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October 10, 2015

press tour

Mischa Barton has not missed work on The Beautiful Life - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 4th 2009 7:49PM
The Beautiful Life When Ashton Kutcher, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, Elle Macpherson and the rest of the panel for Kutcher's CW show The Beautiful Life, I was figuring the panel would field nothing but questions about Mischa Barton, given the recent publicity over her hospitalization and other personal issues. Surprisingly, though, the critics actually wanted to focus on the show itself, which is about the lives of young models and how they deal with the various pressures of that lifestyle.

However, in the middle of the panel, a Barton question did come up. Kutcher was quick to defend the actress, saying she was "never unavailable for a day of work." With all the young people in the cast, he thinks the "good thing about Mischa is that she's done it before," and can provide guidance.

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Comic-Con's over... on to the TCAs!

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 27th 2009 3:28PM
TCA LogoIt's a busy time of the year for those of us involved in the TV criticism business. First, a whole stream of pilots come in. Then, the insanity of Comic-Con descends upon us. But when that ends, there's hardly time to rest; many of the writers and critics who braved the crowds in San Diego are now headed up to Los Angeles for the Television Critics Association press tour

John Scott Lewinski did a bang-up job of covering the Con for us; now I'm off to L.A. for the press tour. This summer, the tour will take place at the lovely Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena, where cable, PBS, and the broadcast networks will parade their new and returning shows in front of critics and writers for almost two weeks. There will also be set visits and a few other fun things going on.

As I've done in the past, I'll try my best to give you the entire picture: dispatches from the panels, one-on-one interviews, executive tap-dancing, and more. I'll also be tweeting away on TV Squad's Twitter feed, so be sure to look there for the most up-to-the-minute news.

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Things I learned from the press tour - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 25th 2008 7:33PM
Rob McElhenny and Glenn Howerton trying to pukeSo I've been back from LA for a couple of days, watching Rich and Keith file frantic reports from Comic-Con. It just makes me shake my head in sympathy. Though CC is a different animal from the TCAs, in both structure and in sheer volume of people and activities, I still know exactly how they feel. It all starts to feel like a blur after awhile -- panels, reporter scrums, parties, meeting your favorite (and not-so-favorite) TV stars... When you get back to "normal life," it almost feels like it never happened.

Anyway, now that I have a day or two to reflect, I took a cue from our friends at AOL and came up with a list of things I learned on this press tour. But this list will involve both the network-related things I learned with what I learned about celebrities, my fellow critics, and myself.

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Jimmy Kimmel asks ABC president about Leno - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 16th 2008 2:02PM
Jimmy Kimmel asking Steve McPherson about LenoA funny thing happened at the beginning of the ABC executive session this morning. After ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson got on stage, said some opening remarks, and opened the floor to questions, someone got up and identified himself as Tom Weinerman of the Sarasota Star-Herald Tribune. That was a bit unusual, as the reporters here never identify themselves before asking questions.

But then, people started recognizing the voice, or turned in the direction of the questioner, and realized what was going on: It was Jimmy Kimmel, and he had some pointed -- and funny -- questions for McPherson about the possibility of Jay Leno coming to ABC.

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The TCAs are underway ... and we'll be there!

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 9th 2008 6:05PM
TCA logoYou might have noticed a few interesting items have come out that have the phrase "he/she said to a gathering of television critics." Well, that can only mean one thing... the Television Critics Association press tour is underway!

Because the writers' strike scuttled the winter edition of the twice-yearly tour earlier this year, this is the first time in a year that the various networks have had a chance to go though the painful process of peddling their wares in front of a group of cranky, jet-lagged, and hungry TV critics and journalists. This year should be interesting, since the broadcast networks don't really have much to offer in terms of new shows (and even fewer pilots for the shows they are picking up), and the whole nature and effectiveness of the press tour is being called into question by both the networks and the critics (more on that in a second).

All that being said, though, you can be sure that TV Squad will be at the Beverly Hilton to cover the dog-and-pony show. Kristin will attend selected cable presentations, and I'll be flying in Sunday, just in time for the broadcast networks to do their thing. Expect reports about executives and producers getting grilled, critics jostling each other out of the way to get a question in during post-press conference scrums, and tales of the unusual happenings at the all-star parties. Also keep an eye on our Twitter page, as I'll likely be throwing out silly dispatches (and maybe even breaking news) from the various events.

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CBS press tour preview day 2 - TCA report

by Michael Maloney, posted Jul 19th 2007 2:58PM

cbs logoOutside of panels for Jericho (which I'm sure is thrilled to be coming back) and Viva Laughlin (which I'm sure is thrilled to have been picked up), CBS' day two of the press tour is about reality (Survivor: China), game shows (Power of 10), research and new media (that still makes my head spin).

