Monday, July 17, 2006

Press tour, Day Three: Bloggity Blog Blog

Ok, I was just reading the blog of TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello (, and while I find him funny, at least I am not journaling my pee breaks. I initially wrote “and lunch menus,” but then I realized that yesterday I talked about breakfast, lunch and dinner, so let’s let go of the notion that I am not obsessed with food because I most certainly am.

That said, Rachael Ray’s mini-burgers at lunch yesterday were not that great, not to mention that they were hard to acquire what with the line and the constant running out of food. As I previously mentioned, however, the chocolate macadamia tarts were outstanding. I also stopped by Trader Joe’s (my FAVORITE) and picked up some interesting snacks, including soy and flax seed tortilla chips, naam yogurt and dill chips and chili-spiced dried mango. How much do I love TJ’s? Let me count the ways. I so wish they were in Boulder. If TJ’s would just come to the Front Range, then it would be the absolutely perfect place. I heard they were supposed to come to 29th Street, but Wild Oats won out with the proposal to build a 35,000 square foot massive store. As all those who know me know, I LOVE grocery stores (we’re still on food) so it’s all good by me.

Anyhoo, these sessions in the ballroom are hilarious because now we have Wi-Fi and its like the best thing ever. Everyone is furiously typing through every session, blogging, emailing, taking notes. Anything but listening as far as I can tell. It's great though, because I can sit in session after session and check email and be in touch with the outside world instead of sitting here fretting about what I’m missing during the boring bits. And those are many.

Today was The CW, which is the squnched-together child (note the made-up words, I can do that because I’m blogging) of The WB and UPN. It basically feels like The WB with a lot of CBS people hanging around. So mostly it was a lot of blah blah blah except for the two following things.

First, apparently the new showrunner of the Gilmore Girls, David Rosenthal, was an obsessed stalker of Heidi Klum in a former life. Check out the details here:

So when this very odd reporter from The National Post asked, essentially: “So, what was the deal with that whole Heidi Klum thing,” the response was extremely curt, as you can imagine. “Um, I’m not here to talk about my personal life,” Rosenthal said. Added Lauren Graham, who plays Lorelai Gilmore on the show, “We’re not talking about that. Next question.” It added quite a hostile touch to the panel, which was already a little bit rocky because the show’s creators and executive producers, Amy Sherman Palladino and Dan Palladino failed to negotiate a multi-year deal with Warner Bros. that they could live with and exited the show this spring. I don’t know how many of you watch it, but Gilmore Girls is a show with a very definite patter, and I expect the Palladinos’ departure will affect the show much like Aaron Sorkin’s departure affected The West Wing. In my opinion, these shows become something else when their original creator exits the building. Graham and Alexis Bledel, who plays her daughter Rory, were confident that the show would fare well under the new stalker leadership, but the critics weren’t so sure.

What’s more, while refusing to say anything bad about the Palladinos, Graham was pretty clear that the old regime was a bit of a dictatorship and that she’s liking the openness of the new regime. That is, until she starts being stalked. Just in case you were wondering, by the way, both Graham and Bledel are more gorgeous in person than on TV, if that’s even possible.

Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett-Smith provided the star power on a panel about The CW’s Sunday night African-American comedies, but the real stand-out, in my humble opinion, was Ali LeRoi, the real executive producer and showrunner of Everybody Hates Chris. When asked how Sunday Night Football was going to affect viewership of his show, he said: “I recommend that people stop watching football because it promotes gratuitous violence in our society. Instead, you should sit down with yhour family and watch family programs, which will promote a better, stronger nation.”

Later, the critics couldn’t stop asking about diversity on primetime TV and the lack thereof, especially the inability of the broadcast networks to successfully launch a black drama. After the panel brushed the question off many times, LeRoi finally laid it on the line: “At the end of the day, dude, you got to sell some soap. If you don’t sell some soap, the executives don’t care about you. Black drama, schmack drama. If you don’t want to deal with network executives, go write a book.”

But I don’t want to suggest that Rock wasn’t funny too. His response to this question, which was posed in the session for the last time by an earnest black reporter: “Do you ever think your life is going to be as good as white people? Give that one up already.”

Rock and LeRoi ended up giving shout-outs to Lost’s J.J. Abrams and Grey’s Anatomy’s Shonda Rhimes, both of whom populate their casts with people of all colors: “Shows like Grey’s are the model, HBO’s The Wire is the model. J.J. Abrams has done a fantastic job of involving different people in his show,” Le Roi said. “Except for Oz, that’s a black drama. Don’t cast a white guy on Oz.”

For those of you who have no clue what he’s talking about here, Oz was this violent prison drama on HBO in which lots of murderers tried to live and love together in a federal prison. Needless to say, there were lots of bad breakups between the inmates, which often ended in stabbing and other violent deaths.

Tonight is The CW party, which involves hobnobbing with lots of these people. I’m not sure how much I care, although I will say Donnie Wahlberg was incredibly smart and articulate on his panel this morning about new show, Runaway. So maybe I will deign to put down my drink for a minute and talk to him. Oh wait, what’s that you say, I am in Pasadena to talk to actors, not stand to the side drinking and making fun of them? Hmmmm.

Off the subject, while I spent the entire day ensconced in this air-conditioned hotel ballroom, apparently the President said “shit” on television today. That’s excellent. I wonder if FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, a Bush appointee, will fine him for indecency.

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