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Showing posts with the label TCA Press Tour

TCA Diary: FOX Executive Session

"I'd be heartbroken if it went away." That's FOX President of Entertainment Kevin Reilly talking about sci-fi drama Fringe as the TCA Winter Press Tour rolls on, with FOX's Kevin Reilly and Peter Rice addressing the press. One topic widely expected to be discussed was the fate of FOX's Fringe , which will move from Thursdays to Fridays later this month. Among the other topics raised at the low-key (a change for FOX, given the previous years', uh, traditional hubbub) executive session: the future of Lie to Me, House , and Bones , Terra Nova , Lone Star , and more. So what did the two have to say? Let's take a look. Fringe : "I beg you not to write the eulogy prematurely," said Reilly. "It's been in a four-way scripted race. I want that audience to transfer to Fridays." And just like many of us, Reilly seems to really like Fringe : "I'd be heartbroken if it went away." Reilly said that, with the move to the Friday

Day of the Dead: Inside Torchwood: Miracle Day

On Friday, Russell T Davies, Eve Myles, Bill Pullman, and Mekhi Phifer gathered at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour to tease some details about Starz/BBC's upcoming Torchwood launch, which had been codenamed Torchwood: The New World . Up until now, very little information had been available about the ten-episode project, which is set to air Stateside on Starz beginning July 1st, airing day-and-date with the United Kingdom. John Barrowman's Captain Jack and Eve Myles' Gwen Cooper were back, some new characters were in the mix (look for Pullman, Phifer, Dichen Lachman, and others), and the action would be split between Cardiff and the United States. So just what is this new season about? And how is it connected to Torchwood: Children of Earth ? Read on. For one thing, the title isn't Torchwood: The New World , but rather Torchwood: Miracle Day and the plot revolves around a very strange set of circumstances that connect both to the fate of the planet

Winter Is Coming April 17th: HBO Announces Start Date for Game of Thrones

The date we've been waiting for is finally here. HBO today announced a launch date for Game of Thrones , its adaptation of George R.R. Martin's novels. That date? April 17th at 9 pm ET/PT. (The pay cable network also announced the start date for its upcoming Kate Winslet-led miniseries Mildred Pierce , which will air its first installment on March 27th. The sizzle reel they showed made the mini look insanely amazing.) As for Game of Thrones , I watched the 15-minute clip reel that HBO assembled and think that it looks extraordinary. Entire scenes have been reshot since the original pilot I saw last summer and several roles (in addition to the two major ones) have been recast. I also sat down with George R.R. Martin and David Benioff and Dan Weiss earlier today as a few of us joined the author and the series' executive producers for a series of roundtable discussions. More on that to come! Stay tuned.

TCA Winter Press Tour Starts Today

It's that time of year once again: the start of the twice-yearly Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour. As always, I'll be attending the press tour--held once again in Pasadena--and will be reporting and live-tweeting from the press confab as well as conducting one-on-one interviews for use at a later date. Among the series and their talent being brought over for the press tour: HBO's hotly anticipated Game of Thrones , AMC's superlative thriller The Killing , Starz's Torchwood and Camelot , Mildred Pierce , Upstairs Downstairs , The Good Wife , Falling Skies , Franklin and Bash , IFC's Portlandia , A&E's Breakout Kings , Off the Map, The Chicago Code, Terra Nova, The Borgias, Shameless, Justified , and dozens more. But I'm sadly skipping the journey to Pasadena today as I need write two features for The Daily Beast and start on a third. Stay tuned.

TCA Diary: Game of Thrones to Launch Spring 2011 on HBO

HBO teased a fifteen-second clip of its upcoming George R.R. Martin series Game of Thrones to critics on the final day of the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. At the executive session earlier this afternoon, the pay cabler declined to name an exact launch date for Game of Thrones but indicated that it would premiere in Spring 2011, possibly as early as March. "It's about a quest for power and a quest for the kingdom," said Michael Lombardo, HBO president of programming, about the series, which is based on Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. "It was an easy answer," said Richard Plepler about picking up the project to series, considering it's a genre that HBO isn't typically known for and which isn't usually a favorite of Plepler or Lombardo. "It wasn't the genre that we responded to, it was the storytelling," he continued. In other HBO-related news: True Blood : Alan Ball's involvement in upcoming drama

