<p>James Van Der Beek and Krysten Ritter</p>
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James Van Der Beek and Krysten Ritter

Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

Press Tour: James Van Der Beek reflects on playing James Van Der Beek in ABC's 'Apartment 23'

'Dawson's Creek' star has found a way to laugh at himself
Although he'll always be best known as Dawson Leery (or maybe as Mox from "Varsity Blues"), James Van Der Beek has never shied from showing other sides of his personality, whether he was going dark for "Criminal Minds" or "The Rules of Engagement" or engaging in shades of self-parody for "Standing Still" or a series of FunnyorDie videos.
 
On ABC's cumbersomely censored "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23," Van Der Beek takes his winking screen persona to a logical extreme playing none other than James Van Der Beek, platonic best friend of Krysten Ritter's Chloe, the "b----" of the title.
 
At Tuesday's (January 10) Television Critics Association press tour panel for the April comedy,  the show's producers explained that they didn't really have a second choice for the role -- or a second choice for Chloe's celebrity pal -- if things hadn't worked out with Van Der Beek.
 
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<p>ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee</p>
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ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee

Credit: ABC

Press Tour '12 Live-Blog: ABC Executive Session with Paul Lee

Expect 'Work It,' 'Cougar Town' and 'Desperate Housewives' chatter

Will ABC have anything controversial or exciting to talk about at Tuesday (January 10) morning's Television Critics Association press tour panel?

Only one way to find out...

Click through for the full live-blog...

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<p>&nbsp;Kat McPhee</p>
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 Kat McPhee

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 111

Dan and Alan talk TCA press tour and review 'Rob,' 'Chelsea' and more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls! It's time for another installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, recorded with both Firewall and Iceberg sitting in the same hotel room in Pasadena.
 
WOO!
 
Unfortunately, as always seems to happen when we record in the same place, this podcast is a little quiet. I can't explain why.
 
Also unfortunately, I've got a head cold and there are a handful of times during the podcast that I simply wasn't able to be dainty and ladylike about blowing my nose.
 
Sorry.
 
Anyway, we talk a lot about press tour. And we review a slew of new shows, including comedic abominations "Rob" and "Chelsea" and the less-offensive "The Finder" and "Alcatraz."
 
Lots to talk about...
 
Here's this week's breakdown...
TCA Press Tour (00:00 - 31:15)
"Are You There, Chelsea?" (31:15 - 36:40)
"Rob" (36:45 - 41:50)
"The Finder" (43:10 - 50:20)
"Napoleon Dynamite" (50:20 - 55:40)
"Alcatraz" (55:45 - 01:05:00)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

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<p>&quot;The Nine Lives of Chloe King&quot;</p>
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"The Nine Lives of Chloe King"

Credit: ABC Family

Press Tour: 'Nine Lives of Chloe King' TV movie on the verge of development

Also, what's up with the 32 episode 'Switched at Birth' season?
ABC Family President Michael Riley took the Television Critics Association press tour stage on Monday (January 8) morning to talk about a fantastic summer for for his network, a summer that saw the launch of one major dramatic hit ("Switched at Birth") and at least one other dramatic success ("The Lying Game").
 
Naturally, I started the Q&A portion of the panel by asking about the summer's lone clear failure, "The Nine Lives of Chloe King."
 
I found "Chloe King" to be a properly frothy piece of summer counter-programming and many viewers agreed, but compared to "Switched at Birth" and "The Lying Game," the ratings weren't there and after only 10 episodes, "Chloe King" was cancelled. The pill was especially difficult to swallow, because the 10th episode of "Chloe King," what ended up being the series finale, contained at least a half-dozen cliffhangers and concluded with a daunting percentage of the main cast either seemingly dead, possibly dead or in some form of indeterminate limbo.
 
Regarding the cancelation, Riley said, "We never talk about canceling shows at ABC Family. We always make sure we air all of our productions, because for us, it's very much a long-term view. Obviously, we love all of our shows and 'Chloe King' is such a great example of just an amazing show. We loved the cast. We loved the writing in that show. For us, it was about making some decisions and we had to choose between what we thought was resonating stronger with the audience."
 
