News from the TCA press tour


The latest news from the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour at the Beverly Hilton.

July 26
'Grey' areas are tackled
By Barry Garron
There are no hard feelings on her part, said Shonda Rhimes, creator/exec producer of "Grey's Anatomy," regarding the departure of Isaiah Washington. MORE

July 25
Critics' eyes on 'Cavemen'
By Barry Garron
Although inspired by the cavemen of Geico commercial fame, TV critics at the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour wondered if the new ABC comedy "Cavemen" isn't trading in negative stereotypes of blacks. MORE

July 25
ABC's McPherson defends Reilly
By Andrew Wallenstein
ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson took shots at his new NBC counterpart, Ben Silverman, on Wednesday over the dismissal of former NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly and the decision to hire former "Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington. Talking with reporters after ABC's opening session during the Television Critics Assn.'s summer press tour, McPherson accused Silverman of being evasive at an NBC press conference last week relating to the dismissal of Reilly on the heels of Silverman joining NBC Universal. MORE

July 22
Reilly is Fox's latest idol
By Nellie Andreeva
Two months after he was ousted as NBC Entertainment president, a confident and relaxed Kevin Reilly appeared at the Television Critics Assn.'s summer press tour Sunday as entertainment president at rival Fox. Reilly had mostly calculated responses to the slew of questions regarding his exit from NBC, while his new boss, Fox Entertainment chairman Peter Liguori, threw a few punches at NBC, mostly in regard to the two networks' standings in the ratings, where Fox is No. 1 among adults 18-49 and NBC is fourth. MORE

TCA Awards fill Emmy nom voids
By Barry Garron
It wasn't planned that way, but the annual TCA Awards on Saturday at the Beverly Hilton filled in several gaps created when Emmy nominations were announced two days earlier. "Friday Night Lights," shut out of the drama and actor Emmy noms, came away with a trophy for outstanding new program. Michael C. Hall, star of "Dexter," won for individual achievement in drama. He didn't crack the list of Emmy noms for lead actor. MORE

July 21

TCA picks: 'Heroes,' 'Lights,' 'Office'
By Andrew Wallenstein
NBC walked away with four key trophies at the TCA Awards on Saturday, including outstanding program of the year honors going to its freshman hit "Heroes." Another NBC rookie, "Friday Night Lights," took home outstanding new program, while "The Office" grabbed outstanding achievement in comedy for the second consecutive year. Alec Baldwin won the peacock's fourth trophy for individual achievement in comedy. MORE

July 20

CW extends 'Model,' pencils in 'Geek'
By Kimberly Nordyke
The CW has inked a deal with Tyra Banks to keep "America's Next Top Model" on the air through the 2009-10 season, with the show heading back to New York after the upcoming season. In addition, the CW will kick off its fall schedule Sept. 18 with the two-hour premiere of "Beauty and the Geek." Meanwhile, Lauren Cohan will join the returning series "Supernatural." MORE

July 16
Lear show, Seinfeld stint set for NBC

By Nellie Andreeva
A month and a half into his tenure, NBC entertainment chief Ben Silverman is shaking things up at the network. At his coming-out party during NBC's portion of the Television Critics Assn.'s summer press tour Monday, Silverman made a flurry of announcements, including several scheduling moves and major comebacks. MORE

July 15

Women becoming force on USA
By Andrew Wallenstein
Alicia Witt is joining the squad of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," the drama series moving from NBC to USA Network in the fall. The casting is one of many programming announcements made Sunday by NBC Universal's cable stable at the Television Critics Assn.'s final cable session. MORE

CNN, Discovery in 'Peril'
By Andrew Wallenstein
An upcoming CNN documentary on environmental dangers will get an unprecedented second window on Discovery Networks, the 24-hour news channel disclosed Sunday at its Television Critics Assn. session at the Beverly Hilton. MORE

2nd 'X-Files' pic is close
By Kimberly Nordyke
The "X-Files" film sequel is heating up. Co-star David Duchovny indicated Saturday during the Television Critics Assn. press tour at the Beverly Hilton that the film, which has been the subject of speculation for the past few years, is one step closer to becoming a reality. MORE

Digest: Skinny on Star Jones
Staff reports
Star Jones futilely attempted to steer clear of controversy Sunday during the Television Critics Assn.'s press tour at the Beverly Hilton, where she was promoting her self-titled new Court TV talk show. MORE

