The E! Panel
January 11, 2007 2:24 PM
Pleasantly self-effacing Comcast Entertainment Group President Ted Harbert is on stage, and there’s probably no other exec who’d introduce a network panel by declaring “now lets take some E!' and make jokes about handing out E!-branded condoms (well, maybe GSN’s Rich Cronin, but Harbert says it dryly, which makes his jokes work).
With their two series paneled at TCA, E! has quietly made an interesting programming shift. “High Maintenance 90210' is about Hollywood domestic help. “Paradise City' is a docu-soap about young talent struggling for career opportunities in Las Vegas.
In other words, E! is focusing on relatable underdogs instead of pampered poodles. It’s good to see E! getting away from the Sunset Blvd. clubkid crowd. Between Tara, Paris, Nicole, the Carters, Hugh Hefner’s blonde trio and the mother-daughter Gastineau act, for a while, it was as if Harbert was signing talent in a Geisha House bathroom stall (or, if you believe Page Six and Jossip.com, signing them in his … yeah, better to let that one go …).