Wow, that was one whirlwind weekend here at the TCA press tour. CBS, Showtime, The CW, and NBC's cable networks have all been on stage, plus the Television Critics Association took a break from the panels to deliver some honors of its own. I've heard lots about the new 90210, been bowled over by the hilarity of The Ex List's showrunner, and heard references to The Wire and Arrested Development — in the same session! Here are some of my favorite bits:
- First off, have you read about what's coming up on Friday Night Lights yet? Seeing the cast together again was hands-down one of the highlights of this press tour so far.
- Another highlight: Seeing Showtime's trailers for both The United States of Tara and Nurse Jackie — the latter of which just got picked up as a series. Bottom line: I'm very curious to see more from both. Tara stars Toni Colette as a mother with multiple personalities (we saw at least three in the three-minute trailer) whose family alternately resents her disorder and appreciates how different it makes them. Jackie stars Edie Falco as a sharp-tongued, occasionally devious nurse whose motto seems to be "Make me good, God, but not yet" and has her turning to one controlled substance or another to quash her persistent back pain. The trailers were both extremely well-produced, which gives me great hope for the full-length versions.
- One of the contenders for best quote of the press tour: Jessica Walter of 90210 on what makes her new character, grandmother Tabitha Wilson, different from Lucille Bluth. "Lucille liked vodka and Tabitha likes scotch." She went on to explain that the fact that she's gotten her family to move to Beverly Hills to help her stay sober is another difference: "I promised them I'm going to try," she said. "Lucille never really tried."
- By the way, Walter once referred to the Bluths in the past tense, then corrected herself: "The Bluths were so dysfunctional — are still so dysfunctional. We hope they're going to be making a movie." Someone hurry up and confirm it already!
To see who the TCA honored at its awards, meet my new favorite woman in Hollywood, and get some news from Bravo and NBC's other cable networks, just
- Mad Men, 30 Rock, and John Adams were among the big winners at Saturday's TCA Awards. There are lots of great dispatches from the night; here's one funny one, and here's another.
- I liked The Ex List well enough when I watched the pilot, but I will most definitely be paying attention now that showrunner Diane Ruggiero has completely won me over. She charmed the whole room on Friday during her session, telling stories about accidentally dumping an ex-boyfriend's Mount St. Helen's ashes all over his carpet ("That's when you go, 'I guess we broke up . . . '") and being cute ("kind-of-ish") in New Jersey but invisible in Los Angeles. When one of the many older male reporters here asked her why there was so much "vaginal humor" in the pilot, Ruggiero immediately responded "I actually let my vagina write half of the script." Zing!
- Sunday's sessions with NBC's cable networks were dizzying for all their news, but here are just a few highlights: Make Me a Supermodel and The Real Housewives of New York City will both be getting second seasons on Bravo; The Rachael Zoe Project premieres Sept. 8; Top Chef: Masters and Fashion House, which sounds vaguely like it could be groomed into a Project Runway replacement, are both in development; USA has ordered a second season of In Plain Sight; Mark Feuerstein has signed on for a USA pilot about a doctor who becomes the MD for the rich and famous; and the new season of The Janet Dickinson Modeling Agency will start in August and have Janice living with the models in the same house for the first time. Whew!