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JUL
23
1 years

The 11 Most-Anticipated Panels at TCA

Broadcast and cable networks alike trot out their new fare in the semi-annual dog and pony show, hoping to strike a chord with critics and cut through the clutter.

Homeland Breaking Bad Michael J. Fox Show - H 2013
"Homeland," left, "Breaking Bad" and "The Michael J. Fox Show"

Hundreds of reporters -- and the producers and stars looking to court them -- will descend on Beverly Hills this week for the Television Critics Association's summer press tour. 

The two-week tour, which runs through Aug. 7, will offer wall-to-wall panels featuring the new fall wares from both broadcast and cable. Here are the 11 of the most anticipated sessions from the annual dog and pony show.

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1. Showtime's Homeland. Expect producers to field questions about the uneven second season and how they'll right the ship in season three, which returns in September. Despite the recent onslaught of Emmy nominations, could the Claire Danes-Damian Lewis series' panel be as contentious as last year's Newsroom session? (July 30)

2. ESPN's OlbermannKeith Olbermann will preview his return to ESPN for his upcoming late-night ESPN2 show. He'll no doubt be asked about his split from Current during the session likely to feature the outspoken host's political remarks. (July 24)

3. Adult Swim's Rick and Morty. The animated series co-created by Dan Harmon will offer critics their first chance to question the Community mastermind on his return to the NBC series. Whatever comes out of the famously candid showrunner's mouth will surely prove fodder for headlines all around the web. (July 24)

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4. NBC's The Michael J. Fox Show. The semi-autobiographical sitcom is NBC's big hope for rebuilding its Thursday comedy block (proof: it received a rare straight-to-series 22-episode commitment). One question bound to be asked: Is Fox up to the demands of such a rigorous schedule -- to say nothing of the pressure that could come with propping up a network? (July 27)

5. ABC's Marvel's Agents of SHIELD. The drama from Joss Whedon made a big splash at Comic-Con, where critics and fans saw the pilot for the first time. Whedon and company will be peppered with such questions as: How much involvement will the Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator have in the series? Will more members of The Avengers -- beyond Cobie Smulders -- pop in? And if so, how frequently? (Aug. 4)

6. FX's American Horror Story: Coven. Outside of its all-star cast, little is known about the plot of the witchy-themed third season of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's anthology. But beyond any AHS queries, Murphy undoubtedly will be asked to field questions about Glee's in-the-works tribute episode to Cory Monteith, who died July 13 at the age of 31. (Aug. 2)

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7. BBC's Doctor Who. Since the new Doctor wasn't unveiled at Comic-Con, could TCA be the place for the big announcement? If not, expect more on the 50th anniversary special. (July 25)

8. HBO's Clear History. The notoriously press shy Larry David is expected to turn up at TCA to support his HBO Films effort -- which includes a who's-who of Hollywood among its cast (Jon Hamm, Bill Hader, Philip Baker Hall, Kate Hudson, Michael Keaton, Danny McBride, to name a few). While much of what he says likely will be tweet-worthy, one burning question that will be posed: is Curb Your Enthusiasm coming back? And if so, when? (July 25)

9. Arsenio Hall and Queen Latifah will offer a first-look at their late-night and daytime shows, respectively. How will theirs differ from others who have come and gone? (Looking at you, Jeff ProbstRikki Lake.) (Hall: July 29; Latifah July 31)

10. Of the numerous executive sessions, two stand to be at the top of the list: Fox's endearingly candid Kevin Reilly and FX's master class with John Landgraf. Reilly will field questions about the impending do-overs at both American Idol and The X Factor, Mike Darnell's departure to Warner Bros. Television and how the Monteith's passing impacts Glee's two-season vision. Landgraf, meanwhile, will tout the September launch of younger-skewing FXX as well as the network's major push into miniseries, among other topics. (Fox: Aug. 1; FX: Aug. 2)

11. AMC's Breaking Bad. The critical darling will return for its final round in front of critics, who likely will question whether the rumored Saul Goodman spinoff will come to pass. This group is likely to dodge every attempt for spoilers, but that won't deter the inevitable barrage of questions from the assembled press. (July 26)

Stay tuned to THR.com for news and highlights from TCA.

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit