A quick review of tonight's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" coming up just as soon as I direct a "Silver Spoons" on 48 hours notice...
You know the "True Blood" deal by now: this post is here for people who want to talk about tonight's episode right away, while Leslie Gornstein will have a detailed recap up on our Monkeys as Critics blog a few hours from now.
So talk about Bill's big silver plan, Tommy and Sam's beef, Jessica's walk and more.
ABC president Paul Lee has had one of the longer free rides of any network executive in recent press tour memory. A year ago, he appeared before critics on literally his first day on the job and therefore couldn't answer any specific questions about programs he hadn't ordered, scheduling decisions that weren't his, etc. At the January press tour, he was still talking about shows that predecessor Steve McPherson had picked up, so we could talk a bit about scheduling, and about development for the following season, but that was it.
So the shows ABC brought to press tour this summer are the first that Lee gets sole credit and/or blame for, which led to a session (which Fienberg live-blogged) that was far busier and more contentious than either of his first two.
As I've often said, the night of the Television Critics Association Awards is my favorite of press tour. Lots of cool people on hand, shows we want to celebrate, and the ceremony itself is almost always memorable. Because (aside from one disastrous attempt on E! before I joined the tour) the ceremony isn't televised, it goes quickly, and the winners don't feel like they just have to read a laundry list of thank-yous, which tends to lead to speeches that are actually about what the work means to them.
I published the list of the winners last night, but here are some highlights from the ceremony itself:
Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose: "Friday Night Lights" was named Program of the Year at this year's Television Critics Association Awards.
"Friday Night Lights" won the night's biggest prize, but other shows honored tonight included "Parks and Recreation," "Mad Men," "Modern Family" and "Game of Thrones," among others.
"Sons of Anarchy" returns to FX on September 6, and based on both a screening of the season 4 premiere and comments made by creator Kurt Sutter and the cast at their press tour panel, I'm feeling much better about the series than I did for much of season 3.
FX screened "American Horror Story" for critics a few nights ago, and reaction was decidedly mixed. I'll wait until seeing a final cut of the pilot to offer a full review, but if you follow me on Twitter, you know that my initial reaction was that it was like season 3 of a Ryan Murphy show, in pilot form. If you've watched "Glee," "Nip/Tuck," etc. as they've gone along and grown more over-the-top, you know what I mean.
I'll be live-blogging the panel, which features most of the show's cast - including Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Jessica Lange and Denis O'Hare - as they talk about the haunted house series.
A quick review of tonight's "Torchwood: Miracle Day" - including thoughts on why I'm likely taking this season out of the review rotation going forward - coming up just as soon as I hear rumors of Phil Collins...
At last summer's press tour, critics appeared to smell blood in the water at FOX. For years, the network had followed a pattern of tanking in the fall, then roaring ahead to number one in the ratings almost entirely on the strength of "American Idol." But going into last season, "Idol" was an old show, one that had slipped in the Nielsens, and one that was about to reinvent its judging panel without Simon Cowell.
Instead, the J-Lo & Tyler-infused "Idol" was up in the ratings, FOX again easily won the season, etc., etc.
Still, that didn't stop the press from once again pointing at all the vulnerable spots on FOX's schedule at this summer's executive session. But it was hard to blame FOX entertainment president Kevin Reilly for taking on all the barbs with a "What, me worry?" attitude.
FOX's ratings this fall are going to depend almost entirely on the performance of a single show:Â "The X Factor,"Â the Simon Cowell-produced singing competition that is not in any way like "American Idol"Â except in the ways that it is. I'm already sick of the promotion for this show, but I'm fascinated to see if it can succeed in a world where "Idol"Â exists (as opposed to the U.K., where "Pop Idol"Â ended as "X Factor" was beginning), where NBC has already had success with the "X Factor"-ish "The Voice,"Â etc. So I'll be live-blogging this session as it goes along, to see just how confident Cowell, Paula Abdul, FOXÂ reality czar Mike Darnell and the rest of the panel come across while they have to talk about "The Voice,"Â the awkward departure of judge Cheryl Cole, and more.