Damages Report: Televisionary Talks to Rose Byrne and Executive Producer Daniel Zelman About Season Four

I'm already getting excited about the fourth season of serpentine legal thriller Damages , which moves from FX to DirecTV next year, following a landmark deal that brought the series back from the brink of cancellation and guaranteed a fourth and fifth season. Quite a lot has changed since I spoke to creators Daniel Zelman, Glenn Kessler, and Todd A. Kessler for my Season Three postmortem over at The Daily Beast , not least of which is that surprising (and very welcome) two-season pickup and the series' move to the satcaster's The 101 Network. At last night's Sony Pictures Television party at the Beverly Hilton's Bar 210, I caught up with executive producer/co-creator Daniel Zelman and series lead (and Emmy Award nominee) Rose Byrne to discuss Season Four of Damages , why things always come back to the dock outside Patty's beach house, where we might find Ellen Parsons, whether we'll see Tom Shayes (Tate Donovan) again, why Ellen seems to have forgiven Patty


FX ORDERS PILOT PRODUCTION OF ALABAMA Comedy Pilot Co-Created By and Starring Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon LOS ANGELES, August 3, 2010 – FX has ordered pilot production of Alabama , a half-hour comedy co-created by and starring Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (creators and stars of Reno 911! ), today announced John Landgraf, President and General Manager, FX Networks. Alabama , written by Garant and Lennon, is a comedy set a thousand years in the future, aboard the United Nations peacekeeping spaceship: THE USS ALABAMA. The series begins six years into their seven year mission to maintain peace and enforce treaties between planets in their jurisdiction: Sector 187-G. The show will follow the heart- pounding action as our crew visits hostile planets, meets alien life-forms, and tries to have sex with each other in their tiny, metal bunk beds. “Working as an Executive Producer of Reno 911! alongside Ben and Tom was one of the great professional experiences of my career,” sai

Press Release: FX LIKES LOUIE

FX LIKES LOUIE Network Orders Second Season of Comedy Series Starring Louis C.K. Seven All New Episodes Remain in Season One, Tuesdays at 11 PM ET/PT With Season One Finishing with Two All New Back-to-Back Episodes Airing September 7 LOS ANGELES, August 3, 2010 – FX has ordered another season of its newest critically acclaimed comedy series Louie , starring actor/comedian Louis C.K., picking up a 13-episode second season, today announced John Landgraf, President and General Manager of FX Networks. Seven all new episodes of Louie remain in season one, airing Tuesdays at 11 PM ET/PT, with the two final episodes airing back-to-back on September 7 at 11:00 PM and 11:30 PM behind the season three premier of Sons of Anarchy at 10:00 PM. “Louis has made a truly original series – a comedy unlike anything on television, but perfect for his unique voice,” said Landgraf. “We are very happy with the show's performance and critical acclaim, and are delighted to move forward with a second se

TCA Diary: FOX's Lone Star Session

FOX began its full slate of TCA programming this morning with a session for its new fall drama series, Lone Star , which revolves around a charismatic con man who is married to two very different women in two very different Texas towns. Cast members James Wolk, Adrianne Palicki, Jon Voight, David Keith, Eloise Mumford, Mark Deklin, and Bryce Johnson joined executive producers Amy Lippman, Kyle Killen, Peter Horton, Kerry Kohansky, Chris Keyser, and director Marc Webb on stage to answer critics' questions about the drama series. "I think the show will need to reinvent itself periodically and our challenge is to keep it going and keep it fresh and not to replay the same dynamic over and over again," said executive producer Amy Lippman. "We certainly have an understanding of where we are going it with it this season." Should the series be renewed for a second season, Lippman says that the writers would look to turn the overall premise in a new way. There will also

