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October 10, 2015

Cable day two: they keep you runnin' - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 29th 2009 6:32PM
Rescue Ink UnleashedIt becomes extraordinarily tough to do reports during the cable sessions, mainly because the various networks give you one session after another without much time to breathe. You're also shuttling back and forth between two ballrooms. Finally, if you happen to be lucky enough to get some one-on-one time with a few people (as I did with Joan Rivers and the guys behind the new BBC America show The InBetweeners)... well, it leads to posts that don't go live until nighttime on the East Coast.

Heck, I haven't even written about last night's AMC cocktail party and the comic stylings of Jon Hamm yet. That'll come when I get a chance. The latest info and quips will always be on our Twitter feed if you're curious.

For now, though, some highlights of the day:

National Geographic Channel

When you look at the panels for the National Geographic Channel, you tend to think they're going to be on the dull side. But the guys who star in their new show Rescue Ink Unleashed don't exactly fit the Nat Geo profile. They're tattooed biker-types from New York who storm the houses of animal abusers and rescue and rehabilitate them (the abuser as well as the animals).

The session was short, but the highlight was one of them, referencing one of their episodes, telling one of the writers, "You're like the lady with the chickens!" as she asked a very odd and roundabout questions about their rescues (one of which was a lady who had 180 cats. Yes, 180).

Nat Geo also asked us all to submit DNA samples in order to trace our lineages for their Genographic Project. So imagine a room full of critics, dopey and full from the sundae bar, scraping their cheeks with swabs. Not pretty, is it?


ESPN did a panel for their new documentary series 30 for 30, where a series of big-time filmmakers and stars do documentaries on the sports stars or teams that impacted their lives. Ice Cube, for instance, is doing a documentary on the Raiders' influence on the inner city culture of L.A. in the eighties. The team coming to L.A. was like "your bad cousins coming to visit," according to Cube, who didn't take his sunglasses off the whole time. John Singleton is doing a doc about Marion Jones. Peter Berg is doing one on Wayne Gretzky.

But the most surprising thing about 30 for 30? Bill Simmons, the Sports Guy, is one of the executive producers. In fact, it was his idea. "It bothered me that HBO cornered the markets on sports documentaries," said Simmons. "The title was the first thing: 30 fror 30. I knew we loved clelebrating anniversaries and I knew we had a lot of money." Berg retorted that "the money part isn't really true." Quite deep stuff from a guy who's made his name talking about his trips to Vegas and liberally quoting from The Karate Kid.

More panel reports later, including someone everyone thought was funny (Rivers) and someone everyone thought wasn't (Jeff Dunham... though I don't know why).

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