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TCA Tidbits: Paula Abdul, Human Lie Detectors, and More

Today CBS and Showtime are taking the stage at TCA, but before things get too busy, I wanted to wrap up some of the highlights from Fox's jam-packed Tuesday of panels (and parties). Here were some of the highs, lows, and most awkward moments:

  • I think I already love Glee, Fox's upcoming hourlong comedy about a misfit glee club from Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy — and, judging from the warm reception it got in the room during its presentation, I'm not alone. I caught an advanced screening of the show earlier this week, and it's a quirky mixture of snark and show tunes. It might not appeal to everyone, but if you like Freaks and Geeks and "Don't Stop Believing," it will be worth checking out when it premieres this Spring.
  • Speaking of singing, things threatened to get a little tense at the afternoon American Idol panel, with lots of questions about Paula Abdul's future with the show. Luckily, attention shifted quickly to the new dynamic on the judging panel now that Kara DioGuardi is adding a second female voice. About having someone to help her take down Simon Cowell, Abdul said: "Kara finally sees what it's like for me, my own private hell." She later said of Simon, "He's the bully brother that sometimes we love each other, and sometimes I try to change seats. He's annoying sometimes. I have to reel him in."
  • Interesting tidbit for Damages fans: FX President John Landgraf said that even though the Glenn Close drama doesn't meet the ratings standards set by previous FX hits, he's "confident" that Damages will be on the network's schedule even beyond the three seasons that have already been ordered.

To hear whether Dollhouse will bring the funny, what Mary Lynn Rajskub had to say about having fellow comedienne Janeane Garofalo on board for 24, and what's a surefire sign your relationship is about to end, just


  • Having real-life "human lie detector" Dr. Paul Ekman around certainly made Fox's Lie to Me something beyond just the standard panel. At one point, Ekman dispensed advice on how to tell if your relationship is about to be over: A look of anger on your significant other's face is fine and normal, but if it crosses into disgust, you're out of luck.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub said she's been happy to have fellow funny lady Janeane Garofalo join her on the 24 set — though it's not always easy for them to stay serious. "We tried not to laugh when we were in scenes together," she said, and it was tough for them to make eye contact without chuckling. Fun fact: Rajskub replaced Garofalo on The Larry Sanders Show.
  • Joss Whedon — visiting TCA via satellite from Boston — said that while Dollhouse might not be outright silly, it will still be humorous. "The show is much more straight-ahead dramatic than what we've done before," he said. "However, it is me we're talking about here. We can't fight the funny. The funny is going to win, partially because it makes it more diverting and partially because I believe that's how people react to difficult situations. I couldn’t make a show that’s relentlessly serious and I don’t think anybody would watch it ."
  • Also, Whedon on the possibility of another Dr. Horrible: "Yeah, we'd like to do that again." He said it's a matter of getting everyone together and finding the time.
  • I'll share more from the House panel later, but for now, it's worth noting Omar Epps's simple reaction to his character finally having a romantic life: "Foreman. Love life. Great!" He later elaborated: "It's great being in those scenes with Olivia [Wilde], because she's hot." Fair enough.

Photos courtesy of Fox

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