FOX Bumps Terra Nova to Fall 2011, Slates Sneak Peek for May

As expected, FOX has delayed launching time travel drama Terra Nova --from executive producers Steven Spielberg, Peter Chernin, Brannon Braga, David Fury, Jon Cassar, Aaron Kaplan, Katherine Pope, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Craig Silverstein and Kelly Marcel--until fall of 2011. The series, which stars Jason O'Mara ( Life on Mars ), will have a Glee -style preview next May before the official series launch later in the year. The pilot, which will be screened at that time, will be directed by Alex Graves, who previously helmed the pilots for Journeyman and Fringe . The full press release from FOX about the scheduling can be found below. NEW EPIC FAMILY ADVENTURE “TERRA NOVA” TO PREVIEW IN MAY PRIOR TO PREMIERING ON FOX IN FALL 2011 Series Executive-Produced by Steven Spielberg, Peter Chernin, Brannon Braga, David Fury, Jon Cassar, Aaron Kaplan, Katherine Pope, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Craig Silverstein and Kelly Marcel Alex Graves To Direct Pilot Episode With Series Set to Fi

TCA Diary: Eric Stonestreet Talks Season Two of Modern Family, Emmy Nominations, Wedding Bells?

At the arranged coffee break with the cast and creators of ABC's Modern Family , Eric Stonestreet--nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Emmy Award for his star-making turn as Cameron--expressed far too much modesty when discussing his nomination for an actor who is so perfectly cast in a breakout role. "To actually have people nominate me is beyond my comprehension," said Stonestreet about the Emmy nomination. "I think Ty [Burell] has a great shot at it. I told him from basically episode three that he was going to win the Emmy... But I just want to keep it in the family. I just hope that one of us is fortunate enough to be able to win." Stonestreet said that he has saved a voicemail message from his father in which tearfully reacted to news of the nomination. "It says everything a 68-year-old Kansas man can say in three words: "Congratulations, Eric. Con-grat-u-lations.' And it's all through tears." Just don't expect Stonestreet to pa

TCA Diary: Modern Family Co-Creator Steve Levitan on Steve McPherson's Departure

ABC took a break from their marathon of sessions today at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour to offer a much needed coffee break with the creators and cast of the ABC hit comedy Modern Family , nominated for 14 Emmy Awards. The series, produced by 20th Century Fox Television, was one of the bright spots this past season on ABC's schedule and was championed by ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson, who resigned from the network last week amid allegations of an internal probe. Steve Levitan, co-creator of Modern Family and a long-time friend to McPherson offered a few words about McPherson's departure and his own personal reactions during an informal interview with me and a group of other reporters in the foyer of the ballroom. "My genuine reaction was, uh, that sucks," he said in regard to McPherson's departure from ABC last week. "I'm sorry to hear it." "We've had the best of Steve on our show," he continued. &q

Elephant in the Room: ABC Executive Session with Paul Lee

Appearing at the start of ABC's day on the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, Steven Brockman walked on the stage with a large pink elephant before saying of Steve McPherson, "Tuesday's statement still holds. It is literally all we are going to say on the subject." It was perhaps an effort to address the elephant in the room--the sudden resignation of entertainment president Steve McPherson from the network last week amid allegations of an internal probe--but critics were already baying for blood. The network's sacrificial lamb--newly installed ABC entertainment president Paul Lee--took to the stage after a session for ABC's new cop drama Detroit 1-8-7 was braced for an onslaught of questions about McPherson's resignation and that alleged probe. "Really, this is my first course of duty," said Lee. "I've been on the job 36 hours." But the Brit--an Oxford graduate who previously held positions at BBC One and Two, BBC A

TCA Diary: Season Five of Dexter About "Atonement"

At today's Dexter session at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, the cast and crew of the Showtime serial killer drama united on stage--a week after appearing in San Diego to promote the series--to discuss the fifth season, how Julie Benz's Rita fits into the overarching storyline, whether there will be another season-long big bag, and other bloody good fun coming up on the series. Joining the panel: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, James Remar, C.S. Lee, executive producers Sara Colleton and John Goldwyn and newly minted showrunner Chip Johannessen, who took to the stage after a teaser trailer that showed the bloody aftermath of the carnage in the fourth season finale. "No," said Sara Colleton answering a question as to whether Seasons Four and Five were planned in concert with one another. "We rarely go beyond one year because we have to have a season arc that has a beginning and a finish... At the end of Season Four, it quickly became cl

