PASADENA, CA–People have this impression of press tour as this non-stop party deal, just free booze and party snax and endless mingling with Paris, the cast of Glee and all the beautiful people of television. They probably get this impression from blog postings like this one.
For there are evening events throughout press tour, and the network publicists work hard to get as many of their stars as possible in front of all these critics. This press tour various things conspired against the effectiveness of this marketing strategy. A wicked flu bug or something whipped through the Langham hotel and by the last days of the tour this “Battan death march with cocktails” was starting to resemble an episode of that AMC series The Walking Dead. That’s one reason I skipped “The CW’s Kick-ass cocktail reception,” a chance to mingle with such so-called kick-ass stars as Maggie Q from Nikita, Aly Michalka from Hellcats and Nina Dobrev from The Vampire Diaries. I was pretty much walking dead by that stage of the tour and didn’t want to breathe all over these poor meatless slim-bots with their greatly reduced immunity systems. The other reason I skipped it was that it was “The CW’s Kick-ass cocktail reception.”
Anisha Nagarajan from Outsourced
More my speed was the party the night before featuring stars from the NBC Universal networks. NBC generally does a good job of delivering stars to their event and Thursday’s bash was no exception. Paris Hilton was everywhere (see earlier post) as were the Real Housewives of New York City and Beverly Hills, who were easy to spot because they didn’t quite look like TV stars plus they were dressed like whores. The cast of one of my favourite fall shows, Outsourced, was in the house and they were adorable. Calgary-native Rizwan Manji, Parvesh Cheena and Anisha Nagarajan were still pumped about getting to cut lose in an upcoming Bollywood number on the series, which is one of the network comedies moving past 10 p.m. in the coming weeks. The veteran in the group, Diedrich Bader, who has worked several series, says it is so refreshing to work with the Outsourced cast. They’re into it, they’re having fun and they all still can’t quite believe their good luck.
Tori & Dean. Yes again.
Kathy Bates, star of the new NBC courtroom drama Harry’s Law, was at the party, as was series creator David E, Kelley. Zachary Levi and the gang from Chuck worked the room, as did several cast members from critics’ fave Community. Saw Jason Ritter there, still promoting The Event, which limps back with a two-hour event in February. Lisa Kudrow kept the press tour Friends streak going, here to promote Who Do You Think You Are? Even NBC executives Jeff Gaspin, Angela Bromstad, Marc Graboff and Paul Telegdy made the scene. Talk about the walking dead. Chatted with Greg Daniels, who writes and produces The Office and Parks & Recreation. He had nothing but praise for Canadian-born writer/producer, Norm Hiscock, a Corner Gas grad who helps pen Parks.
Gleeks Morrison & Salling
Fox took critics off campus Tuesday to their All-Star party at Villa Sorriso in Pasadena’s “Old Town” district. The place was crammed with Glee kids, including always easy to spot tall dude Cory Monteith (still reveling in his Gemini hosting stint). Monteith and others had just come from shooting the special post Super Bowl episode of Glee, which features a performance of Michael Jackson’s Thriller; apparently it all takes place out on a football field. Saw Matthew Morrison, Jenna Ushkowitz, Mark Salling, Jayma Mays, Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr. and Mike O’Malley among the Glee tribe; was sorry to have missed Montrealer Jessalyn Gilsig after getting a load of her dress from the Fox media site photo bank. Stars from Bones, House, Raising Hope and new shows Breaking in and The Chicago Code worked the party, as did talent from FX shows Justified, Sons of Anarchy and new series Wildred. It was wild spotting the Anarchy biker dudes all spiffed up in their party duds.
A familiar face at the Fox bash was House creator and executive producer David Shore. London, Ontario`s second most successful writer (Shore always defers to Oscar-winner Paul Haggis) agreed when I suggested that there was something pretty damn compelling about seeing Lisa Edelstein pretty much bare ass naked in those first few House episodes this season. `You`re welcome,`said Shore. Like NBC, ABC crowded their party into the Langham hotel party room. The Monday night affair was limited to stars from their new shows.Jeri Ryan (the mid season medical drama Body of Proof) turned heads as always, as did V alien/Global network news anchor Morena Baccarin. Allison Janney was repping the upcoming comedy Mr. Sunshine, although star Matthew Perry was a no-show. Rachelle Lefevre took off her six-inch heels to chat about her Indiana Jones meets Grey’s Anatomy medical drama Off The Map. The Montrealer is always happy to take a bow for the short-lived Fox comedy Life on a Stick.