Paley TV fest looks at 'Idol,' 'Simpsons'

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A celebration of the phenomenon that is "American Idol" will kick off the 24th annual William S. Paley Television Festival, presented March 1-15 in Los Angeles by the Museum of Television & Radio.

This year's festival plans include an evening with "Star Wars" guru George Lucas on March 3 and panel sessions on NBC's "The Office" and "Heroes," ABC's "Brothers and Sisters" and "Ugly Betty," CBS' "Jericho," TNT's "The Closer," Showtime's "Dexter," FX's "Nip/Tuck" and Fox's "Prison Break."

The Paley Festival will close with a tribute to Fox's enduring animated comedy "The Simpsons" on the occasion of its landmark 400th episode. The night will include a preview of the show's upcoming summer theatrical release, "The Simpsons Movie."

"By connecting actors, directors, producers, media personalities, and TV fans in engaging public forums, (the museum) continues to drive the discussion about the creative and social relevance of television and emerging media in today's world," MT&R president Pat Mitchell said in announcing this year's lineup.

All Paley Festival events will be held at the DGA Theater in Hollywood.

The complete schedule follows:

American Idol
Thursday, March 1 at 8:00 p.m
In Person: Paula Abdul (Judge), Cecile Frot-Coutaz (Executive Producer), Randy Jackson (Judge), Nigel Lythgoe (Executive Producer), Ryan Seacrest (Host), and Ken Warwick (Producer). Additional panelists to be announced.

The Office
Friday, March 2 at 7:00 p.m.
In Person: Leslie David Baker ("Stanley"), Brian Baumgartner ("Kevin"), Creed Bratton ("Creed"), Greg Daniels (Executive Producer/Director/Writer), David Denman ("Roy"), Jenna Fischer ("Pam Beesly"), Kate Flannery ("Meredith"), Melora Hardin ("Jan"), Ed Helms ("Andy"), Rashida Jones ("Karen"), Mindy Kaling ("Kelly"/Producer/Writer), Angela Kinsey ("Angela"), Howard Klein (Executive Producer), John Krasinski ("Jim Halpert"), Ken Kwapis (Director), Paul Lieberstein ("Toby")/Coexecutive Producer/Writer), B.J. Novak ("Ryan"/Producer/Writer), Oscar Nunez ("Oscar"), Craig Robinson ("Darryl"), Benjamin Silverman (Executive Producer), Phyllis Smith ("Phyllis"), and Rainn Wilson ("Dwight Schrute").

An Evening with George Lucas
Saturday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m.
In Person: George Lucas.

Brothers & Sisters
Monday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m.
In Person: Dave Annable ("Justin Walker"), Jon Robin Baitz (Creator/Executive Producer), Greg Berlanti (Executive Producer), Sally Field ("Nora Holden Walker"), Calista Flockhart ("Kitty Walker"), Balthazar Getty ("Thomas Walker"), Rachel Griffiths ("Sarah Walker Whedon"), Rob Lowe ("Senator McAllister"), Sarah Jane Morris ("Julia Walker"), Ken Olin (Executive Producer), John Pyper-Ferguson ("Joe Whedon"), Matthew Rhys ("Kevin Walker"), Ron Rifkin ("Saul Holden"), and Patricia Wettig ("Holly Harper").

The Closer
Tuesday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m.
In Person: G.W. Bailey ("Detective Lieutenant Provenza"), Michael Paul Chan ("Lieutenant Mike Tao"), Raymond Cruz ("Detective Julio Sanchez"), Tony Denison ("Detective Andy Flynn"), James Duff (Executive Producer), Gil Garcetti (Consulting Producer), Robert Gossett ("Commander Taylor"), Gina Ravera ("Detective Irene Daniels"), Corey Reynolds ("Sergeant David Gabriel"), Michael M. Robin (Executive Producer), Andrew J. Sacks (Producer), Kyra Sedgwick ("Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson"), Greer Shephard (Executive Producer), and J.K. Simmons ("Assistant Police Chief Will Pope").

Dexter
Wednesday, March 7 at 7:00 p.m.
In Person: Michael C. Hall ("Dexter Morgan"). Additional panelists to be announced.

Nip/Tuck
Thursday, March 8 at 7:00 p.m.
In Person: Kelly Carlson ("Kimber Henry"), John Hensley ("Matt McNamara"), Roma Maffia ("Dr. Liz Cruz"), Julian McMahon ("Dr. Christian Troy"), Ryan Murphy (Creator/Executive Producer/ Writer/Director), Michael M. Robin (Executive Producer), and Dylan Walsh ("Dr. Sean McNamara").

