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PaleyFest: Scoop from Damages and Dirty Sexy Money

I may be back in sunny San Francisco, but the Paley Festival is still going strong in LA. This week kicked off with panels for Damages and Dirty Sexy Money, with more to come from The X Files and Mad Men.

I was worried that neither the Damages nor the Dirty Sexy Money events would be very well-attended, because last week I got an e-mail from the Paley folks offering up free tickets to either panel. Sure enough, The Futon Critic reported that the crowd for Damages was "surprisingly thin." Who turns down a chance to chat with Glenn Close?

Still, it sounds like the Damages panel was well-received by those who were there — including TeamSugar's own Phasekitty, who wrote up a great rundown of the night's discussions and revelations. Among them:

  • Damages is the first legal show ever to air on FX, because the network had never before found one that fit its brand. That said, the creators said this is more a drama about the "social dynamic of power in the workplace" than a legal show; in 13 episodes from the first season, only part of one scene took place in the courtroom.
  • FX initially suggested Close for the lead role because of their good experience with The Shield. That got Ted Danson to pay attention, and he was looking for a different sort of project anyway. As you'll hear him say in the video clip below, he didn't want to do another half-hour comedy because he'd even ceased to amuse himself.
  • David's stalker, Lila, was always intended to be a red herring, never the actual killer.
  • The show has been renewed for two more seasons, and while the creators said they want to make it easy for new viewers to jump in, they also like the mystery format. The base of the show will always be the relationship between Patty and Ellen.

For some of the highlights from the Dirty Sexy Money panel and videos from both events, just


Once again, the crowd was small for Dirty Sexy Money. I wish I could have been there for that one, as I've really enjoyed Peter Krause's return to TV. If I'm being honest, though, Donald Sutherland is my favorite part of the show, and he wasn't there, so I suppose I'll live.

Both The Futon Critic and TV Squad were there, though, so I'll leave most of the talking to them. Just a couple of things that jumped out to me:

  • Billy Baldwin didn't merely know about his character's relationship with Carmelita, his transsexual lover, before he took the role — it was a reason for him even taking the role in the first place.
  • Spoilers or teasers about the second season were hard to come by, but there were some hints that Dutch's murder would be solved in the upcoming season, and had the strike not happened it would have been solved in the first season.
  • The show is apparently incredibly expensive to produce. Hey, all that jewelry doesn't come free.

Here are video highlights from both panels:


Dirty Sexy Money:


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