Credit: The CW

Press Tour 2012 Live-Blog: The CW Executive Session with Mark Pedowitz

Expect updates on 'The Selection' and possibly 'Battle Royale' and more

BEVERLY HILLS - It's time for the last of the network executive sessions from the Television Critics Association press tour.


Click through to see what Mark Pedowitz has to say about the network's present and future...

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<p>This was Nina Tassler at the CBS Upfronts presentation in May.</p>

This was Nina Tassler at the CBS Upfronts presentation in May.

Credit: CBS

Press Tour 2012 Live-Blog: CBS Executive Session with Nina Tassler

CBS is still TV's most watched network, so expect resting on laurels

BEVERLY HILLS - The combination of a late night for the Television Critics Association -- we presented our awards -- plus CBS' relative paucity of new programming has led to a late-ish start on Sunday, July 29.

It's also likely to lead to yet another relatively uneventful Executive Session with CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler.

Click through for the celebration of CBS' continued place as TV's most-watched network. And more...

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<p>This is how John Landgraf looked in January at press tour. No clue what his facial hair will be like today...</p>

This is how John Landgraf looked in January at press tour. No clue what his facial hair will be like today...

Credit: FX

Press Tour 2012 Live-Blog: FX Executive Session with John Landgraf

Charlie Sheen talk, plus any give announcements from Saturday's TCA fun

BEVERLY HILLS - Because FX is always good at filling our Television Critics Association press tour days with news and content, I'm always happy to treat John Landgraf's executive sessions the same way I would treat a network executive session. I can't say the same for most cable execs.

Click through to see what Landgraf had to say about the network's Charlie Sheen experiment and any other topics of relevant conversation...

8:32 a.m. As previously announced, "Sons of Anarchy" will return on September 11. "American Horror Story," "The League" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" will be back in October.

8:32 a.m. Landgraf is happy with the network's recent performance. Everything is up. 

8:33 a.m. FX isn't going to make a decision on the back-90 for "Anger Management." But if the Back-90 is picked up, Martin Sheen will join the cast as a regular.

8:34 a.m. "Louie" has been renewed for a fourth season. WOOT! No announcement on "Wilfred" but Landgraf is "very optimistic." There's also no pickup for "The Americans," starring Keri Russell, but he's positive on the pilot.

8:35 a.m. FX is ordering a pilot  for "The Bridge" based on the Danish format.

8:36 a.m. FX has also ordered seven more episodes of "BrandX with Russell Brand" to premiere in the fall along with "Sunny" and "The League." Landgraf is happy with the show's creative growth, but he promises there will be creative changes.

8:37 a.m. Lastly: Landgraf wants the producers of streaming shows to come up with a meaningful apples-to-apples way of announcing the show's ratings. He wants "fair benchmarking." Heh. Landgraf wants to go to war with Netflix.

8:39 a.m. Landgraf stands by calling "American Horror Story" a miniseries. "No, I wasn't surprised," he says of the categorization. He tells us what we already knew: The second season of "AHS" takes place in the '60s in New England at a sanitarium run by the Catholic Church. He calls it "unbelievably scary."

8:40 a.m. Landgraf thinks "Wilfred" has "a many-year future on the network." They still have some "deal issues to work out." Regarding "Justified," he predicts a run of "at minimum six seasons."

8:41 a.m. He would love to find another Louis C.K. to do a "Louie"-esque shows. The network has gotten calls from a number of people thinking they could do something similar. He references that Jim Jeffries of "Legit" is a writer and actor, but he's not a filmmaker, so they have a team of three people doing the job that Louis CK does by himself. "'Louie' is great because Louis is great, but it's also great because it's a completely unvarnished show," he says.

8:43 a.m. What's the story with "Powers"? Chick Eglee is still doing the rewrite and he's written future episodes as well with a staff. If they elect to move forward, they'll start from scratch. "I think there's a possibility that some original cast members may return," Landgraf says, referencing that Jason Patric wants to look at those future scripts.

8:44 a.m. FX is hoping to launch two more dramas in the next year and he hopes the network can get to six or seven dramas on the air. The network's goal has been to concentrate on comedy for a couple years. "Now we're turning back to drama. I'm excited about that," he says. Currently FX only has three dramas. So... That's a lot of work. The late-night business is also a priority, though it will take "patience and stead-fastness."

8:46 a.m. FX has a big war-chest for theatrical releases and off-network pick-ups, but the network wants to be "masters of our own fate," rather than bidding up the cost on networks. It's easier to be masters with movies than with off-network shows. 

