Wednesday, July 31, 2013

From LA Examiner: Aisha Tyler Talks 'Whose Line'; Scott Porter Previews 'Hart of Dixie' S3; Amy B. Harris Talks 'The Carrie Diaries' NYC Expansion; 'The Mindy Project' Spoilers...

When The CW first announced they were bringing back Whose Line is it Anyway? and that Aisha Tyler was going to be hosting, it was a bit of a bittersweet announcement. While thrilling to have such a creative, funny, original show back on air with fresh life breathed into it, it was hard to deny the disappointment that the comedienne was going to be sitting behind the desk doling out points rather than up on the stage performing alongside Colin Mochrie, Wayne Brady, and Ryan Stiles. But there was a method to the show's madness, as the focus was really on re-creating as much of the magic of the original as possible, and that meant reserving those coveted core improv spots for those original cast members... [MORE]

The last time Hart of Dixie fans saw George Tucker (Scott Porter) things were looking a little bleak. He was heading out of town on tour with a band which should be guaranteed to be a good time, but all he was really doing was distracting himself from the fact that he was so unlucky in love. We wish we could report some happy news for you, but when we caught up with Porter in Los Angeles, he confirmed that things are still not looking so good for George when the third season opens... [MORE]

"The Carrie Diaries's EP on expanding NYC and what about Stanford on S2?"

The first season finale of The CW's The Carrie Diaries ended with an extra special nod to Sex & The City before it by dropping the name "Stanford" in a conversation about New York City roommates. But while he was hinted at so early in the show's run, executive producer Amy B. Harris has chosen to introduce a different Sex & The City character first... [MORE

"The Mindy Project season 2 promises Haiti, a music festival, & single Mindy"

The first season finale of FOX's The Mindy Project left fans with a little bit of a cliffhanger. In case you need a refresher: Mindy (Mindy Kaling) cut off her hair as a symbol could compromise and take herself out of her comfort zone-- and to show her boyfriend (guest star Anders Holm) that she was ready to go with him to Haiti. Meanwhile, Danny (Chris Messina) had gotten back together with his ex-wife (guest star Chloe Sevigny). The cliffhanger aspect came in because Mindy is such a specific personality, there were so many wild possibilities of how she'd "deal" in Haiti. Thankfully, though, the writers and producers see the humor in that "fish out of water" aspect of her character and will be exploring some of it when season two picks up... [MORE]

DanielleTBD's 2013 TCA Diary: Food, Food, More Food, and Surprise Fandom Infiltration...

There is nothing stranger at TCA than the combination of The CW and Showtime presenting on the same day. Okay, well, maybe PBS is stranger-- they always bring a random Sesame Street character or koala-- but I don't attend PBS days so I don't speak from experience. But when it comes to The CW and Showtime, they're both a part of the CBS family and therefore they are lumped together as kind of the red-headed step-children to follow CBS' day (and CBS' party). 

The ballroom is usually pretty empty in the mornings for The CW. Maybe it's because everyone's still sleeping off the party, or maybe it's just because few of us are in The CW's demo, and fewer of us who are are morning people. Personally, The CW is where I get most of my traffic, so I'm always happy to be there, whether they're presenting new shows or fun, hodgepodge panels like the "Bad Boys" or "Kick-Ass Women" of the network (to be honest, I wish they'd do more of those, it's a good way to bring returning talent, and it is a unique look at the similarities between their programming and performers).

The CW kicked off the day by leaving a Cronut at every reporter station. I dug into mine before realizing they were assorted, and I could have swapped my sugar and frosting one for a chocolate iced. Oh well, I quickly crowdsourced and collected the spares. The CW also handed out Capture hoodies and hand-warmers which I just found amusing because the ballroom is cold, but again, with fewer bodies in the room for their panels, it's even colder (lack of body heat). 

Breakfast was an "eat and mingle" with the cast of Whose Line which meant I could finally take a few minutes to talk to Aisha Tyler about her new book and whether she'd find a way to work "Fratman" onto the second season of the improv show. From there, the network delivered Mark Pedowitz with some news about a potential Arrow spin-off and the tidbit that Caity Lotz is coming on the show as not only Black Canary, but also Laurel's sister. The former of which producers talked about with select press after the day's presentations, but the latter was something that was supposed to be kept a deep secret to "surprise" fans on-air. Pedowitz is the President of the network, so it's hard for producers to do anything about getting mad at him, but I would just like to go on record and say that once upon a time (PaleyFest) in the spring, Marc Guggenheim teased a "third option" between the black and white "she's alive or dead" aspect of the lost Lance sister. I pitched that she could be off on an island of her own, training ala Ollie, only to return as the Black Canary. In fact, I hoped so because it would give him more of a reason to be bonded to her-- you know, past the "I just want to sleep with you" lust that plagued his playboy youth. But now that things have leaked, will they alter or downplay plans to come up with something even bigger and better?

Panels for The CW were for shows I had done one-on-ones for yesterday (as mentioned in yesterday's recap blog), so I uploaded video and made sure I started doling out my content immediately after the panel ended, rather than write up the panels. This allowed me to live-Tweet them instead, and I could gauge the amount of interest in the show and specific elements/actors based on the amounts of interactions-- and new followers (or unfollows). It still allowed me to work up an appetite for Showtime's Dexter themed lunch.

It pays to have friends in high places because I was tipped off that though there would sadly be no Dexter talent available at the event (odd since there's usually a farewell panel for final season shows), there would be copious amounts of show swag available for taking home. And regardless of show theme, they always provide a candy bar, so I was expecting lots of blood red cherry stuff.

The candy bar ended up being Masters of Sex themed (no guilt, just pleasure) and a great selection of candy from yesteryear to match the time period. Everything else from Dexter, though, was bloody and perfect as expected.

Walking outside, my eye was equally drawn between the candy bar, the cupcake display (see above), the claw machine full of swag we could try and win, and the kill table photo op. Naturally, I went for the sweets first, then the swag, then the photos...and eventually the food.

The line for the swag claw machine was longer than the line for the food, and we only got one try at winning something. But if we didn't catch anything-- or if we caught something that we didn't want-- a Showtime rep would open the machine and just hand us whatever it was we wanted. Still, I really wanted to earn that "I'm a Dexter-holic" long sleeve sleep shirt, and I was baffled by the fact that I couldn't figure out how to lift such a light, easy to grasp bagged item.

