BEVERLY HILLS, CA–ABC had a typically packed press tour day Sunday. Like the other networks, their new shows are mostly headlined by familiar faces. Among the highlights:
Matthew Perry (right) was asked how he will break free of his Chandler Bing and movie persona with his new mid-season series, Mr. Sunshine. “Well, you can tell how successful the movies are by the fact that I’m here,” he deadpanned.
Perry plays the jackass boss of a hockey rink in the new series. He says he’s a nicer person in real life, especially in the last five years. Somebody asked what motivated him to become a nicer person. “If you want to find out the answer to that,” he said, “just pick up any newspaper from 1996.”
Perry came up with the idea for the series and wrote much of the pilot. Following the golden rule “write what you know,” Perry wrote about a jerk on the road to redemption. “That’s an interesting road for somebody to go on,” he says, “changing terrible behavior to being a better guy. So I knew if I wrote something, I would like that to be a component of it.”
Perry tried to make with the funny about the whole McPherson thing. “I had an interesting conversation a few months ago with some ABC people very high up,” he said. One of them told him the show would be a mid-season pick up. “I do not see him here today, as I look around.”
He went on to joke that newly appointed ABC president Paul Lee “has become my best friend.”
Press tour favourite Dana Delany (left) was back with a new ABC series, Body of Proof. The drama stars Delany as a top surgeon who becomes an autopsy investigator after getting in a car accident and losing some fine motor skills in her hand.
Life imitated art for Delany recently when she was forced rto have hand surgery of her own. Two weeks before shooting the Body of Proof pilot, she was involved in a car accident and broke two fingers. “I was in Santa Monica, 8:30 in the morning and I was hit by a bus making a left-hand turn — I was making a left-hand turn. Car was totaled, and I’m lucky to be alive.”
Delaney says that when she got out of her car, the bus driver said to her, “I know who you are. Can I have your autograph?”
Delany still had two fingers on her left hand bandaged together at Sunday night’s ABC party. Fortunately, she’s right-handed.
Michael Chiklis (right) is back on TV as the head of No Ordinary Family. The former star of The Shield plays a police sketch artist who takes a trip with his family into the jungle. When their small plane crashes in a river, they somehow emerge with superpowers.
Chiklis seemed a little touchy about comparisons with other recent superhero family projects. “It’s not The Incredibles, This is not Heroes,” he told critics. “This is No Ordinary Family.”