But wait! There's hope!
 
Riley added, "One of the things about 'Chloe King' is we loved and are on the verge of putting a movie into development, so us, we always look at the intellectual property that we're capitalizing on and making sure there's opportunities for even more storytelling."
 
Would that possible TV movie pick up immediately after the infuriatingly open-ended finale?
 
Riley said, "We are just looking at it in development now, so the hope is that it will obviously, we're just putting it into development, so the idea is very much to capitalize on the storytelling that's already been in place."
 
So that's "on the verge of in-development," y'all. That's not the same as "in development" and it's also not the same as the formal ordering of a telefilm, so don't necessarily get too, too excited. But at least it's cause for guarded optimism.
 
Meanwhile, on an unrelated side note, a reader asked me last week why "Switched at Birth" received an unweildy back-22 order, bringing its first season to 32 episodes spread into three segments. What was the reason for the larger-than-normal order?
 
Riley explained, "For us, as we greenlight shows, traditionally we'll open up the first season with 10 episodes and from there, in the event it's a success, we'll look to continue to increase those episodes. For us, e absolutely loved 'Switched at Birth' and wanted to get as many episodes as possible on air as quickly as possible, so really it's much more about loving a show and getting as much content as we can before everybody goes on hiatus."
 
So there you go.
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<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; team</p>
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The "American Idol" team

Credit: FOX

Press Tour '12 Live-Blog: 'American Idol'

Steven, J-Lo, Randy, Ryan and the 'Idol' team check in

Buckle in, boys and girls. It's time to hear from the "American Idol" team about why this year's crop of singers is the best crop ever and why "Idol" will continue to be TV's most popular show. 

Click through for the full live-blog, in which we may learn what the "Performance Challenge" episode is all about...

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<p>This was Kevin Reilly at last July's TCA press tour. He still looks like this.</p>
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This was Kevin Reilly at last July's TCA press tour. He still looks like this.

Credit: FOX

Press Tour '12 Live-Blog: FOX Executive Session with Kevin Reilly

Expect 'Terra Nova,' 'Fringe' and 'House' buzz from FOX's entertainment chief

Our FOX TCA Day began with a "Touch" panel which was really about "24" and "Heroes."

Then we moved on to "Alcatraz," which was really a panel about "Lost."

Now? It's time for FOX Entertainment President Kevin Reilly, who I assume will only be asked about his time running NBC.

Click through...

11:08 a.m. Kevin Reilly begins his panel by announcing that he's actually going to be watching the Falcons-Giants game on his phone throughout. Sepinwall looks jealous.

11:09 a.m. FOX is going to be debuting a Saturday "alternative animated" late-night block. Like Adult Swim only on FOX.

11:11 a.m. The animation announcement successfully preempted our question stream, keeping our initial questions from relating to "Fringe," "House" or "Terra Nova." Very tricky, FOX.

11:14 a.m. Interestingly, the digital chatter is still going. This is pretty impressive.

11:14 a.m. Finally our first fresh question. We're talking "House." "I think we've just been avoiding it. To be honest with you, it's hard to imagine the network without 'House,'" Reilly says. They've agreed to put off a decision until after the first of the year and they haven't had said meeting about the fate of the show yet. "Honestly, we simply haven't made the decision," Reilly insists. "Should this be the last season, it's not going to be an unceremonious  finish," Reilly says, adding that he hopes it's a decision they'll make it together.

11:16 a.m. "It could and that'll be their business," Reilly says on the possibility of "House" moving to NBC if FOX decides not to move forward. 

11:17 a.m. "We've done a good job of avoiding some of these big decisions until after the session," Reilly says of the future of "Terra Nova." He said, "It was an exciting bet to take" and he insists that "Terra Nova" worked and that "a distinct audience" stuck with the show and enjoyed it. "The fact is, if this is all we produced, we made money off it, the studio made money off it, the audience enjoyed it," Reilly swears.  He has focus group evidence that the show has a family audience. "I love the cast. I love some of the episodes. I love some of the ideas that were there," Reilly says, while also admitting that creatively, the show was "hunting." The problem is that FOX has fewer holes in its lineup. "It does need to get back into production over the next month," he hints.