'We Have Thoughts' hasn't had time to vodcast since the start of the summer, but if you saw Marisa's and my kill table photo flipbooks, you may know why. In mine, I was all too happy to stab her repeatedly with a rubber knife, while in hers, I couldn't bother to stop checking emails long enough to feel the stabbing she was doing. I can't speak for her, but I was certainly channeling Shannon Elizabeth from Scary Movie in mine; you know, when she just kept talking and talking even though she had been beheaded? You just have to commit to your task, obstacles be damned!

Listen, I get it: to the outsider it seems weird to talk about the food rather than the celebrities present. If Michael C. Hall had been in attendance, I would have been all over him (I mean, not literally, I am a professional), but he wasn't, so my big thematic "full circle" questions about the final season have to continue to be only speculative until the episodes unfold. Name-dropping makes me feel a little icky, but honestly, after a week of these really long, promotional days, we go a little bit punchy and these "ordinary" party perks become the more newsworthy items.

Although something interesting did happen when The Borgias fans took advantage of the gathering of not only a large amount of press people, but also the Powers That Be at Showtime, including David Nevins. In the past the world "fan" has been a dirty word at TCA, actually inspiring boos or the sucking of teeth from some of the more old-school journalists in the room. This time around, though, many more journalists were willing to play ball. A few days ago someone posted the NCIS' fans passionate plea regarding Cote de Pablo's exit on her work website, and here The Borgias fans' attempts at being heard were brought up in the executive session, too. But with stunts like theirs, it was a little hard not to acknowledge.

First, simply enough, they sent an email around asking for support in getting The Borgias renewed or a movie happening or-- something. I admit, since I'm not a TCA member, I didn't receive the email, so I only have the information second-hand, and there's a reason hearsay isn't admissible in court. It was probably akin to the NCIS email, only this wasn't an email alone. I did witness the plane they hired to hover over the hotel while we were enjoying a beautiful outdoor lunch. The plane was dragging a banner that asked Nevins to "Sho" fans he cares by saving The Borgias. And per Nevins, he also met a man dressed up and protesting the cancellation outside the hotel-- though when Nevins asked him what he thought of the finale, the man admitted he didn't see it; he was apparently paid to be there. Nevins said he wished the fans would save their money.

This is not the craziest thing I've heard of fans doing, but certainly I've never witnessed them doing anything at TCA. I hope this doesn't give people ideas or next year we'll have lots of randoms with signage outside the hotel. As it was, we apparently had Cult's biggest fan amongst us; a journalist asked Mark Pedowitz about the show not delivering the answer on the key mystery by the end of the season and then managed to bring the show up again when talking about the new programming since a few of those actors have moved onto other, newer CW shows.

I guess a "I miss The L.A. Complex" sandwich board wouldn't have been as off-base as I thought.

For live TCA news and commentary, follow me on Twitter

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

From LA Examiner: 'Supernatural' Spoilers; Luke Tipple Talks 'Capture'; Joseph Morgan Previews 'The Originals'; Robbie Amell on 'Tomorrow People'; ABC Family Renews 'Switched at Birth'; The Flash Coming to 'Arrow'...

At the end of Supernatural season eight, all four of the main and supporting characters were left in a state of change. Sam (Jared Padalecki) was physically altered, after having spent the season working to complete a rigorous set of trials that were meant to close the gates of Hell forever but actually had him journeying to hell and back in the process. Dean (Jensen Ackles) was left to watch his brother endure this physical torture while he could only want to fight alongside him. Castiel (Misha Collins) returned from Heaven as a human. Crowley (Mark Sheppard) underwent an exorcism of sorts to be "cured" of his own demonic nature. It is no wonder showrunner Jeremy Carver called season nine a season of soul-searching when LA TV Insider Examiner caught up with him in Los Angeles this evening! ... [MORE]

"Luke Tipple offers strategy tips for proving worth of the Capture hunt" 

As host of The CW's new competition series Capture, shark diving expert, marine biologist, and now television host Luke Tipple is basically a much more diplomatic version of T.J. Lavin on MTV's The Challenge. Each week Tipple will keep the hunter's game going smoothly by reminding of the rules, moderating over the votes, and generally summarizing the happenings as one team gets the honor of being the hunters and has to chase the others through a densely populated wooded area to capture two teams or risk being sent home themselves. Even when contestants make terrible errors, completely succumb to shortcomings, or give in to tensions with their own teammates or others', Tipple keeps the peace, all while reminding the at-home audience that though people are chasing each other through the woods, it's really just fun and competition-- you know, maybe a bit more like a really high stakes ($250,000 grand prize) game of tag rather than the could-be-fatal The Hunger Games... [MORE]

"Joseph Morgan on Klaus' "vulnerabilities" and "reveling" on The Originals"

We've always seen Klaus (Joseph Morgan) as a ruthless vampire figure who makes "a fair few pacts" but has no qualms about going back against his word, also would rather stab his family (often times literally) than risk revealing some of more forgiving, softer, dare we say vulnerable colors. Just because he is the center of the story on The Originals doesn't mean that is changing any time soon and Klaus is experiencing a giant revelation or moment of growth. What is notably different in this story, though, is that because he's the central figure, the audience gets to spend more alone time with him to see those other sides to him... [MORE]

"ABC Family renews Switched at Birth, orders more The Fosters & Twisted" 

ABC Family has decided to renew Switched at Birth for a third season today, and it has also ordered more episodes for the freshman seasons of The Fosters and Twisted... [MORE]

"Robbie Amell on similarities to his Tomorrow People role & one key powers rule"

On The CW's The Tomorrow People, Robbie Amell plays a young man who learns he is of a superior race than regular ole human beings. Quite literally, he is a homo superior, a class these titular "Tomorrow People" determined themselves to be because of the abilities they have, stemming from slight mutations in otherwise human DNA. Though Amell has abilities that range from teleportation to telekinesis and stopping time, he can't help but exhibit a lot of humanity, as well... [MORE]

"Arrow EPs discuss Flash Gordon and his powers (or lack thereof) on The CW" 

This morning at the bi-annual TCA presentation in Los Angeles, The CW President Mark Pedowitz addressed early buzz about Dr. Barry Allen aka Flash Gordon coming to the network by noting that he would be making an appearance in this upcoming second season of Arrow to potentially spin-off into his own series later. All of this while the Wonder Woman pilot still remains in development... [MORE]

DanielleTBD's 2013 TCA Diary: An Unexpected Day Off, Les Moonves, 'Homeland', and Partying with The CW...

