TCA 2012: CBS Party Diary With Leslie Moonves, Michael Chiklis and Mamie Gummer

WITNESS LIST: Leslie Moonves
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The CBS Corp. president and CEO could be called to discuss talks with the HFPA about bringing the Globes to CBS for $10 million more than what NBC was offering.

Following a day of panels and chest beating, the most-watched network invited members of the Television Critics Association to mingle with CBS, The CW and Showtime’s new fall crop of stars. Here's a minute-by-minute look at what went down -- from Leslie Moonves' favorite rival shows (ABC's Nashville!) to the actor with the biggest gaggle (Dexter's Michael C. Hall!) -- inside the Beverly Hilton's Sunday night bash.

5:52 p.m.: The party has not officially begun but already some of the networks’ big guns have arrived. Hawaii Five-0 co-stars Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan chat with a small group in one of the shaded areas, while Dexter's Michael C. Hall makes a beeline for the bar before getting hounded by reporters (they had received Dexter season-premiere screeners earlier in the weekend). As the evening goes on, Hall will see that scrum surrounding him grow.

6:05 p.m.: The Big Bang Theory's Mayim Bialik walks into the still relatively empty party. Later, she’ll thank Warner Bros. TV honcho Peter Roth for the candlesticks (presumably an Emmy gift) and then acknowledge that the nomination “hasn’t sunk in yet.”

6:35 p.m.: Vegas stars Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis roll in together. CBS Corp. chief Leslie Moonves greets the duo by the door. Later, Moonves will reveal that he gave Chiklis one of his first jobs on the Steve Miner-directed buddy comedy pilot, Maverick Square. (In Moonves’ recollection, Chiklis broke his ankle the week before they were set to shoot the pilot; rather than recasting, they wrote the injury into the script.)

6:55 p.m.: Moonves introduces his wife (and The Talk co-host) Julie Chen to Made in Jersey star Kyle MacLachlan by the noodle bar. CW president Mark Pedowitz poses for a picture with Emily Owens, M.D. stars Mamie Gummer (aka Meryl Streep’s daughter) and Justin Hartley by the bar. Minutes later, Gummer is deep in conversation with CBS morning show anchor Charlie Rose. Nearby, The Good Wife creator Robert King is talking to a network marketing exec about the Sunday night drama’s NFL promos.

7:05 p.m.: Roth interrupts an interview being given by Arrow star (and budding heartthrob) Stephen Amell. “Who’s ripped!” he bellows, before doling out one of his famous bear hugs. Amell says Roth came by his network test to offer him support. Minutes later, Amell will introduce himself to Rose. Across the way, Showtime entertainment chief David Nevins is posing with his stars, including Hall, House of Lies' Don Cheadle and Shameless’ Emmy Rossum. Next, he’ll catch up with Episodes star Matt LeBlanc over bites of bruschetta.

7:16 p.m.: Elementary star Jonny Lee Miller is now flanked by female reporters, while his co-star Lucy Liu is posing for a pic with Moonves. Across the way, Pedowitz is chatting with ICM Partners honcho Chris Silbermann, who spent much of last week negotiating on behalf of the Modern Family cast. Soon, Warner Bros. execs Bruce Rosenblum and Roth will emerge.

7:30 p.m.: Rose makes an early exit. At least he’s got a good excuse: He’s headed to Warren Beatty’s house for dinner. Minutes later, his CBS This Morning EP Chris Licht thanks newly upped Norah O’Donnell for coming out. (During her panel earlier in the day, O’Donnell successfully dodged all questions about replacing Erica Hill.)

7:55 p.m.: The House of Lies cast is gathered. Ben Schwartz confirms he will be returning to NBC's Parks and Recreation for at least two episodes. As Lies' Cheadle heads for the door, Big Bang Theory's Kunal Nayyar stops him to say hi. Showtime chief Matt Blank tells a gathering of reporters the network will be showing extended trailers for both Masters of Sex and Liev Schreiber’s Ray Donovan during their presentation Monday. “I’ve wanted to work with Liev forever,” he says, noting that Schreiber relocated from New York to Los Angeles for the series.

8:05 p.m.: Moonves is holding court with reporters. He insists he hasn't seen all of the rivals' new shows; from what he has watched, Moonves is high on ABC's Nashville and NBC's The New Normal. The wide-ranging conversation moves from Twitter (he keeps up with others' tweets, including Rupert Murdoch's) to Katie Couric ("She's right ... we did put her in a box," he says) to the steady stream of actors who make their way over to kiss the ring.

8:17 p.m.: The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan is enthralled by a liquid nitrogen ice cream bar in the back corner, making a point to come back and praise the chocolate s'mores-flavored offering: "It's awesome!" Earlier in the day, Survivor host Jeff Probst revealed to a roomful of reporters that he had gotten the Survivor gig over Keoghan.

8:54 p.m.: As the party thins out, Whitney Houston's "I Want to Dance With Somebody" begins to boom through the speakers. That Houston died inside the hotel makes it somewhat awkward. The night before, TCA Awards emcee and Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston had dubbed the Beverly Hilton “where Hollywood goes to die.”

9:02 p.m.: Both Chiklis and America's Next Top Model host Tyra Banks join the Sprinkles cupcake line for a late-night snack on their way out. Within 10 minutes, there is a sizable exodus; LeBlanc is an exception as he stays put with reporters gaggled around him. 

9:27 p.m.: The party is over. The Vampire Diaries EP Julie Plec joins the line for cupcakes, having spent much of her two and a half hours taking interview questions. The best question she got to answer: What's on your DVR? "Scandal," she says, from line. "I looooove it!" 

Addiitonal reporting by Lesley Godberg and Philiana Ng.

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