Disney sings along with 'High School Musical 2'
By Kimberly Nordyke
Disney Channel has big plans for the debut weekend of "High School Musical 2," including interactive viewer chats with the stars and a sing-along telecast. In addition, the original movies "Minutemen" and "Camp Rock" are going into production for a 2008 premiere, while "The Cheetah Girls 3" is set to go into production early next year. MORE

Showtime orders Spielberg's 'Tara'
By Kimberly Nordyke
Showtime has given a pilot order to "The United States of Tara," a single-camera comedy from Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Television centered on a mother with multiple-personality syndrome. MORE

July 13

E! eyes Snoop for reality series
By Barry Garron
Snoop Dogg and his family are getting their own reality series on E! Entertainment Television. The rapper-producer-actor, his wife and his three kids will be the subject of an untitled half-hour series debuting in late 2007. Cameras will follow Snoop Dogg -- aka Calvin Broadus Jr. -- as he pursues his career, taking viewers into closed-door meeting and private recording sessions. MORE

Producers play for time in strike watch
By Barry Garron
As the clock ticks down to the Oct. 31 expiration of the writers' contract, the producers are playing for time. About two to three years would be nice, NBC's Marc Graboff and Warner Bros.' Bruce Rosenblum said Friday. That's how long it will take to understand consumer behavior and formulate a new business model in the face of the digital revolution, they told TV critics. Graboff, representing the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, said NBC and other networks are preparing for the possibility of a WGA strike. MORE

DiCaprio series at Discovery
By Kimberly Nordyke
Discovery Communications has partnered up with Leonardo DiCaprio on an environment-focused series that will help launch the company's new Planet Green channel. The 13-part series, "Eco-Town," will chronicle the rebuilding of the small town of Greensburg, Kan., which was devastated by a tornado May 4. The town, which has more than 1,500 residents, will be rebuilt as a "sustainable model of eco-living and one that will save it from future environmental catastrophe." MORE

Blogger Perez Hilton mingling with VH1

By Kimberly Nordyke
It looks like VH1 is getting into business with celebrity blogger Perez Hilton. The network, whose programming tends to center on pop culture and music, is believed to be ordering six hourlong episodes of a series tentatively titled "What Perez Says," but it's understood that the details about the show are still being work out. Hilton (aka Mario Lavandeira) let the news slip Friday morning during an appearance on ABC's "The View." MORE

July 12
HBO stays the course sans Albrecht
By Andrew Wallenstein and Nellie Andreeva
Don't expect big changes from HBO without Chris Albrecht at the helm, his replacements pledged Thursday at the network's Television Critics Assn. presentation. Co-president Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo, president of the programming group and West Coast operations, are staying the course set by Albrecht, who was ousted in May. "I consider Chris a friend, and it's been a very difficult transition with him not being with the company," Lombardo said. "The genius of Chris was he assembled an unbelievable group of programmers who all remain. It feels like we are just continuing to do the work we have been doing." MORE

Lifetime gets real; O'Donnell on 'Nip/Tuck'

By Kimberly Nordyke
Lifetime Television is launching a new Friday night reality programming block in October that will include returning series "Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead" and new series "America's Psychic Challenge." Meanwhile, the July 24 premiere of "Damages," FX's new drama starring Glenn Close, will run commercial-free thanks to a sponsorship from Cadillac. FX also confirmed that Rosie O'Donnell will return to "Nip/Tuck." The announcements were made Thursday during the Television Critics Assn.'s summer press tour at the Beverly Hilton. MORE

'Listen' first of 30 Hallmark originals
By Kimberly Nordyke
Hallmark Channel said Thursday that it is ramping up its original movie production, inking development and/or production deals with such producers as Gerald W. Abrams, Orly Adelson and Dan Wigutow. The network announced during its portion of the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour at the Beverly Hilton that its 2008 lineup will include 30 original movies, the largest-ever development slate of original telefilms in network history. The first movie of the new slate, "When You Listen," executive produced by Abrams and starring Tom Bosley, is in preproduction for a premiere date of 9 p.m. Jan. 5. MORE

July 11
PBS answers call for more 'War' Latinos
By Barry Garron
The war over "The War" is over and a truce has been declared. After pointed criticism by Latino groups that the much-awaited documentary on America during World War II made too little mention of Latino contributions, exec producer Ken Burns added nearly a half-hour of new material. "We honored what was legitimate about their concerns," Burns said during the PBS portion of the Television Critics Assn.'s summer press tour at the Beverly Hilton. "We've done more than we were asked or expected to," he said. "We were planning to add additional stories before this was a controversy." MORE