This time around at TCA things got a little bit different. And we all know how this group deals with change! In the past, NBC-Universal has taken up two days, the first for NBC and the second for their various cable networks, like Bravo, Syfy, and USA. But this particular TCA, the cable portion was canceled, leaving a free day. Since so many members of the TCA fly in from all around the country on their companies' dimes for this two-week event, a free day is not a good thing. TCA worked super hard to line up panels in the morning (including offerings from the Reelz Channel and some fascinating compilations that ranged from a director's panel to one with those who made their names in TV now migrating to the web to produce original content). The second half of the day was a peace offering from NBC-Universal: free tickets to Universal Studios Theme Park for a rare afternoon of pure fun, front of the line passes, and food vouchers. That was technically Day 5, but my Day 5 was really Monday's uber-long CBS day.

I originally planned to go to the "TV to web" panel because 1) Usually those panels are usually the other way around and 2) As someone actively trying to get funding for an online series, I thought there would be some great insight developed. I woke up not feeling super well, though (so much so that I fell asleep in the bath), so I ended up just watching the feed in drips and droves and snark via Twitter, getting a glimpse of the "Hey, that sounds interesting, I wish I had the whole quote" feeling my followers must experience every day of these two weeks. I spent the rest of the day catching up on screeners on my couch so that I would be back to normal for the onslaught of networks that were about to start on Monday.

Normally CBS (aside from the party which includes talent from CBS, Showtime, and The CW) is pretty light for me. Let's face it, I'm just not really their demographic or target audience, and every season, their new shows are often my least favorites of the bunches. This time, though, they actually were delivering one of my favorites: Hostages (co-production from Warner Bros. Television). More than that, though, knowing that a number of the panels there were presenting were ones I would not be writing up in the room, I scheduled a number of one-on-one interviews with various CW talent that day instead. And then of course Showtime decided to toss their Homeland panel on the end of this day instead of alongside the rest of their schedule the following day. It was because of the schedules of the actors or something, but I chose to believe it was their way of rewarding us for sitting through CBS.

Les Moonves stepped in for Nina Tassler, who had to leave town at last minute for a personal matter, and he was very charming and suave and clearly completely loves being in front of a crowd. He pointed out that he had "never seen some of us before" since he doesn't usually come to Press Tour, and he was honest about not being as "up" on CBS' programming as Tassler. So some of the answers he gave were a little odd-- like calling Under The Dome a "soap opera set in the future." I'm not sure he watches Under The Dome, which is okay because the show pales in comparison to the book, but he did renew it, so maybe he should start...

My one-on-ones during the day ranged from the newest Amell (Robbie) to join The CW's line-up, to a woman who I wanted for my own pilot when I was pitching in 2006 (Peyton List), to Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) himself-- which created a moment for Pellegrino to unpromptedly begin justifying Lucifer's actions-- to a reality show host with "shark diving expert" on his resume and bio (Luke Tipple). Jared Padalecki's wife Genevieve (nee Cortese) was randomly and upsettingly hanging out in the lobby bar while I was doing my one-on-ones-- upsettingly because I look more pregnant than she does!

The day was a lot of bouncing in and out of the main session room, scarfing bites of food whenever I could get them, and fighting with iMovie and YouTube to "go faster" so I could have some of my videos turned around for the next morning. It was a lot.

When I was driving into the NBC TCA day on Saturday, construction had already begun on the CBS/SHO/CW party. Yes, construction. The party is held on the roof of an adjacent parking lot, and every year they build a pagoda of sorts and deck it out with foliage and various food stations and sometimes fire pits. It was my favorite thing of that morning and certainly my favorite thing of CBS' actual day when I got to attend.

I also love that these networks bring returning talent, like producers from Arrow and Supernatural and Episodes (none of these are CBS, I know), and occasionally the co-stars who are in town because they're not shooting (yet), too. This allowed me to catch up on all I missed at Comic Con and at one point get stuck in a pretty nice Supernatural sandwich of Mark Sheppard, Jeremy Caver, and Misha Collins-- and then for Pellegrino to join and start pitching his "Lucifer and Crowley in an old folks' home" spin-off.

Scott Porter proved maybe he should be the one on a superhero show when reuniting with his buddy Aaron Yoo had Yoo running into his arms and Porter lifting him over his head, figure-skating style. It was a moment that was perfect for Vine, but alas it went unrecorded (unless you count my Tweet, which doesn't do it justice). Porter remarked that he wished someone had captured it, and I sadly told him about the "no photo" rule. He was as shocked as I was to see I followed it during that particular special moment.

For some reason I appear to be a magnet for celebrity reunions, which usually works out in my favor because I end up getting introduced to new and other people, and I hear some pretty good stories. Other than Yoo and Porter, Don Roos and Dan Bucatinsky wanted to catch up with Amy B. Harris about The Comeback while she and I were catching up about our dogs. Roos is someone who has eluded me for awhile but whose brain I would love to pick around directing, especially now that I've been doing some of that myself. Alas, that will have to wait, as now he may know who I am, but I never found him again after leaving Harris to actually get to those topics.

Walking out, I finally found the photobooth which completed one of my all time dreams (it made me a GIF) and Mark Pedowitz and I bonded over Sprinkles Cupcakes for a brief moment. Maybe that's how I should pitch him my show...

For live TCA news and commentary, follow me on Twitter!  

Monday, July 29, 2013

From LA Examiner: 'Under The Dome' Renewed; Uzo Aduba Talks 'Orange is the New Black'; 'Hostages' & 'Homeland' Spoilers...

CBS has announced at their TCA presentation in Los Angeles today that summer smash Under The Dome has been renewed for a 13-episode second season premiering Summer 2014... [MORE]

"Uzo Aduba on adoption informing her Orange is the New Black character"

Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren (Uzo Aduba) is one of many women on Netflix's Orange is the New Black who may inspire one reaction from viewers when they first meet her, through the eyes of Piper (Taylor Schilling), the "new fish" in the prison system, but who will undoubtedly break your heart with her character and her struggle as the episodes unfold. But she is one character who we never got to "go home with," so to speak and see her pre-prison life. Instead, we hear bits and pieces about her behavior, and we get one very important insight into her when we meet her parents on a special visiting day, but much of the information about who Crazy Eyes is and where she came from is told through Aduba's rich performance rather than plot points or expositional dialogue... [MORE]

"Hostages EP Jeffery Nachmanoff on the importance of the metaphor in the title"