Prison Break
Friday, March 9 at 7:00 p.m.
In Person: Marty Adelstein (Executive Producer), Sarah Wayne Callies ("Dr. Sara Tancredi"), William Fichtner ("Alexander Mahone"), Wentworth Miller ("Michael Scofield"), Matt Olmstead (Executive Producer), Dawn Parouse (Executive Producer), Dominic Purcell ("Lincoln Burrows"), Brett Ratner (Executive Producer), and Paul Scheuring (Creator/Executive Producer).

Heroes
Saturday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m.
In Person: Allan Arkush (Executive Producer/Director), Santiago Cabrera ("Isaac Mendez"), Jack Coleman ("H.R.G."), Tawny Cypress ("Simone Deveaux"), Noah Gray-Cabey ("Micah Sanders"), Greg Grunberg ("Matt Parkman"), Dennis Hammer (Executive Producer), Tim Kring (Creator/Executive Producer), Ali Larter ("Niki Sanders"), Masi Oka ("Hiro Nakamura"), Hayden Panettiere ("Claire Bennet"), Adrian Pasdar ("Nathan Petrelli"), Sendhil Ramamurthy ("Mohinder Suresh"), Leonard Roberts ("D.L. Hawkins"), and Milo Ventimiglia ("Peter Petrelli").

Ugly Betty
Monday, March 12 at 7:00 p.m.
In Person: Alan Dale ("Bradford Meade"), America Ferrera ("Betty"), Silvio Horta (Executive Producer), Mark Indelicato ("Justin"), Ashley Jensen ("Christina"), Eric Mabius ("Daniel Meade"), Becki Newton ("Amanda"), Ana Ortiz ("Hilda"), Tony Plana ("Ignacio"), Rebecca Romijn ("Alexis Meade"), Benjamin Silverman (Executive Producer), Kevin Sussman ("Walter"), Michael Urie ("Marc"), and Vanessa Williams ("Wilhelmina Slater").

Jericho
Tuesday, March 13 at 7:00 p.m.
In Person: Carol Barbee (Executive Producer), Stephen Chbosky (Cocreator/Executive Producer/ Writer), Lennie James ("Robert Hawkins"), Erik Knudsen ("Dale Turner"), Gerald McRaney ("Mayor Johnston Green"), Pamela Reed ("Gail Green"), Josh Schaer (Cocreator/Producer), Ashley Scott ("Emily Sullivan"), Jon Steinberg (Cocreator/Producer), and Skeet Ulrich ("Jake Green").

The Simpsons: Celebrating 400 Episodes
Thursday, March 15 at 7:00 p.m.
In Person: Matt Groening (Creator/Executive Producer), James L. Brooks (Executive Producer), Al Jean (Executive Producer), Tim Long (Executive Producer), Ian Maxtone-Graham (Executive Producer), and Matt Selman (Executive Producer). Additional panelists to be announced.

TICKETS
Tickets will go on sale to MTR Members on Thursday, February 1, 2007. Tickets will be available to the general public beginning the following Sunday, February 4, 2007. For MTR Members, ticket prices are $50, $35, and $25 for reserved seating per event. For the general public, tickets are $60, $45, and $30 for reserved seating per event.

Tickets can be purchased by Internet or telephone (Service charges apply) via TicketMaster at www.ticketmaster.com or at 213.480.3232; 714.740.2000; 805.583.8700; 661.322.2525; and 619.220.TIXS beginning at 9:00 a.m. PST on February 1 for MTR Members and at 9:00 a.m. PST on February 4 for the general public, Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 a.m. PST to 9:00 PST p.m., Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. PST to 8:00 p.m. PST, and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. PST to 7:00 p.m. PST.

Tickets for all events are also available only on Festival evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Directors Guild of America, DGA Theatre Complex at 7920 Sunset Boulevard (one block west of Fairfax).

If you are not already an MTR Member and would like to qualify for the Member discount, you may purchase Memberships when buying Paley Festival tickets via TicketMaster (service charges apply to phone and Internet sales) only from January 16 through the end of Festival.

Please note: There is a four-ticket limit per person, per event. For sold-out evenings, tickets may become available at the Directors Guild ticket table at show time. There are no refunds or exchanges. Events and participants are subject to change.

FESTIVAL HOTLINE
Information about the Paley Festival is available through the recorded Festival hotline: 310.786.1010 as well as at www.mtr.org.
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