BEVERLY HILLS, CA–It was loud, crowded and hot at Monday night’s NBCUniversal press tour party. Thank you, NBCUniversal!
Stars from new and returning NBC shows were bussed to the boisterous press tour party at The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel on S. La Cienega Blvd, a couple of miles east of the press tour hotel. The SLS is a hip, happenin’ boutique hotel; very Austin Powers. The Bazaar is known for its eclectic eats, with these crazy little puff pastry mini Philly cheese steak sandwiches calling at you from silver trays. The chunks of lobster mixed with raspberries in a little tin tray is pretty darn tasty, too. If my son back home is reading this, the K-D is in the cupboard; ignore the expiration date.
NBC put the emphasis on fun over record-ability. The Bazaar is a meandering place, dark and noisy, not especially conducive to recording actors talking about their new TV shows and being able to hear an interview when you play it back later. Still, what the hell, good times.
There was a booth set up where you could make your own flip book (a camera recorded you for seven seconds and then spat out a thick pad of photo animation), embed yourself in a Playboy Club poster or get a temporary Playboy bunny tattoo. Some shameless reporters actually took part in such shenanigans.
Spotted new Office recruit James Spader and managed to get into a tight little scrum with the dude. Very friendly and accommodating. Wrote the chat up for the Toronto Star, it will appear in Wednesday’s paper. The dude seemed jollier and more relaxed than his last press tour appearance.
Three of his co-stars were making with the Charlie’s Angels pose, even though that show is on another network. Tsk tsk.
Chevy Chase was in the house, as was his old boss Lorne Michaels. Will Arnett was there with his wife Amy Poehler, as well as Joel McHale and other cast members from Community. Mark Valley, late of Human Target, was spotted in the crowd. He’s been re-assigned to kill off Harry’s Law. Lauren Graham and Peter Krause made the scene just to let critics know Parenthood was still on the air. There was also plenty of talent from new NBC shows The Playboy Club, Prime Suspect, Whitney, Up All Night, Free Agents and Grimm.
A guy out on the outdoor wrap-a-round smoking section was making and handing out cigars. Not too shabby.
That’s where the guys from Chuck were hanging. Zachary Levi seemed to be having a hell of a good time. The Community cast, including happy kids Danny Pudi and Gillian Jacobs, pretty much closed the joint. Even John Goodman (new to Community next season as the assistant Dean), made the scene. Two tall women dressed in black wearng large feathers and palm leaves on their heads added a Twin Peaks touch.
Afterwards a carload or two were invited to an impromptu post-party-party at a famed Beverly Hills watering hole. Surprise surprise, Lorne Michaels beat us to the place.
Bottom line, NBC pushed their party vibe to a Fox level and beyond. Post-Zucker, the Peacock is alive and well.
|Parenthood pair Lauren Graham and Peter Krause with NBC CEO Greenblatt|