8:50 a.m. Is Landgraf happy with "Anger Managment" creatively? And why isn't FX picking up the back-90 now? Landgraf says that he is, indeed, happy with the creative direction of the show. He's excited that Martin Sheen's addition will make it "a multi-generational family show." He promises "Anger Management" will still deal with Charlie's relationships and his patients. "As with any comedy, I think it has more growth in it creatively," he says. He knows that we didn't love it, but he thinks our mistake was in comparing it to other FX comedies. "But with due respect, I think it's fair comparison is really to 'Two and a Half Men' and 'Two Broke Girls' and 'Mike & Molly' and other multi-camera shows," he says. The lack of pickup is based on FX's conservative nature. He calls the odds "overwhelming" that it will be renewed.

8:53 a.m. FX is really unhappy with the numbers Netflix is giving people. "Look, Netflix could tell you how many people watch each episode of 'Lillyhammer' if they wanted to," Landgraf argues. "They have more data than we do," Landgraf says. He wants us to demand "apples to apples" comparison to find out how many people watched shows in their totality on average. "There's a little bit fuzziness in the math of some of what's going on," Landgraf gripes, saying that if Netflix and Hulu are going to be at TCA, they should be giving us real numbers.

8:55 a.m. "I don't know if there is a better way... I wish there were a better way," Landgraf says of ways to prevent the recent DirecTV fracas. He observes that 95 percent of the time, the system doesn't break down, but sometimes it does.

8:58 a.m. A reporter points out that Netflix isn't in an apples-to-apples business with FX. Landgraf reframes it by saying that we should want accurate ratings as a service to our readers. He thinks it helps us. He keeps insisting he has enormous respect for Netflix, but he has no idea how many people watch pieces of Netflix programming. "They have a different business model, but there's something in common to everybody's business model, which is that we all want to develop hit programming." Landgraf says.

9:01 a.m. Has FX had situations where they felt that creative freedom went too far? Landgraf says he's had big fights with Ryan Murphy on "Nip/Tuck." He says he's not going to substitute his taste or aesthetic judgment for that of the showrunner. He also says he had massive fights with the "Rescue Me" on the controversial rape and admits that seven years on, today, he might specifically prevent the "Rescue Me" guys from doing that scene. He references at least one "Louie" episode that had to be trimmed. "We just have this inherent inclination towards letting people make their shows," he says. He wants FX shows to feel hand-crafted, rather than like something from a factory or IKEA.

9:06 a.m. Landgraf thinks that FX could get to 20 original shows plausibly, but the network has no aspiration to fill primetime with all-owned-and-original programming. 

9:07 a.m. Why don't Emmy voters like "Sons of Anarchy"? "The show is grungy and blue collar and violent and profane sometimes, although you might say that 'Breaking Bad' has those qualities too. I just think Emmy voters don't like it that much," Landgraf says. "I don't see the Emmys, at this point, giving it any recognition."

9:08 a.m. Landgraf wants to have programming to have balance between comedy. Comedy is cheaper. We know this. He references the "arms race" to make expensive dramas on cable, with HBO shows like "Game of Thrones" and "Boardwalk Empire" leading the way. FX dramas are losing money on an advertising basis. "I want us to always be active in both genres," he says.


That's all, folks...

<p>ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee</p>

ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee

Credit: ABC

Press Tour 2012 Live-Blog: ABC Executive Session with Paul Lee

Expect lots and lots of 'Modern Family' questions

BEVERLY HILLS - ABC started its Television Critics Association press tour day with the generally well-received "Nashville" before moving into Paul Lee's executive session. Perhaps the network was hoping to get in an extra 45 minutes of negotiations with the "Modern Family" cast?

Expect lots and lots and lots of questions about the "Modern Family" impasse. Click through to see how many.

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Watch: J.H. Wyman and Lance Reddick discuss the final season of 'Fringe'

Watch: J.H. Wyman and Lance Reddick discuss the final season of 'Fringe'

Which plotlines does the showrunner say definitely won't return?
SAN DIEGO - These are the last of my Comic-Con 2012 interviews from the "Fringe" press room.
You may already have noticed them on our video page, but I'm nesting them in this story, because I think they're both very good interviews.
Above, you'll see my conversation with solo showrunner J.H. Wyman. We have a good chat about how the show might have ended if FOX had asked them to do a 13-episode closer after Season 3 instead of after Season 4. I also like the part at the end where he discusses the plotlines that he knows the show won't be returning to in these last episodes. He didn't quite understand my question about harkening back to the pilot as they approach the finale, but that's OK. I think that some shows grow organically out of their pilots, while other shows just outgrow their pilots and move on. "Fringe" is in the latter category.
And below, you'll see my interview with Lance Reddick, in which he discusses his Comic-Con emotions and the specific kinds of roles he'll be looking for after "Fringe." He also talks a bit about what the final season will mean for his schedule, makeup-wise.
If you've missed them, you can also check out my Comic-Con interviews with Joshua Jackson, Anna Torv and John Noble.
"Fringe" will return to FOX on Friday, September 27, 2012.
Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 140

