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July 22, 2014

TCA Press Tour

Sutherland and Gordon are open to more 24 - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 11th 2010 9:24PM
Kiefer Suterhland at the 24 session of the Winter 2010 TCAsThe final panel of a very eventful FOX day was for the upcoming eighth season of 24, and there were a number of questions that were hanging in the air. How are they going to deal with Jack Bauer running around New York City? Is the show something that people still want to watch when real life is scary enough? But the big question was: Is this Bauer's last roundup?

First, the hats: FOX gave critics Yankees and Mets-ish looking baseball caps to commemorate the season.The caps were fitted, and they were HUGE; they were too big for even my 7.5-sized melon. But I took 'em anyway, because they looked cool.

The reporters pretty much got at the question of another season right away, and as far as Kiefer Sutherland and executive producer Howard Gordon is concerned, they'll keep doing the show as long as FOX wants them to.

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Oh yeah, Fox execs talk about Conan and Our Little Genius, too - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 11th 2010 6:22PM
Kevin Reilly and Peter Rice of FOX at the Winter TCAs
Before and after the FOX execs so dramatically brought Simon Cowell on stage to sign the contract bringing his British show The X Factor to the US, effectively ending his time on American idol, there were other heady matters to discuss. Just small stuff, like the possibility of Conan O'Brien bailing on NBC and joining FOX, and the mini-scandal surrounding the game show Our Little Genius.

On Conan, there really wasn't much to say. "We're in sort of the wowee mode right now," said entertainment president Kevin Reilly. After reiterating what he's said in the past on always being in search of a good five-night-per-week late night program, he went on to say that "I love Conan personally & professionally. Until he makes his decision (on whether to leave NBC), there's no conversation to be had."

But since he knows Conan's people, it's not like he hasn't been talking, at least informally. He classified them as being more in the "commiserating phase;" knowing Reilly's history with NBC (Jeff Zucker fired him three years ago), I could understand the commiseration.

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Law & Order + Los Angeles = Dragnet?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 11th 2010 5:02PM
Law & OrderThere's good and bad news coming from NBC's decision to cancel the 10PM Jay Leno Show. It's going to free up five hours during the week for more scripted shows. That's the good news. The bad news? One of those hours might be filled with yet another Law & Order spinoff.

Yup, the network wants a Los Angeles-based Law & Order from Dick Wolf to add to the franchise. They're calling the new show LOLA, which is probably what we're all going to have to get used to typing since I'm sure this show will be given the green light and we'll be writing about it in the next year or two. Of course, a Law & Order set in Los Angeles sounds a lot like Dragnet. And hey, wasn't Southland set in L.A.?

Soon, all that will be on TV will be different Law and Order, CSI, and NCIS spinoffs and nothing else. Oh and reality show. Lots of reality shows.

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Simon Cowell leaves Idol to bring X Factor to the US - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 11th 2010 3:37PM
Peter Rice and Simon Cowell at the Winter 2010 TCAsAt the FOX exec session, Kevin Reilly and Peter Rice brought an end to the speculation about what's going on with Simon Cowell by bringing him on stage.

The plan: Cowell will leave American Idol after this season, and The X Factor will be coming to the US starting in 2011. He even signed his agreement on stage (see picture on the right).

Some quotes from Simon and the Fox execs after the jump:

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Glee renewed for a second season - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 11th 2010 11:58AM
Glee: Showmance
It's FOX day at the TCAs, and we've been greeted by a press release announcing that Glee, halfway through its first season, has been renewed for a second season.

"The show is a true and rare gem in television," said FOX entertainment president Kevin Reilly in the release. "We couldn't be more proud of what Ryan Murphy and the Glee team have created so far, and can't wait to see what they come up with for season two."

Can't say this is much of a surprise, given the show's popularity as well as it's off-network marketing potential. Mall tours, concert tours, World Series appearances... all of this is shaping up to make the show the feel-good hit of the 2010s, doesn't it?