When CBS ordered Hostages to series earlier this year, the network did so as a 15-episode "event" series, but today at CBS' Television Critics Association press tour, Les Moonves reminded that does not necessarily mean a completely close-ended, "one and done" season only. The end of the pilot episode shows how the show could continue on, and considering the family in the show is not only physically being held hostage but also feel they are being so emotionally by the family itself, there might be a lot of water in which to wade. Moonves noted critics might want to "ask again in January," after the show has moved creatively and ratings have come in, how the network feels about keeping Hostages for multi-season arcs... [MORE]

"Homeland season 3 spoilers from Damian Lewis, Claire Danes, and EP Alex Gansa"

When season three of Homeland starts on Showtime this fall, the CIA is dealing with the fallout from the Langley bombing in the second season finale-- which basically means Saul (Mandy Patinkin) has to hire new, green agents because there are very few left, Carrie (Claire Danes) is raging about being on her meds and therefore missing things and now having no one believe her that Brody didn't do it, and Brody himself (Damian Lewis) is missing in action, in hiding, while his family has to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives... [MORE]

Sunday, July 28, 2013

DanielleTBD's 2013 TCA Diary: Questionable Quotes, Returns of 'Parenthood' and 'The Voice', and a Rare 'Orange is the New Black' Reunion...

NBC is a network that seems like it should have the busiest day at TCA. After all, it canceled a ton of programming, and it has even more, but this particular TCA is for fall shows only, and a good amount of their offerings are actually mid-season. So that meant they managed to actually to fill out the day with a lot of random. Including sports. But interestingly the odd programming choices for the day wasn't the most notable thing about the day. Instead, that came at the very start, when Entertainment President Jennifer Salke's assistant probably failed to bring her coffee because she almost forgot to role the first panel's clip and then called one of her new actors by the wrong name. It's been a rough ride, Salke, we all get it.

But then Bob Greenblatt came out and started talking about how this past television season was actually a "Year of Improvement" for the network and that "flat is the new up" in the business trends. I didn't officially slam my laptop shut ala the great Golden Boy criticism of January TCA, but my eye-roll was as epic as Liz Lemon's. Yes, your ratings did tick up, and yes, with event programming like sports and The Voice, you managed to win some nights, but creatively, where I feel it counts most, this is not the "report card of all As except for one B+" and there is room for a lot more improvement.

I have always felt very strongly that (and still, despite her misspeak this morning) Salke's understanding of the creative as well as the business and her vision for the industry in general is not only more aligned with my personal taste but also a forward-thinking movement for the network. She has been a champion of shows like Community and Hannibal (saying today "I think it was critical to show we would support a show like that at 10 o'clock and we would support a creator that's little bit out there with content"). Today she had the unfortunate job of trying to smooth over a couple of comments Greenblatt made (especially about female centric programming) with a slightly flippant air that everyone knew would look terrible in print-- let alone headlines. They didn't always completely work as soundbytes either, but it was a clear look into how the dynamics work in the decision-making room, and I don't envy those who have to be there.

When it came to asking about the lack of female centric programming on NBC, by the way, Greenblatt thought it was enough that they "develop a lot [of it], but you just don't see it on the schedule." Salke then pointed to the best example she could of a strong female character with Betsy Brandy's new role on The Michael J. Fox Show. Though the show is named after him, as his wife, she is an equal lead, not a sidekick. 

NBC was running late, and they had already scheduled two sports panels right before lunch, when they were leaving the much anticipated Parenthood one for the very last thing (pre-party, of course) of the day, so Day 4 was a little bit like my own personal Vietnam. But the afternoon ticked along smoothly and quickly with drama and reality panels, including returning ones for Parenthood (for no real reason other than it has a key time slot move and oh by the way is awesome) and The Voice which has never (in my memory) delivered all four coaches at once to a TCA panel. This one had Adam Levine and the returning Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green. 

Aguilera is a long-winded talker and has often spent six minutes (I've timed her) after a performance offering her thoughts and critiques, so clearly she filibustered the session a bit. I like The Voice, I do, but constantly bringing it back to TCA only prompts repeats of the same questions and ones that sound like they should be season one questions: How important is it for you to win? Is it fair that some of your talent has had past recording contracts? And the slightly newer, how do you feel about the show not churning out huge stars? Most reality shows are like that, but constantly seeing these people on panels (and honestly, every week when I covered the live show red carpets), just reinforces how repetitive the format is.

And I have to say, I don't know what Levine was thinking with his floral Hawaiian shirt an his "winter in Alaska" beard. The two looks were completely mismatched, hipster style, and that much pretty should never have been covered up in the first place.

I'll be honest and say that there really wasn't anything on NBC's fall line-up that I was super excited to get out there and write about, so rather than stress out over covering every other panel as I have in the past, I just listened to the sessions and saw what stuck out to me and seemed worth writing about-- even if later. Nothing on NBC's line-up is offensive, something I honestly can't say of even last season's, but none of it grabbed me strongly from just the pilot episode. There are certainly a few I am interested in seeing more from, and a few I probably won't give another thought. Indifference isn't great; it doesn't create discussion of any kind. But it does allow for a nice low-key party by the pool rather than hunting down talent, lead around by my recorder.

These parties always have a fun photobooth option for the critics, but TV Guide also sets up a special photo op for the talent. This time, though, The Hollywood Reporter also had a separate area for "portrait" photography of the talent. I don't know if it was a one-time thing or something they plan to implement at all of these network events going forward, but I have to say, if I was the talent, or a publicist of the talent, or even TCA specifically, I'd be annoyed. What's to stop five more photobooths from cropping up next year as other outlets want to get in on the action, too? The talent already takes photos on the red carpet and on the stage, and now they're being asked to make multiple stops around a party to do more of the same. It's too much. Personally I feel like TCA may have to step in and sponsor the photobooth and then share the images with select outlets, just to avoid increasing on-site competition. There will be no dark corners left for secret conversations if they're all crowded with photobooths!

Pablo Schreiber attended NBC's party to continue supporting his new regular role on Ironside, but the bonus came when Uzo Aduba showed up, too. She just happened to be at the hotel because she's partaking in an Orange is the New Black photo shoot tomorrow, and she heard he was there and wanted to say hi. It was seriously, too cute. Their reunion took place while I was talking to her, and the mutual gushing was too adorable for words, and when I said that he's awesome in every show ever, it prompted him to tell her about how one of the session questions directed at him was actually about not being able to appear on every show ever now that he has a regular gig on this new cop drama. 

