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Dirty Sexy Money and Private Practice panels: Lots of resetting going on - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 18th 2008 10:44AM
Greg BerlantiThe photo to the right is of Dirty Sexy Money (and Eli Stone and Brothers & Sisters) EP Greg Berlanti, from the ABC show-runner panel. The reason why I post it is because ABC doesn't have any web-ready photos of either the DSM or the Private Practice panels for download, many hours after both panels. This despite promises that they would have web-ready pictures from the press tour up quickly. OK, cranky rant over.

Anyway, the panels for the two sophomore Wednesday shows didn't reveal all that much in the way of new info. We found out a little about what both Berlanti and PP creator Shonda Rhimes have in store, and how they deal with returning from such a long break (ABC held back the two shows and Pushing Daisies after the strike, making plans to restart in the fall).Lucy Liu has joined the cast of DSM; she was a huge fan of the show, which was fortunate, given the fate of her previous series. "I got a call from (ABC Entertainment chief) Steve McPherson saying that Cashmere Mafia was most likely not going to come back and that he still wanted to work with me and keep me in the family."

John Feldman is the new show-runner, and he thinks that the show is now finding its footing after an uneven first season. But that doesn't mean that the second season is off-limits to new fans. "I think, hopefully, the first episode will allow -- it will work for returning viewers, but it also will work for new viewers. There's no learning curve to come back to the show, and I think that will work for -- you know, we will work very quickly, the audience will be here."

The most intriguing comment came from William Baldwin, whose character, Patrick Darling, is a New York politician with a penchant for transvestite hookers. He was asked if the developments in New York state politics (Spitzer and call girl Ms. Dupre) are a matter of art imitating life, he said, "I was shocked when that all went down, far moreso than I ever was with the President (Clinton). It's shocking because every time I've been with a hooker, there's never been any electronic trail whatsoever." While the laughter died down, he decided to not leave well enough alone. "I mean, if I'm not that stupid, how could he be that stupid? The guy graduated from frickin' Harvard. You know what I mean?" Ah, the Baldwins. A whole lot of talent comes with a whole lot of screwy, doesn't it?

The Private Practice panel had Shonda Rhimes and the entire cast, including 1) a barely-recognizable Amy Brenneman, and 2) Tim Daly in Clark Kent-esque glasses. Kate Walsh said that going back to playing Addison Montgomery after the long hiatus wasn't hard, because "the character is in my DNA." She added that playing Addison on one post-strike episode of Grey's Anatomy was like "going home for the holidays."

Rhimes wanted to change the tone of the show a bit, and give it a more interesting basis in medicine. "This season we're honing in on really making it a show that the stories tell more of the ethical dilemmas that our doctors have to face. There is surgery in it because Addison is a surgeon, and she gets back to doing that."

Bringing Addison back to the strong character she was in Grey's wasn't a conscious decision on Rhimes' part. "For me, the thing about writing is that the characters end up sort of doing what I'm doing at the moment. And the first season, we were -- it was the first time I'd had two shows going at the same time. It was the first time Addison moved to Los Angeles. It was Addison finding her footing. I was finding the show. So I feel like both of those things are stronger now."

Walsh is just happy that Addison now has a personal life. "It sort of dawned on me a few days ago. We were shooting; I'm like, 'Oh, Addison has never been happy personally. She's never had anybody that really likes her.' Derek was like, 'Get away.' ...And Karev was just a curmudgeon. So now there's actually some kind of fun and love and romance."

After the session, I caught up with Brenneman and asked her what it's like to be a leading actor in an ensemble of leading actors. And I also asked her about Heat.

Amy Brenneman on the PP ensemble... and Heat (2:36)

I then went up to Tim Daly, asked him about his glasses, and then I asked the former Wings star about the show... and if he reads Ken Levine's blog (might as well get both Danson and Daily to answer, right?) Like Danson, I don't think Daly even has a computer. I then asked him the same question about the ensemble that I asked Brenneman. He gave a surprising answer, though, when I asked him whether he preferred carrying a show or being in an ensemble like this:

Tim Daly on Wings, Ken Levine's blog, and being in an ensemble (5:00)

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Mr. Beast

Really? That's all you can give us on Dirty Sexy Money? You say "We found out a little about what both Berlanti and PP creator Shonda Rhimes have in store, and how they deal with returning from such a long break" but then you give us a) old news that Lucy Liu is joining and b) a couple good but not that relevant quotes from the panel. I don't know if ABC told you not to repeat stuff, but if not, could you give us a bit more detail please?

July 18 2008 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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