11:20 a.m. Reilly is "thrilled" with "The X Factor" and the boost it gave FOX fall. "It's its own show. It's its own energy. It's its own spectacle," Reilly says, promising that there are changes coming, but Reilly doesn't know what they will be. Reilly wants to note that the hosting gig on a show like this is harder than meets the eye. "Whether Steve's the guy or not, it comes under the heading of 'growth in general,'" Reilly says.

11:21 a.m. And what about Ryan Seacrest's future on "Idol." "It's very hard to imagine the show without Ryan," Reilly says, calling this "a tough negotiation.

11:22 a.m. "That time has come and gone," Reilly says of the possibility of a "House" spinoff, but he notes that FOX isn't in such a desperate place that they need to keep the show alive in some form. 

11:23 a.m. Does Reilly have any concerns about market oversaturation regarding music talent shows? "I expect 'Idol' will be down this season," Reilly says, but he tells us not to read anything into that, emphasizing that it's just an 11-year-old show and shows like that drop. "There have been many 'Idol' stories that have been filed prematurely," Reilly says. He adds that until the audience gets bored, audiences aren't tired of the shows. "When the audience is bored, we'll know it's over," Reilly says. "There's no magic number, but you'll watch the trend line and you'll know."

11:26 a.m. Reilly thinks that "Dance" is still a creative tentpole for FOX's summer. "We wanted to get a few more shows on over the summer," Reilly explains, promising that audiences will like the new "So You Think You Can Dance" format.

11:28 a.m. RETRANS QUESTION! This is where I will nap during each executive session. 

11:29 a.m. What's up with "Allen Gregory"? "We will not be making any more 'Allen Gregorys,'" Reilly says, though he adds that FOX is hoping to make more shows with Jonah Hill. With "The Simpsons" reupping and a "Flintstones" reboot upcoming, FOX isn't worried about the occasional animation failure and he predicts that "Bob's Burgers" will go to "the next level" this season.

11:30 a.m. Did FOX blunder by benching "New Girl" for October? "I don't like ever taking a show off, but the reality is that in general, shows need to take hiatus during their life cycle." Reilly says. "We took a hit and 'Glee' took a hit," Reilly admits, while acknowledging that "Glee" is down double-digits this season. He says, though, that there's ample time for audiences to rediscover "New Girl" and "we're off to a hell of a start." He adds, "I'm really proud of the show" and refuses to apologize for the benching. "It's part of the high class problem we have."

11:33 a.m. Time for "Fringe" questions! "'Fringe' has been a point of pride. I share the passion for the show that the fans have," Reilly says. "It's vastly improved our Friday night," he adds. "The hesitation in my voice is that it's an expensive show. We lose a lot of money on that show," he says, while adding that FOX is not in the business of losing money. "Please don't start the letter-writing campaign. I can't take it," Reilly says, while adding that it's a decision they're going to have to make down the road and that discussions really haven't started.

11:36 a.m. Reilly likes FOX's NFL deal.

11:36 a.m. "Glee" spinoff talk? There will not be a "Glee" spinoff, but Ryan Murphy and company have an idea for how to follow the characters who are graduating within the show and he promises a cool end-of-season and fall. So "No 'Glee' spinoff. Trust in Ryan Murphy." Can you do that?

11:38 a.m. How is Reilly feeling about "I Hate My Teenage Daughter" and multi-cam comedy? Reilly is also determined to get back into the multi-cam game. "I Hate My Teenage Daughter" has six or seven episodes remaining and he swears that they'll air. He thinks that multi-cam comedies work best in pairs and they're hard to crack, but he points to CBS for evidence that audiences want to see them. "Think back: Not everybody in this room loved 'Big Bang Theory' when it first came on," Reilly says. "Don't pile on the shows so quickly when they're just hanging out there. I know some of them are just excruciatingly bad, but they're hard," Reilly says. 

