The Television Critics Association Press Tour is going to be crawling with TVWeek staffers. Check this space for observations from the presentations, hallway chatter and the dope on who was misbehaving at the parties. TVWeek’s Jon Lafayette, Josef Adalian, Andrew Krukowski, Sergio Ibarra and Vlada Gelman all will post as they scour the scene for news.


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Blogging the TCA

Brown Rice and Vegetables at TCA

January 8, 2009 1:41 PM

The cable portion of the Television Critics Association winter press tour got off to a relatively healthy start.

At a luncheon for WE tv's new series "I Want to Save Your Life," TV writers accustomed to a diet of Diet Coke and brownies were served grilled chicken, brown rice, baby vegetables and a fruit cup.

The menu was designed by Charles Stuart Platkin, the Diet Detective and host of the show who each week tries to help people by putting them on a healthy path.

The show in April joins the lineup at WE, which GM Kim Martin said had been the fastest-growing women's network in 2008.

"The Locator," which contributed to WE's growth in 2008, will be back for a second season, Ms. Martin announced.

—Jon Lafayette

Blogging the TCA

January 8, 2009 1:40 PM

Universal City Hilton

TVWeek will be blogging from the Television Critics Association winter press tour. Stayed tuned to TCA Navigator for posts from our bloggers and breaking news.

Check out our Winter Critics Poll coverage here to find out which shows TV critics think are the best and worst on TV.

McShane Tells It Like It Is

July 21, 2008 6:44 PM

Kings TCA Panel

BRUTAL HONESTY Ian McShane and Susanna Thompson from the cast of "Kings."

The nation's TV critics are running on fumes right now, two weeks into the TCA. But Ian McShane? Well, he came to press tour ready to rumble.

During a session to promote his new show, NBC's "Kings," Mr. McShane proved to be unlike most actors who appear on stage here—specifically, he answered questions with complete honesty rather than with the restraint that comes from being overhandled by publicists.

Mr. McShane's first spark came in response to a critic who didn't like the answer producers gave to a question about the setting of the show. The critic was befuddled by producers' admittedly vague explanation that the show is set in the present time—but in a place unfamiliar and unknown to viewers.

"Now you're not making any sense at all," the critic said. Mr. McShane immediately took issue with that comment.

"Excuse me for your ignorant remark," he said. "What do you expect—that it's all spelled out for you now?"

Mr. McShane and the critic exchanged a few more angry words. Creator Michael Green added a bit more fuel to the fire when he jokingly asked the critic something to the effect of, "Do you want to attack us anymore?"

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Tinkering With 'Knight Rider'

July 21, 2008 3:43 PM

“Knight Rider” might look the same as it did in its two-hour movie premiere earlier this year, but under the hood there are some distinct differences.

Gary Scott Thompson, the series' new executive producer, said the framework of the show, as in the characters, is essentially the same, but the mythology of the series is different from movie “Rider” to show “Rider.”

This includes changes to Mike Traceur’s origin story in Iraq; new characters played by Yancey Arias, Paul Campbell and Smith Cho; and the introduction of “the KITT cave.”

Val Kilmer will remain the voice of KITT, but Mr. Thompson explained that in order to pull the movie into a series, some tweaks needed to be made.

He also hinted at the story arc of season one by posing this question to the critics at the press tour: “Why would you put artificial intelligence into a car?”

As for KITT itself, Ford still remains the standout brand in the series, as KITT will transform into several Ford models. Critics questioned NBC Entertainment Co-Chairman Ben Silverman earlier and Mr. Thompson in this panel about the line of product placement in the series.

Mr. Campbell stepped in and said, “Nobody wants to see an AMC Gremlin transform into an Eagle.”

—Andrew Krukowski

TCA Party Patrol: NBC, CBS Get Their Grooves on

July 21, 2008 3:37 PM

CBS TCA Summer Press Tour Party

fun times Nancy Tellem, President, CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group, Elizabeth Reaser, star of the new CBS series "The Ex List," Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment, and Simon Baker, star of the new CBS series "The Mentalist" at The CW/Showtime/CBS Television TCA Party.

Imagine Jeff Zucker's brain, filled as it is with synergistic neurons constantly dreaming up new ways to link together various parts of the NBC Universal empire. Now imagine if that brain exploded all over the Oasis garden at the Beverly Hills Hilton, with various Peacock properties popping out all over the place.