I think Aduba was the most popular person at the party (so clearly NBC should hire her soon!). Not only did she have a line of reporters who wanted to talk to her formerly to report on Orange is the New Black (many out of towners who couldn't make it to the LA junket earlier this summer or those like me who needed follow ups after having seen the full season), but NBC's current stars were popping by to tell her how much they loved her and her show, too. Brent Sexton was probably my favorite example of that because he's just such an amazing caliber actor that watching him have a slight "fan" moment was very rare and special.

The only bummer was that I never ran into any of the Parenthood people I wanted to talk with at the party, nor did I get to adopt Tyree Brown or Savannah Paige Rae by the end of the evening. Oh well, that's what set visits are for!

For live TCA news and commentary, follow me on Twitter!  


Saturday, July 27, 2013

From LA Examiner: Lance Reddick Guests on 'Wilfred'; NBC Orders 4 More Limited Series; Megan Hilty On Her New NBC Role; Jason Katims on 'Parenthood' Season 5...

Lance Reddick is guest starring on FX's Wilfred in pivotal third season episode in which Ryan (Elijah Wood) attempts to get to the bottom of some childhood trauma, and LA TV Insider Examiner has obtained some First Look images of Reddick in his role as the therapist attempting to help Ryan... [MORE]

"NBC announces 4 new limited series orders, including The Tommyknockers"

NBC delivered its new fall line-up at the Summer Television Critics Association press tour today in Los Angeles, and along with panels for new programs like The Michael J. Fox Show, The Blacklist, and Ironside, Chairman of NBC Entertainment also announced the orders for four new mini or otherwise limited "event series"... [MORE]

"Michael J. Fox on making Parkinson's funny on his new self-titled NBC comedy"

Is the return of a beloved television and movie star to the medium that made him a household name in the first place "event television"? NBC certainly hopes so when it comes to Michael J. Fox. Not only did they pick up his new semi-autobiographical half-hour comedy straight to series and title the show after him to welcome his fans back to the network, but they gave him a prime time slot, which should set him up for immediate success, as well. He's "still got it," as the show tagline least they certainly hope he does... [MORE]

"Megan Hilty reunites with Sean Hayes on NBC, Find out about her new role here!"

Although Megan Hilty and Sean Hayes worked together on the second season of NBC's Smash, when his new semi-self-titled sitcom Sean Saves the World was looking to re-cast the role of his character's best friend, it wasn't as simple as a phone call to keep the theater-trained actress on the peacock network... [MORE

"Jason Katims previews Parenthood season 5 and changing relationships"

The bi-annual Television Critics Association Press Tour held in Los Angeles is usually only for the networks to present their new programming prior to premieres, but on special occasions (like long-running series hitting a syndication mark, 100 episode milestone, or concluding with a pre-planned finale), they will make an exception and bring the show to return. Such was the case today with NBC's Parenthood, which is coming into its fifth season with a full (22 episode) season order after years of being a bubble show... [MORE]

DanielleTBD's 2013 TCA Diary: P. Diddy, Left Out of Starz' Swag, A Very Special Reunion, and PIVOT!...

Earlier this week I received an email that basically said "P. Diddy invites you to breakfast." To get specific, it was from the new Revolt TV network, which is designed to bring music back to television, whose chairman happens to be Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. Let's just say, I was hoping for gold flakes to top off my bacon on that day.

Well that day was today, Day 3 of TCA. Combs mingled with the various tables (unfortunately he never made it to mine) and addressed the room from the podium to talk about how wants Revolt to be the ESPN or CNN of music: the place you trust most and therefore go to first and forever for authority on that topic. He was extremely passionate and charismatic and appeared to have memorized a speech, rather than reading off a teleprompter. There were no gold flakes, but the bacon was extra crispy.

(the crown is not gold-plated, nor from/because of Diddy)

From there, Viacom came in to present a couple new reality shows and a sitcom from Nickelodeon that's basically Trophy Wife but without the on-screen complications of the ex(es). Starz came in with The White Queen, apparently only sending their swag kit to a select group of journalists this time, and sadly I was not a part of it, a point I feel well worth making because the TCA board got up in arms about the decadence of January's swag kit because it could have been considered a bribe. If you're going to talk about the good and give them extra attention (at least on social media) for the things they do to try to sweeten your opinion of them, you have to balance it out with attention to when they do things that go the other way. Any less would be showing a bias, wouldn't it? 

However, they did provide passing appetizers in the session room, which may not be a first for TCA (I'm honestly not sure), but it was a first for me at TCA, and that went a long way to win be back over. It was also from where I got the photo op I posted above. I wasn't sure if those little crowns, perched on top of tartlets, were edible or not. They probably were, but I can't pass up a good pseudo-tiara!

Philippa Gregory and her unflinching honesty (from "I am utterly indifferent to Kate Middleton's baby...It's going to have a terrible life, and if it had been a girl, it would have been a nightmare" to "You're so nice that you think think that British people are so well-informed…On some levels, we're quite dumb") was a positive cap on a questionable morning of panelists that ranged from nervous kids trying to find their sperm donor father on MTV's Generation Cryo to the Jersey Shore of Nurses for that same network. 

A few quick thoughts on those two reality shows because then I'll probably never speak of them again: Generation Cryo is a fascinating concept, but I worry about the fact that the father of at least one of the kids isn't on the National Donor list, meaning he isn't actively looking to meet the kids he fathered. So if they find him, it will be a disruption, to say the least, and may even lead to heartbreak. What makes good TV doesn't necessarily make good lives.

And then there's Nurses, which is just questionable on principle: what hospital would think it's a good idea to let cameras film protocols and procedures and potentially get in the way of those who actually need to save lives? Turns out, that doesn't seem to be the biggest problem here because the show features young 20 and 30 something self-proclaimed professionals who in the next breath talk about sleeping with doctors and partying hard. Something tells me the hospital may come to regret allowing their people to do this because they are now open to criticism about the kind of people they employ.

Day 3 was really all about AMC, though, because they not only sponsored the lunch but also brought Breaking Bad for a final season panel, and Cranston was working really hard to keep us laughing, rather than crying, which was a welcome change to the usual final panels for (even moderately) beloved series. They didn't give us any fake blue meth, but they brought news of a feature-length documentary coming on the series DVD set.

The new channel PIVOT, which through no fault of their own got Ross' voice stuck in my head (and you all know how much I hate Ross), brought perhaps the weirdest panel, as it was a combination of talent from their line-up, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Meghan McCain, Josh Thomas, Jacob Soboroff, and I think a former Crip and Blood (I'm not sure because though the publicist pitched them to me that way for an interview, no words were said on stage or in the clip package about their past, just focused on current work with an east coast non-profit, which really is the better, less sensational story). Thomas is a young comedian with a semi-autobiographical series inexplicably titled Please Like Me, which provided really fun swag for us pandering critics ;) I will carry that branded tote and slap that sticker on my laptop with pride!

