one is ever really fired in Hollywood are they," he rhetorically asked, adding, "You can pick whatever trade euphemism you want [to explain my exit from NBC]. 'I segued.' 'I thought about it over the holidays.' I want to spend more time with my family, which I did for three days.'"
Then, Fox hired him to work with Peter Liguori, the network's entertainment chairman.
"However I exited, it actually ended up being very equitable all the way around," Reilly added. "There was no sort of pettiness, and it worked out."
Now, on to the on-air dramas -- comedies and non-scripted programs.
First up, Fox introduced a panel for Back To You, a sitcom that brings Emmy-winners Kelsey Grammer (Frasier) and Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond) back to network television. "It was the funniest -- and only -- script I was offered," Heaton said.
One reporter pointed out that often actors leave sitcoms behind after long runs saying they've "done it all," but Grammer and Heaton must feel there's more to do. "They left saying they'd 'done it all?' Or they'd done 'all they could possibly do,'" deadpans Grammer. "I'm thrilled to be back."
When a reporter asked since the two stars don't need to be working again for financial reasons, the following interesting exchange about the realities of money and loving what you do in life took place between Grammer and said journalist.
Grammer: "Well, why do you work?"
Reporter: "Well, I'm just trying to buy a house, actually."
Grammer: "Is it just for money...is that why you work?"
Reporter: "Have you ever been to a newspaper? Absolutely."
Grammer conceded with a nod that the writer had a point and it was on to other topics. Just before the panel ended, one kind reporter tossed a question to the supporting cast of characters, most of whom hadn't been asked a single question all panel.
Sorry, kids. It's not ever day that Seattle's favorite shrink and Marie Barone's punching bag come back to TV.
"Well, I don't know if any of you guys know this or not, but I told my agents I really wanted to develop something with Kelsey and Patty," deadpanned cast member Josh Gad.
Then it was on to lunch with Jeff Foxworthy of Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader. Now that I've interviewed Jeff I can kiss goodbye the show ever calling me to come in and play the game based on my interview last winter. (FYI: the written test ain't easy folks.)
Kudos to the Fox folks who put this together. There were pencil cases and notebooks on our tables. I know two lucky nephews and a niece that are getting some school-themed swag in the mail.
Back to the International Grand Ballroom for a panel on K-Ville, which stars Anthony Anderson and Cole Hauser as two New Orleans police officers in a post-Katrina world. (Katrina's the "K" in K-Ville.)
A New Orleans native points out that she's never heard her town referred to as "K-Ville." True, a reporter says. "But until about four years ago California never had a place called 'The O.C.' -- just Orange County.
When a reporter brings up additional story layers may be needed to add to the show's premise, creator/executive producer Jonathan Lisco, responded, "You sound like one of my producers."
Make no Bones about it -- Bones' David Boreanaz is now one of the show's producers. "Going into a third season, you're going to see a great show," says Boreanaz.
Is it me or do I believe him more now that he's not just a star on the show? He's a producer, too!
Producers reveal that Ryan O'Neal will be back as Emily Deschanel's dad next season. "He's a huge, huge movie star," insists one of the producers.
Umm...I have Internet access here at the hotel. Part of me wants to link that producer to IMDB.com and point out to him that Love Story, What's Up Doc? and Barry Lyndon all came out in the 1970s.
Next up, a look at New Amsterdam, a show that's not just another cop drama since this particular lawman, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, is immortal.
A reporter grilled the panel to find out if the creative minds behind it were familiar with a similarly-themed syndicated series called Highlander. Things got heated when the reporter pursued the issue even after the panel denied knowing it. It was almost as if they were being accused of "appropriating" the idea and turning it into their own version.
Fortunately, things took an upbeat turn -- literally -- with a live performance of dancers from So You Think You Can Dance. Here's something you may not know about the TV Critics Association membership: its members never clap when clips of shows are shown or when actors come out on stage. All that applause that you hear comes from the network reps and publicists that are standing the back of the room. But we do applaud for endearingly delightful CBS publicist Beth Haiken -- and the talented dancers on SYTYCD.
Fox Reality, home of Reality Remix, The Search for the Next Elvira, and Solitary 2.0, sprang for cocktails as the day started to wind down.
Dinner's a K-Ville cast event at Les Deux, a trendy Hollywood eatery as Anderson and Hauser have to take off for Louisiana to continue filming and they won't be at the big all-stars party on Monday night.