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 140

Dan and Alan talk TCA Press Tour, 'Breaking Bad' and more
Happy Whatever-Day-Today-Is, Boys & Girls!
It's time for our third straight mid-week installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
Two weeks ago, we were delayed by the start of Comic-Con. Last week, we were delayed for the Emmy nominations. And this week, we were delayed by the start of the Television Critics Association press tour and the challenging of finding the necessary pocket of recording time.
In this week's gabfast, we discuss the first four days of press tour, we answer a few pieces of Comic-Con-based mail and we offer this week's reviews of "Breaking Bad" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
Today's breakdown:
TCA Press Tour (00:00:00 - 00:40:30)
Comic-Con Listener Mail (00:41:25 - 00:49:40)
"Breaking Bad" (00:49:40 - 01:03:20)
"Buffy the Vampire slayer" (01:03:25 - 01:13:30)
<p>&quot;Revolution&quot; hits NBC's TCA press tour stage</p>

"Revolution" hits NBC's TCA press tour stage

Credit: NBC

Press Tour 2012: 'Revolution' producers talk questions, answers and allegory

A physicist has approved of the solution to the NBC drama's riddles
BEVERLY HILLS - The routine has been the same for several years now: The producers of a highly ambitious mythology-based TV series sit down at the Television Critics Association press tour and swear that their shows won't frustrate viewers like so many before.
The producers of "FastForward" swore they wouldn't be "Lost." The producers of "The Event" swore they wouldn't be "FlashForward." The producers of "Terra Nova" promised they wouldn't be "The Event." Etc. Etc. 
With that in mind, I'm pleased to report that the producers of NBC's "Revolution" not only swear that they know the answers to all of the show's questions, but they also swear that they're prepared to answer those questions.
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<p>Crystal the Monkey and NBC Chief Robert Greenblatt</p>

Crystal the Monkey and NBC Chief Robert Greenblatt

Credit: NBC

Press Tour 2012 Live-Blog: NBC Executive Session with Robert Greenblatt

Expect lots of optimism and a few mea culpas from NBC's chief

BEVERLY HILLS - NBC actually finished third for the 2011-2012 season. Well, NBC finished tied for third among adults 18-49 for the 2011-2012 season. That's the sort of optimism you can expect from NBC Entertainment Chief Robert Greenblatt when he meets with the Television Critics Association on Tuesday (July 24) morning at the Beverly Hilton.

Click through for the full live-blog...

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<p>Joshua Jackson</p>

Joshua Jackson

'Fringe' star Joshua Jackson talks Peter's evolution and the final season

Why wasn't he reduced to tears on the Comic-Con panel?
SAN DIEGO - Ah, Comic-Con interviews, the gift that keeps on giving.
You've already seen my Comic-Con interviews with Anna Torv and John Noble, which followed the emotional Hall H panel for FOX's "Fringe." At that panel, Torv and Jasika Nicole were moved to tears discussing the Astrid-heavy "Making Angels" episode from last season, setting off a chain reaction that left Lance Reddick choked up.
In the press room after the panel, Joshua Jackson and I discussed his lack of tears on the panel, but we also discussed his hopes for the fifth and final season of the FOX cult favorite, including a discussion of how Peter Bishop has evolved since the pilot.
Check out this interview and I think my interviews with Reddick and showrunner J.H. Wyman may be coming tonight.
"Fringe," of course, returns to FOX on Friday, September 28.
<p>The cast of &quot;Fringe&quot;</p>

The cast of "Fringe"

Credit: FOX

Press Tour 2012 Live-Blog: FOX's 'Fringe'

Has anything changed since the 'Fringe' cast was at Comic-Con last week?

BEVERLY HILLS - If it seems to you like I just live-blogged a "Fringe" final season panel just a day or two ago, you're close to right. 

It's only been eight days since the tear-filled "Fringe" farewell at San Diego's Comic-Con.

Now? It's time for "Fringe" to say good-bye to the Television Critics Association press tour. 

We won't cry.

Of course, we won't have Jasika Nicole on this panel to reduce everybody to tears.

Click through for the full report...

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