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You'll see robotics on Caprica. Sorta - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 11th 2010 11:04AM
The Caprica cast and producers at the Winter 2010 TCAs
Yesterday, the cast and producers of the Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica took to the Langham Huntington stage for their panel discussion. If it feels like Caprica has been around forever, it sort of has; the pilot has been available for viewing since at least the early fall. But the series is finally premiering on Syfy on January 22,. and I'm sure everyone's charged up to see it.

The most interesting part of the panel, at least as far as I wad concerned, was when executive producer David Eick explained how they were going to establish that the character of Zoey, played by Alessandra Torresani, is a Cylon whose body is inhabited by the dead girl's essence or soul or whatever you want to call it.

Apparently, some of her scenes will be shot twice, usually when she enters them. First you'll see her in robotic form. Then, when they come back to her, she'll look like Torresani. The former scenes will involve CGI and actors talking to tennis balls, yadda yadda, but Eick felt it was the way to go in order to keep that connection intact with the viewers.

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Chevy on Conan: He's "getting screwed"

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 11th 2010 10:31AM
As part of the entire press' never-ending effort to ask everyone and their mother in the universe about NBC's late night shake-up, a man who can provide some real perspective on the matter has spoken up.

Chevy Chase, star of NBC's Community and former star of the late night titanic The Chevy Chase Show on Fox, told The Toronto Sun's Bill Harris at the Television Critics Association press tour that he felt Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien has gotten the short end of the ugly stick, now that Jay Leno has wormed his way back into his old time slot.

He attributed the move to NBC's long standing relationship with Jay and thinks Conan and company will bail ship and head to Fox because, "I think he's too good for The Tonight Show in terms of intellect, and maybe too bad for it because of that, too."

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Seinfeld on Leno: The right idea at the wrong time - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 10th 2010 10:02PM
Jerry Seinfeld at the Winter 2010 TCAsNBC served up some good panels today, and the last one was a doozy: Jerry Seinfeld, who along with host Tom Papa and executive producer Ellen Rakieten was there to promote the new series The Marriage Ref. More on that later. Halfway into the session, a reporter asked Jerry a question on Leno's show getting pulled from the 10 PM slot.

"It was all my fault because I wore the tuxedo (on Jay's first show)," he joked. But then he got serious and actually had a bit of praise for NBC. He equated the move to bring Jay to 10 PM to the AOL/Time Warner deal, of all things. "It wasn't a terrible deal. The timing was bad. If you substitute 'Google' for 'AOL' now, you'd be in favor of the deal. (Leno at 10) is the right idea at the wrong time. I applaud NBC for trying something so original."

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It's official: Jay Leno is being pulled from 10 PM slot - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 10th 2010 2:33PM
Jay Leno ShowIt's NBC day at the TCAs and the juicy NBC executive session is up. Jeff Gaspin, Chairman of NBCU's TV division confirmed that starting February 12, The Jay Leno Show will no longer be on at 10 PM ET. The hope is to have Leno at 11:35, Conan's Tonight Show at 12:05, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 1:05.

However, they're still in discussions with the hosts about this. Gaspin hopes to get the situation settled by the start of the Olympics.

More after the jump.

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Howie Mandel is replacing David Hasselhoff on America's Got Talent - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 10th 2010 2:14PM
Howie MandelIn amongst the Jay Leno questions at the NBC executive session, Jeff Gaspin was also asked to confirm that David Hasselhoff was indeed leaving America's Got Talent. Gaspin confirmed this, and he also gave this bit of news: Howie Mandel will replace him as a judge. This news has been floating around for a day or so, so this is confirmation from the big cheese himself.

Mandel, of course, is best known nowadays for hosting Deal or No Deal. That show, according to Gaspin, will continue in syndication, but there are no plans to bring back the primetime version anytime soon.