That's it for Kevin Reilly, sports fans.

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<p>Laura Slade Wiggins of &quot;Shameless&quot;</p>
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Laura Slade Wiggins of "Shameless"

Credit: Showtime

HitFix Interview: Laura Slade Wiggins talks 'Shameless'

'Shameless' co-star talks about playing Showtime's sex-addicted teen
While going through audio files for the recently started January Television Critics Association press tour, I stumbled upon a brief interview I did back at July's press tour with "Shameless" co-star Laura Slade Wiggins.
 
"Shameless" was early in production on its second season when we spoke, meaning that I couldn't ask specific questions about where things were heading, but Wiggins' Karen had a plenty eventful first season.
 
We were introduced to Karen as the sunny daughter of Joan Cusack's Sheila, but as the season progressed, we realized that what appeared to just be a sexual fetish triggered by math and physics instruction was actually part of a full-blown and increasingly self-destructive addiction that led to a truly unfortunate webcam encounter with William H. Macy's Frank. As with the rest of the "Shameless" cast, Wiggins was asked to walk the line between dark comedy and wounded pathos, sometimes within the same scenes, a  blending of tones that had already confused Emmy voters, who unveiled their nominations shortly before this conversation.
 
I now know that Season 2 brings more of the same for Karen, as she tries to tame her sexual demons in the appropriately dysfunctional "Shameless" ways.
 
Click through for the interview...
 
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<p>Josh Lucas of &quot;The Firm&quot;</p>
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Josh Lucas of "The Firm"

Credit: NBC

Press Tour: NBC's 'Firm' team goes on the plot-hole defensive

The answers to your potential Josh Lucas drama quibbles...

 John Grisham's "The Film" and the subsequent Sydney Pollack film were viewed as a beach read and a consummate piece of popcorn entertainment and both were approached with only the most casual eye toward logic or accuracy. 

 
Somehow, though, the team behind NBC's new "10 years later..." series follow-up to "The Firm" arrived at the Television Critics Association press tour on Friday (January 6) morning and faced a slew of logistical and narrative questions that boiled down to variations on the "What the heck sense does...mean?"
 
Fortunately, series developer and executive producer Lukas Reiter was prepared to enter into a discussion on the salient points under contention.
 
Click through for Reiter and his stars' answers to some important questions. They do include some minor spoilers, but not of anything that that hasn't already been spoiled in NBC's teasers for the show. You can either check out the responses now, or perhaps on Sunday night after tuning in to the two-hour pilot.
 
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<p>NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt</p>

NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt

Credit: Showtime

Press Tour '12 Live-Blog: NBC Executive Session with Robert Greenblatt

Expect 'Community,' 'Smash' and 4th Place talk

PASADENA - After two-days of PBS, welcome to the "Let's Live-Blog Everything"  portion of the Television Critics Association January press tour. 

We're kicking things off with NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt, who's sure to get questions about the failure of "Prime Suspect," the benching of "Community" and the network's hopes for "Smash."

Click through for the minute-by-minute fun... 

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<p>Benedict Cumberbatch of &quot;Sherlock&quot;</p>
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Benedict Cumberbatch of "Sherlock"

Credit: PBS

Press Tour Shocker: Benedict Cumberbatch says nothing about 'Star Trek' role

'Sherlock' star says he's 'over the moon' about his casting
PASADENA - When news broke on Wednesday (January 4) afternoon that "Sherlock" star Benedict Cumberbatch had landed a key, but entirely undisclosed, role in J.J. Abrams' upcoming "Star Trek" dozens of TV critics had the same thought: Sweet! We'll get no scoops whatsoever when Benedict Cumberbatch appears at the Television Critics Association press tour via satellite to promote the second season of his Arthur Conan Doyle series.
 
And we were correct!
 
Cumberbatch only received a question-and-a-half about his "Star Trek" casting, but his answers didn't even rise to the level of cryptic or evasive. 
 
So what did the "War Horse" and "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" scene stealer actually have to say about his highest profile film to date? 
 
Click through...
 
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