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TCA Tidbits: Living Dead, Emmy Controversy, and Skittles

After announcing that Let's Make a Deal will be back, CBS kept things trucking at TCA with some controversy, a few digs at NBC, and a bizarre marketing ploy. Read on for highlights.

  • The day's most hotly contested panel was the session for the Emmys, at which executive producer Don Mischer attempted to explain the reasoning behind the decision to "time shift" eight awards (aka, give them out in a special ceremony before the regular Emmys). Among those annoyed: HBO (which cried foul since it typically dominates those categories) and TV writers. At the TCA session, Mischer said that the Emmys need to be more about "broadcasting" than "narrowcasting" and that viewers have reported feeling disconnected from the shows that win Emmys. He says these moves will allow more time for entertainment features, including clips of the year's best TV moments — whether Emmy-nominated or not. What do you think?
  • Meanwhile, Emmy host Neil Patrick Harris joined the session via satellite from Montreal, where he's filming a movie, and said he's approaching his hosting gig "like you're hosting a big giant dinner party, sort of Dean Martin style." He said he doesn't want to be one of those hosts working hard to entertain the audience: "I will probably lean toward serious and boring rather than wacky and crazy because it is a big night for all of these people," he said. "I think it is important to honor that. And not be drunk."
  • Speaking of wacky and crazy: Yesterday brought one of the oddest pieces of TCA swag I've ever received. Before the session for Accidentally On Purpose, we had two bowls brought to our tables: one full of Skittles (a reference to a line in the pilot where Jenna Elfman's character says her new, young lover smells like a Skittle) — and the other full of AOP-branded condoms.

To hear what the Medium folks really think of NBC and what Grant Show thinks about joining the new Melrose Place, just read more.

  • At the session for Medium — newly relocated to CBS — showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron made a few digs at NBC for not renewing the show after what he called "five fairly fruitful years" at the network. At one point, he riffed that had only someone told him he needed to get a Save Our Show campaign going, "We had a whole Quiznos thing set up" — a reference to Chuck's Subway campaign. And though he called Chuck a great show, he pointedly noted that NBC has tried to launch it twice with only middling ratings. "We didn't attract as much buzz as Chuck," he said, "but we did get more viewers."
  • That said, though, Medium is looking forward to having a full 22-episode season on CBS — including a Halloween episode in which Patricia Arquette's character will be edited digitally into old footage from Night of the Living Dead.
  • At the session for The Good Wife, about what happens when the wife of a cheating politician reclaims her own career, a reporter asked star Julianna Margulies why female politicians don't have dramatic, Mark Sanford-type affairs. "I think women are too busy," she said. "Women do not have the time, dear Lord!"
  • Margulies also noted that after dabbling in film after leaving ER, she's finding that she can do her best work on television. "Television is the medium for women," she said. "The richest characters I can find are on television."
  • Also recounting the moves that led her to her new show was Jenna Elfman, who said she landed on Accidentally On Purpose after years of development deals and looking for the right project. "I have been doing nothing but trying to find another show on television that inspires me, that makes me happy, that I feel like I'm in my comedy sandbox doing what I love to do," she said. Needless to say, she thinks this is the one.
  • And finally: Would Grant Show ever consider making an appearance on the CW's Melrose Place? Well, perhaps. "I'm not sure they really even need me this year," he said. "Maybe next year. We've been talking, but nothing solid yet. I'm not opposed to it, and anything could happen."

The CW and set visits to Castle and Private Practice are up today, so stay tuned!

Source: Getty
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