TCA cancels winter press tour due to writers' strike
Even though the winter tour is less extensive than the summer tour, it is a good time for the networks to give critics a mid-season "state of the network" statement and introduce the stars of their midseason shows. None of the broadcast networks could commit to presenting at the tour, and when the cable nets and PBS started pulling out, the association felt it was best to cancel outright.
I just became a member of the TCA a month or so ago, and I was looking forward to going to my first tour since getting in (I went last winter, but not as a member), mainly so I could participate in some of the association-specific panels and vote for the TCA Awards. But most of all, I was looking forward to doing what I did last winter, which was get stories from actors, producers and writers that are hard to get access too any other time of the year, and to get some more candid one-on-one assessments from network executives of both their and their competitors chances (Especially if Jeff Zucker is holding court outside the ballroom. Boy, that man can spread the vitrol).
The TCA is still thinking positively, tour-wise; they still have next July's tour booked and are in the process of booking the winter 2009 tour as we speak. Hopefully, the strike won't go on for so long that we won't be sitting in a ballroom hearing about the third season of American Gladiators. No one wants to travel to L.A. for that.