Crossing the Pond: Showtime's Episodes Session at TCA

On the comedy front, if there's one series that I'm anxiously awaiting, it's Showtime's Episodes , co-produced with Auntie Beeb. The Hollywood skewering series--which stars Matt LeBlanc, Tamsin Greig, Stephen Mangan, John Pankow, Mircea Monroe, and Kathleen Perkins--was created by former Friends writer/producers David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik and executive produced by British television god Jimmy Mulville. Episodes explores just what happens to a pair of British television creators when an American broadcast network brings them over to Los Angeles to create a US version of their hit show... and saddles them with Matt LeBlanc. For LeBlanc, he maintains that he's not playing himself. At all. "It's not really myself," said LeBlanc. "It's a character that David and Jeffrey wrote that happens to have the same name as me. There are some similarities. For the most part, it's a fictitious character." "Things go from bad to worse,"

TCA Diary: Showtime's The Big C Session

Showtime kicked off the second official day of the TCA Summer Press Tour with a session for its upcoming comedy The Big C , which launches next month. After screening a selection of scenes from the first few episodes, Laura Linney, Oliver Platt, Gabourey Sidibe, executive producer Jenny Bicks, creator Darlene Hunt, and executive producers Vivian Cannon and Neal Moritz took to the stage to answer questions about the series, which revolves around the life changes undertaken by a woman after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis. "When this script came to me, what hit me the most was the theme of time," said Linney about what attracted her most about the project. "What do you with time? What are the choices that we make, how we spend our time? How much time to we get? It's a privileged to grow old... It was meaningful to me." "Everyone who shows up is so happy to be there," said Linney about shooting the series in Connecticut. "It was important to me

TCA Diary: Showtime's Matt Blank Teases Upcoming Programming

Showtime's Matt Blank kicked off the festivities on Day Two of the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour by offering a look at what's coming up for their slate of original programming over the next six months or so. "Showtime continues to thrive in every part of our business," said Blank. "We received more 2010 Emmy nominations for our original series than any other premium cable network." Here are some highlights from the very brief session, during which Blank acknowledged the behind-the-scenes changes going on at the pay cabler, where Robert Greenblatt has stepped down and will be succeeded by David Nevins. Weeds comes back in August. Guest stars this season will include Richard Dreyfus, Alanis Morrissette, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Linda Hamilton, and Peter Stomare. The Big C , which launches on August 16th as well, will feature Idris Elba, Cynthia Nixon, and Liam Neeson, whose participation was announced earlier this week. Dexter 's latest sea

TCA Report: CBS Executive Session with Nina Tassler

TCA's Summer Press Tour began this morning with CBS' executive session, featuring Nina Tassler, President of CBS Entertainment. While there wasn't much news announced this morning, save the latest twist on Survivor --which will see 20 castaways split between two age groups: those over 40 and those under 30--and the companies participating in the next season of reality series Undercover Boss (DirecTV, NASCAR, Chiquita Brands International, and Great Wolf Resorts). However, Tassler did take questions from the critics, answering queries about the GLAAD score for CBS, Hawaii Five-O, Bleep My Dad Says, The Good Wife , and more. Tassler began by praising series from across the broadcast networks, saying that the 2009-10 season produced "one of the best freshman classes in years" and acknowledged that "all of the network shows are programming engines for all of the other platforms," including online, etc. "It was a terrific year for us and we are restless

TCA Award Nominees Announced: Modern Family, Glee, Mad Men, Lost, Parks and Recreation, Party Down Represented

The Television Critics Association today announced their short-list nominations for the 2010 TCA Awards, which will be handed out during TCA Summer Press Tour, which kicks off at the end of July. Among the nominees for Program of the Year, such series as Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights, Glee, Lost , and Modern Family . In the individual genre categories, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Lost, Sons of Anarchy , and The Good Wife will compete for the top drama prize, while Glee, Modern Family, Parks and Recreation, Party Down , and The Big Bang Theory are up for comedy kudos and such talents as Eric Stonestreet, Jane Lynch, Aaron Paul, Katey Segal, Nick Offerman, and many others are up for individual honors. I'm glad to see so many broadcast network series competing side by side with their cable brethren. It almost gives one hope that the network model isn't completely cracked. Additionally, this year's TCA Awards is also the first time that I'll be voting, as a newly installed