TCA 2012 SET VISIT: ABC’s Revenge

BEVERLY HILLS, CA–Called on the Graysons today in the Hamptons but they weren’t home. Damn–I wanted to borrow some Grey Poupon!
Actually, I was down in Manhattan Beach, south of Inglewood, with dozens of other TCA journalists as well as some international press. We were shuttled in to the Raleigh Studios soundstage where the ABC hit Revenge is produced.
The frothy prime time serial was one of the few hits from last season and is being moved into the old Desperate Housewives Sunday timeslot in September.
Critics got to roam all over the set while we waited for several cast members to arrive for interviews. The Graysons have quite a place, with a two story grand room, sweeping staircases and lavish outdoor gardens. What’s missing is a kitchen and bathrooms, which is going to hurt resale potential.

Bill Harris guests next season as Thurston Howell IV

ABC officials gave the green light to take photos up until the cast arrived and so everybody started snapping away. I think these set visit photo ops are “Blog Gold,” and so must ABC, but I can still hear TCA legend Tom Jicha dismissing these opportunities with, “What am I supposed to do–interview the furniture?”
People are curious though, I think, about what the set is really like when it comes to their favourite shows. This one is fairly elaborate, with plenty of fixtures like grand pianos and art work as well as fine furnishings. Knock on the walls and tap the floors and fireplaces and the marble and stone work is indeed hollow. It is all well faked, however, and everything looks very rich and well-to-do.  
Just the same, the place is one big vanilla smudge, the better to frame all the blood and guts shenanigans going on in the foreground. In that way it is not unlike the Beverly Hilton.

No cameras were allowed when the stars
arrived so here I am interviewing the furni-
ture earlier. Jicha would be so proud

Later, Port Perry, Ont.’s Emily VanCamp arrived along with Margarita Levieva (Amanda Clarke) and others. Levieva is about 11 months pregnant in real life and her character is still preggers on the show. Conspicuously missing was Madeliene Stowe, who plays Victoria, the matriarch of the Grayson family. So Victoria must be dead, said critics who’d seen the season-ending cliffhanger. Or is she? Ye gads the intrigue.
VanCamp wasn’t about to spill the beans on Stowe but she did say she was pretty stoked about Jennifer Jason Leigh joining the cast in season two as her character’s mom. The 26-year-old actress spent the early summer touring Japan, Australia and other regions promoting the series. She still managed to find some time to get back to Ontario and visit her family.
They must be very proud of her. She’s a lovely young woman, very down-to-earth and always so poised on these set visits. When you think of the success she’s had in such a short time–from obscurity to Everwood to Brothers & Sisters to Revenge–she could be Diva Vov Divadorf. Instead she’s the same as she wuz before she wuz–and that’s more impressive than any set.
Revenge returns Sept. 30 at 9 p.m. on ABC and Citytv.

This portrait of the nasty Grayson family hangs upstairs in a hallway. Had
this been Fox critics would have been magically inserted into this shot which
then would have been blasted to a zillion Facebook sites. Just sayin’.

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