It was because of Pivot that I learned I actually, sadly, am a part of the millennial generation. A fellow journalist Tweeting me assuming I was when I snarkily responded to the network's president Evan Shapiro comments about millennials being the "hero generation." I Googled it and found out that now the term has replaced Generation Y and encompasses anyone born from the early 1980s to 2000s. That was really unfortunate news for me personally because I not only hate the word itself but I hate the entitlement and specific youth culture of the later end of this particular generation. I'm sure every generation before me feels that way about their own, but I really feel like we are the worst.

I do applaud Pivot for actively trying to not only educate that generation and for taking chances on something different, mainly with Joseph Gordon-Levitt's HitREcord project, where he brings artists together in not only a community but specific projects to create original animations, songs, and films. Everyone on the stage had a ton of passion for what they were doing, and they spoke with intelligence and authority, not just superiority, about the content, as well as the format (noting that "second screen" is really Twitter and Facebook, and programming needs to be offered through multiple platforms to give audiences a choice on how and when to watch so they will-- just around their schedule, not a network's. It will remain to be seen on August 1st when the network and their app launches on whether the content executes the ideas efficiently and without arrogance, but considering they are kicking off their line-up with a Friday Night Lights re-watch, they're clearly tapped into what the people want at least, millennials or not. 

The day ended with Lifetime promoting Witches of East End, which I was excited about because it stars Eric Winter, who was one of my first interviews ever-- back when I was at USC and working on my senior documentary about fan culture. Fun story: I set up the interview through his personal publicist at the time, and she asked that I go to him for the interview. I said 'No problem; I visited Matt Ashford on set, and I attended a public signing to talk to Bryan Dattilo and Alison Sweeney.' And his publicist got back to me with 'Okay, go to his home at this time.' So I had one of the most surreal experiences of my interview career because I saw his place and bonded with his dog Lily (a gift from Sharon Osbourne). I don't suggest actors (or writers or producers or directors or whatever) give out their home addresses-- ever-- and he's far too famous to do such a thing now, so I kind of love my special little moment. And yes, when we did an interview this time, he did say his English Bulldog Lily is still a part of his family at 11 years old. 

For live TCA news and commentary, follow me on Twitter

Friday, July 26, 2013

From LA Examiner: 'Falling Skies' Penultimate Preview; Is 'Instant Mom' A More Family-Friendly Version of 'Trophy Wife'?; MTV Orders 2 Comedies, Announces 'Scream' Writers; Saying Good-Bye to 'Breaking Bad'...

"Noah Wyle, Sarah Carter, & Mpho Koaho preview Falling Skies explosions"

The initial alien invasion on TNT's Falling Skies might be behind the residents of this new Charleston-- so much so that they've even aligned themselves with an alien race to take out another alien race-- but things are hardly calming down. With the season finale almost upon us, and of course a mole amongst them, things are about to go from bad to worse as a literal explosion rocks the barracks, exploding character relationships and sanities in the process. Fighting with an army is on hold for a moment as many just have to fight for their lives... [MORE]

"Tia Mowry on if Instant Mom is a more family friendly version of Trophy Wife

The design of a family may be changing, but the design of family sitcoms still tends to follow a very specific formula. So specific that there are often more than one show on the same time with the same concept. Such is the case for Nickelodeon's Instant Mom and ABC's Trophy Wife, both shows about young women who marry slightly older men who come with a gaggle of kids who don't necessary welcome, let alone respect, the new mother figure in their lives.... [MORE]

"MTV orders two new comedies, announces Scream writers"

MTV held their bi-annual TCA presentation in Los Angeles this morning, and with them came a couple of key pick-up announcements in the area of comedy. Specifically that two new shows have been greenlit: Faking It and Happyland... [MORE]

"Vince Gilligan & Bryan Cranston on the end of Breaking Bad & their documentary" 

It's almost time for AMC to debut the final few episodes of Breaking Bad, and since there is arguably no other show on television as tense as this one, the wait to see these final few episodes has been nail-biting. Thankfully, the network brought the cast and creator to Los Angeles for one final TCA presentation for critics, LA TV Insider Examiner included. It was a time to say good-bye but with more emotions than spoilers... [MORE]

DanielleTBD's 2013 TCA Diary: Bacon, Babies, 'Doctor Who', and Dylan Bruce at the Soho House...

The second day of this TCA started with bacon, the best quiche I've ever had at these things, and chocolate at breakfast time, so immediately we were on an upward trend. Most people will tell you the best thing about Day 2 was the onslaught of Doctor Who, but most people aren't me.


Day 2 technically brought a busier work load, as Discovery Networks, BBC America, and HBO were all presenting, and there were no scheduled writer's breaks aka pool tanning time for me. Since BBC America kicked off the day, the room was all abuzz with Doctor Who flails and feels...okay, not really. This is TCA, not Comic Con, and we're not even allowed to clap when panelists sit down because that would show bias. And it's something that's really hard to watch as we've had quite a few legends take the stage over the past years, and no one ever seems to have been prepped them for silence when they're used to accolades. But there were a lot of flails and feels on the inside. And on Twitter. Especially when it was confirmed the 11th Doctor is single (he brought it up on his own).

Anyway, the 50th Anniversary Special panel for Doctor Who brought a shorn Matt Smith, and then An Adventure in Space and Time followed, which I admit I didn't know was a movie and not another (albeit shorter) series. I was one of the rare people in this room not super into Doctor Who, but for years BBC America has brought something to TCA that takes me completely by surprise and hooks me just from the trailer. It was first Bedlam starring Theo James and most recently and strongly Orphan Black but this time it was actually An Adventure in Space and Time, which is a behind-the-scenes (but narrative) look at the earliest days of Doctor Who, the man who created it, and shot-for-shot recreations of some of the original episodes' scenes. I'm a sucker for that kind of meta stuff, what can I say!?

The Discovery Networks are always a hodgepodge of reality from unexplained phenomenon to stories of survivors to whoever Oprah finds inspiring. This was no different, and it wasn't nearly as crazy as some of Nat Geo's stuff from Day 1 (I cannot believe I forgot to mention the family behind Doomsday Castle on Nat Geo yesterday! Maybe it was because I had spent about an hour picking apart the panel with other critics so I was talked out, but honestly, they look like a Real Spoiled Kids of New Jersey show on Bravo that just happens to be building a post-apocalypse castle in the Carolinas so they, and select few they literally hand-pick, can survive in the event of an actual apocalypse. I sensed a lot of inbreeding and Big Jim Rennie attitudes should that actually ever happen. And that would not be a world in which I would want to still be alive). 

