Live-Blogging the ABC Showrunners Panel
July 17, 2008 1:55 PM
We're set up to learn how to show run, the ABC way! Our panel: "Eli Stone's" Greg Berlanti, "Grey's Anatomy's" Shonda Rhimes, "Ugly Betty's" Silvio Horta, "Lost's" Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and "Desperate Housewives'" Marc Cherry.
2:06 p.m.: ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson is offering Red Bull to reporters who are bleary-eyed from having to wake up at 5-freakin'-45 this morning to cover the Emmy nominations during a week of wall-to-wall TCA coverage. No, no bitterness here. None whatsoever.
2:09 p.m.: Katherine Heigl, what's up with her? Storywise, she's got some good material, Ms. Rhimes says. "I would put her in a coma," Mr. Horta says.
2:12 p.m.: Mr. Cherry says he was inspired by "Lost's" flash-forwards— in fact, they inspired his jumps in time on "Desperate Housewives" this season. "He's also going to have a polar bear on the show next year," Mr. Cuse says.
2:14 p.m.: Mr. Lindelof says the reason for the complicated lie Jack tells during the finale of "Lost" was just to frustrate critic Alan Sepinwall, so he could question them at press tour. THE TRAP WAS SPRUNG, ALAN!
2:18 p.m.: Mr. Cherry keeps complaining about sports analogies being used during the panel (and that were used during the writers strike). He's pushing for musical theater analogies.
2:19 p.m.: "By the end of the '90s, comedies were kinda bad. There weren't very many good ones," Mr. Cherry says. What a total burn on "It's Like, You Know."
2:21 p.m.: Katherine Heigl, what's up with her, part 2: Ms. Rhimes was surprised at Ms. Heigl's comments, and says she has a really good working relationship with the actress.
2:22 p.m.: Ms. Rhimes also says a lesbian storyline is continuing into next season.
2:23 p.m.: Mr. Cherry on the disastrous Vanity Fair "Housewives" photo shoot: He had to talk with actors and pretend they were human beings, and solved it by hugging a sobbing actress for 30 minutes in her trailer.
2:26 p.m.: Ms. Rhimes wishes for a clone to help her run her several thousand (two) shows. I smell a "Grey's" plot twist.
2:29 p.m.: Mr. Cherry's first thought of not being nominated for an Emmy: "Oh fuck, I have to hang out with Damon and Carlton at this panel" and they're just gonna rub it in.
2:30 p.m.: A critic is gonna get shanked by the rest of the room if he keeps trying to talk over the panelists.
2:31 p.m.: "It is really hard to make Eva Longoria look bad," Mr. Cherry says.
2:35 p.m.: Katherine Heigl, what's up with her, part 3: Ms. Rhimes says Ms. Heigl had a strong storyline in the first half of the season, and personally asked to be written light in the last half. For the last time: "I didn't feel insulted [by Ms. Heigl's comments]," Ms. Rhimes says.
2:37 p.m.: Daniel Dae Kim will be involved in some form in the future of "Lost," Mr. Cuse says.
2:41 p.m.: By removing Mr. Kim, television would be losing one of its only Korean heroes. However, "The show has to be an equal-opportunity murderer," Mr. Lindelof says.
2:44 p.m.: One critic is asking an overly complicated sports analogy question of "Lost." I think "Lost" was just compared to a home run, a sac fly and/or future Hall of Famer Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly (who's now with the Dodgers. He's better get a ring at some point, dammit). I can't keep up with this analogy.
2:47 p.m.: The session is over. Mr. Lindelof and Mr. Cuse have been whisked away to some magical secret bunker (complete with large wheel to turn), while the rest of the showrunners are being mobbed by a scrum. Critics are literally sprinting down the stairs on my right to get at these people.