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CBS exec: NBC's Leno experiment didn't work - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 10th 2010 10:39AM
Nina Tassler at the Winter 2010 TCA CBS exec sessionIt was a long, long, lonnnng first official TCA day yesterday, with CBS, Showtime, and the CW trotting out their newest and finest in front of the critics, followed by the epic Survivor anniversary party Bob mentioned the other day. I'll spill out some highlights later on. But I wanted to quickly start with CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler's very confident executive session.

Why was she so confident? Shows that are often winning their time periods helps. But she also seems to be in a "told ya so" mood about NBC and its Leno / Conan mess. In her opening remarks, for instance, she mentioned how good the freshman slate of shows was doing on every network... except NBC. During the Q&A, she said that the other networks "fared very well during this experimental phase for NBC."

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Chuck Lorre: Charlie Sheen is the "consummate pro" - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 9th 2010 1:40PM
Charlie SheenMore news bits from the Langham Huntington in Pasadena. Chuck Lorre and his two show runners, Lee Aronsohn of Two and a Half Men and Bill Prady of The Big Bang Theory were on stage discussing their shows. Inevitably -- though not right off the bat -- a question about Charlie Sheen came up.

Lorre starts by asking, "What happened with Charlie...?" before saying that Sheen reported for work as usual last week, after being arrested in Las Vegas Colorado on domestic violence charges over the holidays, and that they had one of their best tapings ever.

"Charlie's a consummate pro," said Lorre. "He shows up and delivers."

During the post-panel reporter scrum, Lorre seemed non-plussed by the events reporters' curiosity over Sheen's return to the set, often shrugging his shoulders as if to say, "why are you guys asking me about this?" Sheen showed up, they had a good week, and it's business as usual. That's it. I guess any chatter that was on the set that week will be kept private.

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CBS exec: Three Rivers is cancelled - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 9th 2010 12:51PM
Three RiversHowdy from Pasadena! I'm here covering the Winter TCA tour, and the first bit of news has already come up. During her executive session, CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler was asked by the throng of reporters here if the Alex O'Loughlin medical drama Three Rivers was cancelled. Her response?

"You know what? Yes."

She went on to say that she didn't want to beat around the bush on it; the show just took longer to develop than they hoped. She was heartened by the stories she heard from transplant patients who appreciated the show's message, but that wasn't enough to save the show.

In the reporter scrum after her press conference, Tassler told me that she didn't anticipate as many angry letters from O'Loughlin fans as she got after she cancelled Moonlight, but judging from some of the notes we got here, I doubt that.

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Morgan Spurlock on the Simpsons 20th anniversary documentary

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 7th 2010 2:02PM
Morgan Spurlock, director of The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special -- In 3D! On Ice!
I've been holding this interview for almost six months, but I think it was worth it. When I was in Pasadena last summer for the TCA press tour (whose winter edition I'll be leaving for on Friday morning... eep!), I spoke to Morgan Spurlock about the 20th anniversary film he was making about The Simpsons. FOX has finally decided to air that film, entitled The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special -- In 3-D! On Ice!, on January 10, along with the venerable cartoon's 450th episode.

Spurlock was just in the initial stages of filming the documentary when I talked to him, but his views on the show, how it and the perception of it has changed over the years, and some of the interesting things he learned about the show made for a fun interview. Since I didn't know how long the movie was going to be, I start the talk by expressing some surprise about its length.

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Alton Brown calls Top Chef a "sous chef kind of show"... then takes it back

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 8th 2009 1:02PM
Alton BrownGiven the popularity of the second-season opener of The Next Iron Chef, I figured it was a good time to pull out this interview I did with the show's host, Alton Brown, at the network's TCA party in July. It was definitely the tastiest party of the tour, as each Iron Chef contestant plied the critics with delectable morsels of their creativity at various stations.

In a bit of a surprise, one of the contestants, Amanda Freitag, was being assisted by her friend Ariane Duarte, one of the more popular contestants from rival program Top Chef's New York season (I was so flabbergasted by the turn of events, I snapped a pic of the two with my cell phone). When I pointed this tidbit out to Brown, his response was very interesting...

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