TCA Press Tour 2010: Day Four Highlights

PASADENA, Calif.–Fox crams a lot of fun into press tour, so much that it is best to just run the photos with fat captions. Otherwise I’ll miss the shuttle to the Fox party, taking place tonight at the Villa Sorriso in Pasadena’s charming Old Town district.
The day started with a Bones breakfast. Nothing says bacon, eggs and orange juice like a forensic crime show. The Fox set dressers set the tone by placing big and little skeletons around the room. Haven’t seen such a bone-thin room since the last CW party.
Talked hockey with Bones‘ lead David Boreanaz, ‘natch. Waddaya mean Philly doesn’t have a goalie, he protested, insisting Emery will be awesome once he’s 100% Tell the fans in Ottawa.
Bones’ Canadian showrunner Hart Hanson (surrounded by hard-working reporters, above) was in the house, as was Emily Deschanel (a girl who need not fear the hi-def camera) and John Francis Daley. The cast all have to act six years younger for the upcoming 100th episode, which is set before the storyline of the pilot, providing a hint or two about Bones’ and Booths’ wariness for each other. It will air in April.
A cool new series, Human Target, was showcased next. It stars Mark Valley (Boston Legal) and Chi McBride (Pushing Daisies) and is a comic book adventure series about a kick ass protector dude. Another actor, Jackie Earle Haley, plays a spy or the spy dude’s pal or something. He is bald in real life but wears a shaggy wig and a big ‘stache and in costume for this series reminds me of a guy who was once editor of TV Guide Canada.
Anyway, somebody thought it was a good idea to set up a portable target gallery out in the Langham Hotel and Spa parking lot. You could go out there and shoot a Walther pistol, a James Bond gun. I did it and it was OK, I hit the target more or less. Executive producer McG had a go and was very into the whole gun thing, I’ll post a video on that in an upcoming post.
More fun would have been if Fox had somehow signed Conan O’Brien, and he could have gone out to the parking lot and shot up photos of Jay Leno, or Jeff Zucker, or the NBC peacock. No such luck.
Fox then had a session for a new show called Code 58. Bradley Whitford is in it but looks nothing like the sharp young political op from The West Wing thanks to a porn ‘stache that makes him look a bit like Gene Hackman from the `60s. Colin Hanks co-stars and is starting to look more and more like his dad, Tom Hanks.
Brampton, Ontario’s own Tyler Labine (Reaper) was up next in the Fox mid-season comedy Sons of Tucson. Labine and I bonded later at the Fox party, with him reminiscing about the giant water slide that used to be at Brampton Shopper’s World. He lived in Brampton until he was 13 and then followed his family to the West Coast. This is his 48th TV show in the last six years or something. A nice guy, his cap may be crooked, but his head is screwed on right.
One of the kids from Malcolm in the Middle, Justin Berfield (left), who played Reese, is an executive producer on Sons of Tucson. This just seemed to piss off critics, who feel old enough already. The damn kid is 23! WTF?? Executive producer Todd Holland, who also directed much of Malcolm, said he noticed young Berfield was always paying attention while the other Malcolm kids were always screwing around but still.
Next up was Fox execs Reilly and Rice, who packed the room with their Simon Cowell stunt (see post below). You can tell Reilly really wants his pal Conan O’Brien at the network. He’ll have to work through some affiliate clearances but it’s gonna happen. O’Brien joked again Monday night about how he’s been screwed around by his network (“NBC is expected to lose $200 million on the Winter Olympics next month. Is it just me or is that story hilarious?”).
There was an “Animation Domination Take Away Lunch in the foyer of the Huntington ballroom, with a can of Flaming Moe soda in every bag. Why is it the cool stuff can never be taken back across the border?
John Walsh was in the house later for an “America’s Most Wanted 1000th Episode Break,” which was celebrated with dozens of tasty AMW cup cakes. I don’t have a joke here, but feel free, that is what the comment tab is for.
The press conferences part of the Fox day ended with a jam-packed session for 24, which is back for an eighth season. The whole cast was on hand, including Kiefer Sutherland, Cherry Jones, back as the president, and newcomers Freddie Prinze Jr. and Mykelti Williamson. Prinze plays a guy who kidnaps Scooby Doo or something. The season is set in New York and they had hot dog stands with “New York Gets Jacked” flyers on them at the back of the banquet room. Mets and Yankees baseball caps with “24” instead of “NY” on the front were passed out to critics. There were plenty of Mets caps left over.
Kiefer was his usual impressive and professional self, surrounded as ever by scribes after the session. He says he got to play hockey in a celebrity charity game in Boston the day after the televised Fenway Park NHL outdoor game New Year’s Day, which was very cool, he says. Among the former NHLers on the ice was former Philly goon Dave “The Hammer” Schultz. The Canadians in the scrum had a moment.

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