No major mingling with talent until the evening at the CBS Stars Party, which might be just as well.

Sadly, the eye network got snubbed in major categories at the Emmys this morning. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (last year's Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy) for The New Adventures of Old Christine, Two and a Half Men (for Comedy Series) and Men's Charlie Sheen (for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy) got nods in top categories. (CBS did score some supporting nods.)

It's too bad our panel with Chuck Lorre (nominated for Men) and his new show -- The Big Bang Theory -- was yesterday. Like with comedy itself, the most important thing about getting Emmy reaction -- is timing.

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Hold the onion rings: James Gandolfini speaks - TCA Report

by Michael Maloney, posted Jul 13th 2007 9:22AM

James GandolfiniWill Nip/Tuck have a season six? Why is James Gandolfini going back to HBO and will Larry David end Curb Your Enthusiasm?

These tidbits -- and a tons of swag -- came out at today's TCA press sessions at the Beverly Hilton hotel. I had to remind myself that today was a cable day because the roster of talent read like a major network.

Jason Priestly (Beverly Hills 90210) led the cast of Side Order of Life, a Lifetime series in which star Marisa Coughlan has second thoughts about marrying Priestly. But, hey, if Big dumped Natasha on Sex in the City then I suppose anything's possible.

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Lifetime, F/X, HBO and more - TCA Report

by Michael Maloney, posted Jul 12th 2007 1:41PM

tca logoTCA - Day 1 (or 4, if you count PBS)

TCA -- aka the TV Critics' press tour -- is a convention for journalists where the major networks and cable outlets unveil their fall programs to the press for review. The tour, which is held at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, began on Monday (with PBS) and runs until July 26th with ABC.

About 200 plus members of the press from across the country are inundated with reality, comedy, drama and other types of programs. Interview opportunities are non-stop. We're fed constantly and given tons of free gifts -- trinkets, pens, paperweights, DVDs and press materials.

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Matt Groening talks about Futurama's comeback

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 31st 2007 6:33PM
Matt GroeningProbably my favorite moment during the TCA press tour week -- and this is a week where I joked around with Greg the Bunny and visited the set of Scrubs -- was when I met Matt Groening at FOX's party on the last night of the tour. Because just about all the questions I had about The Simpsons were asked during the show's press session earlier in the day, I took the opportunity to concentrate on his other show (and a perennial favorite amongst our readers), Futurama, and its impending return to TV.

Groening gives the show's loyal fans all the credit in the world for helping the show come back. "The continued devotion of the fans, chiefly on the Internet, kept us thinking that maybe we could bring this back," he said.

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Would YOU go to press tour?

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 28th 2006 2:07PM
TCA logoSo, the summer press tour is just about over. You've heard a lot of news come out of the tour, including news about who's going to be on Grey's Anatomy next year, news about the future of SNL, and why Mr. T has finally gotten rid of his gold chains.

But you've also heard tales from tired and cynical critics talking about fighting other critics for the microphone during a Gilmore Girls press conference, measuring the success of a show by the star's behavior on the tour, and putting up with carping networks and spin-happy executives. Then there are the crowds of critics surrounding the stars after a show's conference, parties where reporters try to get quotes from bored celebrities over loud music, and arranged tours of sets that seem more organized than tours of the Vatican. Oh, and all of this takes place over two-plus weeks in sweaty Burbank.

But we've also heard great tales of stars making good jokes at their own expense, and some interesting tidbits about how the fine treatment the critics receive from the networks.

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Previously on TV Squad

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 23rd 2006 5:37PM
In case you've missed it -- perhaps you were busy sheltering yourself from a thunderstorm -- here are some highlights from the last week at TV Squad:

Nobody's Watching

Breaking News
Retro Squad
Episode Reviews

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Read one critic's press tour adventures

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 18th 2006 12:12PM
TCA logoIt seems like everyone's been blogging from the TCA press tour this year. But one of the guys who's been blogging from the tour for a couple of years, Newark Star-Ledger critic Alan Sepinwall, seems to focus in on the more... uh... interesting elements of the event in his NJ.com blog. For instance, he recounts the scene at the Gilmore Girls session: he fights another reporter for microphone time, Lauren Graham gives a snippy retort to a reporter who asks about new show-runner Dave Rosenthal's checkered past, and the non-answers given by the stars during what Sepinwall calls "The Scrum", which is where the reporters gather around the stars in a more intimate fashion after the press conference is over. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

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