Tom Selleck a Class Act at TCA

Tom Selleck (left) with Blue Bloods co-star Donnie Wahlberg

BEVERLY HILLS, CA–Television is ever obsessed with youth. The emphasis is always on the pursuit of younger stars, younger viewers. Once you age outside the 18-49-year-old demo, aloha.
So stop and think about this: the biggest star in the giant CBS press tour tent party Wednesday night turned 65 in January. He left the demo 16 years ago–not that you’d know it by looking at him.
Tom Selleck is one of those A-List TV stars who never wears out his welcome–with viewers or with press.
While other big name stars walked the CBS/CW/Showcase red carpet Wednesday night, turned tail and headed straight back to the limo, skipping the press party (yes you, David Duchovny), Selleck strode in and stayed. Parked at a table at the far end of the impromptu venue (a tented enclosure set up and nicely dressed on the Beverly Hilton parking lot), he welcomed reporters one at a time. There was no pushing or shoving, just a friendly publicist calmly keeping order. The individual chit chat gave everybody some face time with the very accessible and gracious star.
Selleck works these events but you never resent him for it. He brings two suits, one for the day session and one for the night party. He effortlessly slips in references to other projects (especially his Jesse Stone films, which he also produces) and makes sure to spread the credit around to his producers and costars. He’s warm, professional, courteous, but also self effacing and humble, very mid-west in his manner.
And direct; he has no problem telling you why he didn’t want to shoot his new CBS series Blue Bloods in Toronto, as was once considered. The cop drama is set in New York and had to be shot there, Selleck insisted.

Selleck with CSI: NY’s Sela Ward and CBS CEO Les Moonves

He also dished up some pretty good stories. His full account of how he missed out on playing Indiana Jones was tossed away at his post-session scrum but had everyone leaning in. Read all about that and more at the Canadian press article I filed today on Selleck here.
He lit up when asked about Halifax, Nova Scotia, where the Jesse Stone films are shot. Selleck says he doesn’t rent a house while working there, he just bunks at a hotel. “If I have a 15 hour day,” he says,”I just kinda want room service.”
I asked Jim Belushi, also at the CBS bash (he’s starring on Vegas-based law drama The Defenders with Jerry O’Connell), what the deal was with Selleck. “The guy is all about class,” says Belushi. “He’s just a classy, classy guy.” Exactly right.

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