That would pretty much describe the scene at NBC's all-star TCA bash. The Sunday soiree was populated with the most random members of the NBCU family.

Hey, it's Janice Dickinson and Tori Spelling of Oxygen walking by NBC News analyst Chuck Todd! There's Ben Silverman giving an interview to NBC's affiliate news feed while Coolio (also soon to be on Oxygen) plays DJ. Or maybe Christian Slater is giving the interview—they're both wearing the same dark-sportcoat-and-white-shirt getup.

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'Kath' Changes Just Part of Process, Producer Says

July 21, 2008 3:04 PM

The producer of "Kath & Kim" brushed aside questions about reports that her show is undergoing some growing pains.

Entertainment Weekly's Web site reported last week that director Paul Feig has exited the project, a remake of a hit Australian comedy. Australian media also have been pushing reports of behind-the-scenes changes.

Executive Producer Michelle Nader said she's just trying to make the show the best it can be.

"It's very, very hard to get a show right, and we want to get this show right," she said Monday during NBC's portion of the TCA press tour.

"That's the benefit of going straight to series," Ms. Nader added.

She said producers are "changing the look" of the show a bit, opening it up.

"It needs to be a celebration of these characters," Ms. Nader said. "They think of themselves as celebrities. We want to capture that."

—Josef Adalian

Ben Silverman, Basketball Fan

July 21, 2008 1:51 PM

If NBC Entertainment Co-Chairman Ben Silverman could reprogram the summer schedule, what would he do differently?

“I wouldn’t have had the Lakers play the Celtics,” he said, as a majority of NBC’s summer debuts, including “Fear Itself,” went toe-to-toe with the ratings-dominating NBA Finals.

If Mr. Silverman had his way, the Finals would have been the Memphis Grizzles against Vancouver, which would be pretty one-sided, considering Vancouver doesn’t have an NBA team anymore.

—Andrew Krukowski

Olbermann vs. O'Reilly, Round 927

July 21, 2008 1:45 PM

The NBC Decision ’08 panel responded to claims made by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who said he thought it was inappropriate for opinion-based hosts, such as MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, to host straight primary coverage.

NBC News President Steve Capus said this strategy was nothing new, and that it drew no fire when Mr. Olbermann manned the anchor station during the 2006 election.

When asked what he thought of Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly possibly helming election coverage, Mr. Olbermann paused before answering.

“It would make it more interesting if Bill was on and did it live,” he said, coyly referring to this video (mature language ahoy):

—Andrew Krukowski

Live-Blogging the NBC Executive Session

July 21, 2008 11:14 AM


LOOKING AHEAD NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios Co-Chairmen Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff talk spinoffs, comedies and late night.

Co-Chairmen of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios Marc Graboff and Ben Silverman are here and ready to go.

They've got some announcements:

—"SNL" will start early on Sept.13.

—Oct. 9 will be the launch of "SNL's" live prime-time political series.

—"Life" will air Monday at 10 p.m. for two weeks, starting Sept. 29. "My Own Worst Enemy" will premiere on Oct. 13 in that slot afterwards.

—"30 Rock" stays at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday. "Kath and Kim" takes the 8:30 block.

—Formally announcing that Amy Poehler is moving to a Thursday night comedy. Starring in a show from Greg Daniels and Mike Schur that is NOT a spinoff of "The Office."

—However, NBC, Mr. Daniels and Mr. Schur are still pursuing "The Office" spinoff.

—NBC will be doing the April infront once again.

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Live-Blogging the Sophomore NBC Panel

July 21, 2008 9:51 AM


BACK FOR SECONDS "Chuck" star Zachary Levi and creator Josh Schwartz discuss the show's "guest star crazy" second season.

We've got Josh Schwartz ("Chuck"), Oliver Goldstick ("Lipstick Jungle") and Rand Ravich ("Life"), plus stars of three NBC sophomore shows ... SECRETS WILL BE REVEALED.

9:55 a.m.: Mr. Goldstick: Weather makes it tougher to shoot in New York. "You make the best of it," he says.

9:58 a.m.: Could Zachary Levi's character be killed off? "Next year it will be called 'Morgan,'" says Mr. Schwartz.

9:59 a.m.: Donal Logue will bring a "brash" sensibility to "Life," says Mr. Ravich. And give Damian Lewis time to breathe.

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