At NBC's executive press tour session this morning, network chairman Bob Greenblatt referred to "Smash" as "an unqualified success." When I asked him to qualify the success of a show that replaced its creator with a new showrunner, got rid of several castmembers, hired several new ones, is changing the stories and otherwise undergoing a significant creative revamp, Greenblatt insisted, "I can't qualify unqualified success."
During the last golden age of NBC — so long ago that Warren Littlefield may have come on stage wearing an onion on his belt, which was the style at the time — the network's presidents made an artform of filibustering their way through each press tour executive session, pummeling the press into submission with statistics and graphs and charts demonstrating NBC's unquestioned dominance in primetime, late night, mornings and possibly day-parts that had yet to be invented. It was their way to brag, but also to drain our spirits so we wouldn't have the energy to pounce on the network's few weak spots from the mid-'90s through the early '00s.
NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt didn't quite pull off that trick during his first press tour session since the network's return from the abyss, but his introductory remarks were significantly longer than they've been of late, featured lots of numbers illustrating NBC's success in the fall, and may or may not have ended with Greenblatt dropping the mic before taking our questions.
The "Cougar Town" cast and producers arrived at press tour with a clear message: Same show, same (easily mocked) title, new network — and a network that seems much more supportive than the old one.
It's that time once again, boys and girls, for Dan, Liane and I get to camp out at the happiest place on earth: the Television Critics Association press tour!
Happy New Year from your friends at Firewall & Iceberg Podcast! On our first show of 2013 — and our last before the start of the mid-season TV critics press tour — Dan and I review a bunch of new and (mostly) returning series, including "Downton Abbey," "Justified" and "Cougar Town." The lineup:
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A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as my butcher looks at me like I have leprosy...
A quick review of last week's "Doctor Who" Christmas special coming up just as soon as I am a lizard woman from the dawn of time, and this is my wife...
Happy almost New Year, everybody! As you know, I took last week off to hang with my family (and eat a disturbing amount of milk chocolate in the wilds of Hershey, PA), but now I'm back to prep for the start of the Television Critics Association winter press tour, which kicks off on Thursday night.
I'll have a quick post on the "Doctor Who" Christmas special up shortly, but first I wanted to link to various TV-related things — some co-written by me, some not — that ran on HitFix in my absence, for anyone who was also away last week but has some time today before 2012 goes away: