Cable Networks Line Up to Present at TCA


THE PROGRAMMING INSIDER

Thursday, July 30, 2009

 

LIVE FROM THE SUMMER TELEVISION CRITICS ASSOCIATION PRESS TOUR IN PASADENA, CA

 

The 2009 TCA Summer Press Tour:

Welcome Back to Pasadena

 

On the Cable Menu:

MTV, History Channel, National Geographic, ESPN, Starz, BBC America

 

Press Tour Tidbits:

Notes of Interest

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The 2009 TCA Summer Press Tour:

Welcome Back to Pasadena

 

It has been awhile. But after three consecutive summers at the famous Beverly Hilton Hotel in sunny Los Angeles, this year’s location for the slimmed down two-week Television Critics Association (TCA) Summer Press Tour is picturesque Pasadena at the re-christened Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa (formerly The Ritz-Carlton). Anyone who has stayed there knows how luxurious it is. A dressed-up burger and fries would probably set you back thirty some-odd bucks. A steak…fuggetaboutit! But, in today’s economy, the over-indulgence of yesteryear is likely to be replaced by a more subdued network presence at the TCA. As for Pasadena in August, better have a portable fan handy! 

 

For those of you who don’t know what the Press Tour is, it is a bi-annual (winter and summer) gathering of about 200 critics across the country who arrive en masse for a series of panels and discussions featuring the talent and behind-the-scenes forces of all of the new and some of the returning series. Ten years ago I was one of the few (if not the first) person blogging from the event. Now, the glut of laptops cluttering the ballroom is truly maddening (and, no doubt, distracting to the people speaking on the panels). The majority of people in attendance type away at rapid speed as the panelists speak, trying to top one another. But as I always say, The Press Tour is a truly valuable tool that I personally hope continues years into the future. 

 

As always, I will devote The Programming Insider for the remainder of this week and next mainly to the Summer Tour, with the real scoop on what looks hot, what looks mediocre, and what is expected to fade to oblivion sooner than the networks would like to admit. You can also listen to my daily commentary via PIPodcast at www.marcberman.tv or head to Mediaweek.com for the daily tidbits and on-air coverage from my colleague Alan Frutkin and myself. Today and tomorrow is cable only; next week I delve into the real meat of the tour, broadcast television, beginning with CBS.

 

As a reminder, all regular sections of The Programming Insider — Prime-Time Metered Market Ratings, Ratings Box, TV Tidbits and TV Trivia Time — will return on Monday, August 17. On that note, let’s get started…LIVE FROM THE SUMMER TELEVISION CRITICS ASSOCIATION PRESS TOUR IN PASADENA, CA it’s the Programming Insider. On the Wednesday agenda: MTV, History Channel, National Geographic Channel, ESPN, Starz, BBC America and a screening on HBO. 

 
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Press Tour Tidbits:

Notes of Interest
 

-Coming Up on FX:

FX has ordered 13 episodes of a new scripted drama called Lawman, featuring Timothy Olyphant (Damages) as a modern day 19th century law enforcer covering the town he grew up in. It premieres in spring 2010.

 

-The President Endorses Lopez Tonight:

Critics were buzzing on day one of the Summer Press tour about a promo for George Lopez’ upcoming late night talk show, Lopez Tonight, on TBS featuring President Barack Obama. The comedian worked on the Obama campaign and the President returned the favor. But will Obama make an appearance on the talker, which debuts in November? Stay tuned.

 

-SYTYCD and Glee Get Early Premiere Date:

Fox will not be presenting at the Summer Press Tour until Aug. 6. But the network has announced that the first fall edition of reality/competition So You Think You Dan Dance and the new musical drama Glee will launch on Wednesday, Sept. 9 (instead of the previously announced Sept. 16).