My personal snarky favorite had to be TLC's Secret Princes, a panel of two literal princes, one literal Lord, and an "Honorable"-- all hoping to use an American reality show, as well as fake jobs, names, and accents to find true love. You know, because that has worked so well for those who came before them and because lying to a woman for months to protect your lineage of inbreeding and insane wealth is better than having to ward off women who only want you for that insane wealth. But my personal actual favorite was OWN's Raising Whitley, which has actually already aired its short first season (May-June 2013). I'm bummed I didn't know about it while it was airing, but I'm glad the network decided to bring them even though it doesn't technically fit the "new" show design of TCA because it is now my new obsession.

Kym Whitley (y'all know her!) has rallied her friends around her to help her raise a baby boy she adopted after his mother, her mentee, left him at the hospital with Kym's number. I know, it sounds insane, but the dynamic between her and the two friends who came with her to the panel was so funny and refreshing and well-rounded, I'm riveted. I want to see what this kid can become in his "raised by committee" sort of environment. Actually, that sounds bad because it sounds like he's some kind of experiment. But I've always been an advocate of kids needing a lot of role models, from family to family friends to yes even the celebrities they will inevitably admire even without ever meeting. When I was growing up, I was getting a sense of myself and looking around realizing I didn't have anyone to help me shape that sense of self. It was easier for me to see the things I didn't want to be in those actually, physically around me. This kid will have a decent enough variety that he can pick and choose attributes and examples (though some will undoubtedly be absorbed without him even realizing it, too).

Usually no matter what else presents on the day that HBO does gets out-social media-ed by HBO's swag bag, which those attending TCA literally talk about leading up to it in the "What do you think Santa aka HBO will bring me this year!?" sort of way. And HBO certainly lived up to our standards with a tote full of DVDs, candy, and the Funko Game of Thrones POP figures that prompted trades and barters the likes of which you usually only see with FOX snacks. But it was actually two members of HBO's talent that really stole the session: the very funny Stephen Merchant, on hand to promote his new half-hour comedy Hello Ladies (which I feel would be the male perspective companion to a hopefully-to-be-soon-picked up Dating in L.A. and Other Urban Myths), as well as Larry David who was there to talk about his new Curb-like movie Clear History without committing one way or the other about if and when he'll do more Curb.

I came thisclose to asking a question in David's session that basically amounted to "Why'd you cut my friend out of your movie?" I would have phrased it better, obviously, to focus on the intense improv and therefore the gems they must have on their cutting room floor and what was something they wished they could have worked in after all, but in the end I didn't. I hate asking questions in big crowds like this, partially because then 200+ people have my quote, but also because we're a very judgmental group, and I don't need to see people picking apart my angles and agendas and phrasing (the latter of which I admit I sometimes don't nail).

Still, I think I have to give it to young Joshua Whitley who stole the day because he was just not having it, which pretty much perfectly encapsulated the attitude panelists need to adopt to take on the this room of critics. Joshua obediently said hello into the microphone when he was brought out on stage, but then that was it. He's a toddler, and he did what he wanted, including dragging a piece of the curtain on stage with him and wanting to wander to the edge of the stage and potentially jump off of it. He was adorable. Puppies on Day 1 and babies on Day 2? TCA is finally starting to get me!

I fully admit that mid-day I just got it in my head that I wasn't going to go to the BBC America party. Full disclosure, I've never been to one. I always RSVP and then always opt not to go. Part of it comes from when the party is in the week and how tired or back-logged with work I am, and part of it comes from the fact that those parties are usually off-site and held a few hours after the sessions end, leaving me to sit around the hotel and grow antsy until it's time to head over to the party. Last night was the latter and also the fact that the party was being held at Soho House, a venue that has gorgeous views but which I just dislike on principle (it's the exclusivity of the industry that should just be a stereotype but which many douches revel in). My friend Marisa convinced me to just go (I didn't have anything better to do, that's for sure), and I'm really glad I did. 

It was another situation where I could just eat good food, catch up with good friends, and pose for a few fun photos, including with an actual TARDIS and a virtual one on the backdrop of a photobooth. But it was also BBC America, and I was keeping my fingers crossed that some Orphan Black people and leftover Comic Con swag would make it's way to the party and to me. The former did in the form of Dylan Bruce, who I spotted walking into the photobooth and didn't want to be the creepy lady who stands outside and waits for him to tell him how much I love his show, but we happened to be waiting at the valet at the same time, so I finally got to officially meet him then. He couldn't tell me anything about season two, but he did share that when people get killed off Orphan Black they get a gift at the table read. So basically, he hopes to walk in every week and only find a script waiting for him; David Richmond-Peck, who played Olivier, found a bottle of Scotch waiting for him and he said 'What happened, guys?' And they said 'Sorry, rewrites.'

I also came up with a fun game to make me enjoy my time at Soho House more in general, though: If the crowd isn't great, I can take a break by standing in the hallway outside the photobooth and the bathroom, scanning the walls for people I know because the members of this "club" tack their random photobooth rejects up there for all to see, and quite a few were people you'd be fans of, like Hill Harper and Kyle Howard and probably Jesse Metcalfe who I saw playing pool downstairs as I was walking out for the night.

For live TCA news and commentary, follow me on Twitter!

DanielleTBD's 2013 TCA Diary: Puppies, A Pig, Dan Harmon, and Everyone Ever from TNT...

It is that special time of year again that I affectionately call "Television Summer Camp" (which is totally something I would have wanted to go to as a child, rather than attending actual camp, by the way). Twice a year the Television Critics Association gather for two weeks in Los Angeles to see a parade of new shows presented by the various networks. It's a blur of panels, parties, and lately, photo booths, and it was one of the things I was most looking forward to attending when I first made the change to be a full-time television blogger.

Admittedly, over the last few years that excitement was slowly eroded away into stress. To be honest, sitting in a ballroom for eight to 10 hours a day, every day, for two weeks is quite taxing mentally, especially for someone who is used to working in pajamas, and sometimes by the pool, all day. But for someone who comes to TCA as a freelancer, often writing up stories for multiple outlets, it is also just a lot of work crammed into a short amount of time. There's something to be said for keeping busy and building momentum during a live-blog of a bunch of panels throughout the day, but when those panels are back-to-back, with only 10 minutes in between to polish, proofread, and's just a lot.

Thankfully, this summer TCA started with CTAM (aka cable), a compilation of networks that range from Discovery, to National Geographic, to AMC and BBC America, and let's be honest, I don't really cover a lot on those networks. So I was able to ease myself in. 

The tour kicked off with an awesome "puppy party" from Nat Geo. Okay, that's not what it was really called, but that's what it was to me. Held the night before the sessions begin, I usually don't attend since I don't feel like driving over the hill to be at a hotel I will basically live at for the next two weeks. But this one promised puppies, and let's face it, next to free food, that is how you get me to your party (this one also had free food, but whatever). 

 It turned out that some of the puppies we were allowed to pet and pose for photos with were adoptable. I immediately fell in love with what they were calling the "small" one of the litter, though with part German Shepherd lineage, she was already Madison's size, and she was only a few months old. I didn't fall in love with the fact that the puppies were in a pen, rather than allowed to roam a bit more freely, nor the fact that when they went to the bathroom in the pen, no one felt it necessary to immediately bend down and pick up the papers, instead letting the other dogs step in the pee and track it all around first. I was so ready to train both the puppies and the people!

Anyway, the first "real" day began without bacon, which immediately signified that I was going to be in for a rough day. Thankfully, as they say, it did get better. Nat Geo's sessions were the first up, and continuing on their theme, they brought out some more dogs for The Secret Lives of Dogs (which I've always said needs an episode where there's just a Nanny Cam on Madison for a whole day because I'm convinced he just sleeps) and a teacup pig and hawk for Jobs That Bite, a new series in which Jeremy Brandt takes on various animal jobs for a day, not knowing what he's getting into (from beekeeping to veterinary work to ostrich wrangling) before he shows up. Full disclosure: I was in the room when Nat Geo was "rehearsing" with the animals and not only did I totally bond with a sweet little Boston Terrier, but I had the displeasure of watching a trainer try to walk a larger pig out on stage on a leash. It was squealing and resisting and whipping its head; even dogs need to be leash trained because to be led that way is not natural, and I just felt so bad for this animal. But not bad enough that I stopped wishing there was bacon that morning.

Hallmark also presented, leaving more talent to sit amongst us regular people and watch the sessions than they actually put on stage. I was two rows behind a mini Full House reunion of Lori Loughlin and Candace Cameron Bure, and I am not ashamed to admit I spent the whole time eavesdropping on them, rather than learning about Hallmark's programming. And considering they were delivering yet another original Christmas movie, which I am a complete sucker for, that should say something about my love of '90s nostalgia.

Along that line, James Brolin was on the panel for Christmas with Tucker, and I was very disappointed that no one in the room started his or her question to him by addressing him as "James, James Brolin." But I didn't want to be the one to do it either because half of the room would have gotten and appreciated the reference, and the other half would have grumbled under their breath about how letting in new, younger, online reporters is what is ruining TCA. 

There was also ESPN and TV One News, but let's be honest, sports and "real" news = not my thing. I enjoyed the selection of finger sandwiches and cookies in the back of the room during their presentations.

Turner was last, with only Rick and Morty for Adult Swim on the roster. I'll take any chance I get to listen to Dan Harmon speak about creating TV, even if it is in a room of critics, most of whom hate him right now. 

But then all momentum in the day halted, as there was a two and a half hour break before TNT's 25th Anniversary Party that evening. It should have been a time to catch up on work, but as I mentioned, I wanted this TCA to be lower key and much more relaxed. So it quickly became about sitting above the pool, watching the party set up, gossiping with friends, and drooling over the anniversary cake that was wheeled out too early to be safe from me.

TNT's party boasted pretty much every piece of talent from their parent company walking the red carpet, but not everyone stayed to actually mix and mingle. I went into it hoping for lobster corndogs (I haven't had that at a poolside party since MTV's TCA party about two years ago!) and needing to talk to someone from Falling Skies so I could write-up a pre-season finale post. I also, of course, wanted to be in ogling distance of Mark-Paul Gosselaar for as much of the night as possible. Food aside (instead of lobster corndogs, they had an amazing raw bar of oysters, mussels, crab, and shrimp, in addition to a burger station, a pizza station, and passing apps from pork chops to stuffed mushrooms), I got everything I needed and more. A highlight was definitely running into Bill Lawrence who I jokingly chastised for having too many shows to honor his ATX Pitch commitments, catching glimpses of pretty much the entire cast of Dallas including Mitch Pileggi who probably didn't remember me from our IBG event but was still very nice when I said hi to him anyway, and I also randomly ran into Shawn Ashmore who was there to support his wife, a producer on the upcoming drama Lost Angels for the network. 

I'm just going to say this, though: recently TCA made a big stink about the "no photos" rule. When I first started coming here, not being a member, I didn't know that was a thing, so I did take photos and effectively break that rule. But no one said anything to me about it. Then when they started posting signs everywhere, I said 'Fine, this is a work event, and we want to be seen as professionals, I get it and I'll "obey"' despite still not being a member and therefore not responsible for representing their organization. But because of my history with Gosselaar I, of course, would love to get a picture with him someday. I've interviewed him a few times; he's always super nice; but eight-to-12 year old me would just be so fulfilled by the photo. I didn't ask him at the party. Again, it wasn't the time or place. But I *did* see a TCA member-- one of the perhaps founding members who definitely voted on approving the rule if not was a part of creating it-- taking a photo with him. And that kind of rubbed me the wrong way because there is no way the connection is the same or as strong as mine.

Oh, this is probably a good time to point out this is not a professional recap of TCA but just my personal thoughts, highlights, and observations. My professional coverage of this TCA is housed on my column at LA Examiner.

Before I got here, I also vowed to treat this TCA like my first. I'm not an actor so I couldn't fake the fresh-faced excitement from the very first days of attending and excitedly devouring bacon every morning and digging through swag bags every few sessions. But to fake it would be weird anyway. Instead, though, I decided just to step back and not freak out about getting a story up immediately after the panel ended, as well as to not constantly keep one eye on the revolving party behind whoever I was currently talking to, ensuring I didn't miss the next person I had to talk to. I hate when people do that, and I hate that that became a part of the job. "Not freaking out" is often much easier said than done, but I was willing to actively try to bring this TCA full circle. Because, honestly, depending on if I can find a full-time job or not in the next few months, this one may end up being my last.