TV Critics Press Tour in
When I got up to the counter at Budget, one of the CSRs kept making irritating announcements, like “don’t take our your frustrations on us, it’s a company problem,” and I was like, “who the hell else do you expect us to complain to?” Hence, hostile letter to follow.
I did make it to the Ritz in time to attend my first panel session, which was on the hour-long heist drama Smith, starring Ray Liotta. I had just watched the pilot last Thursday night, and found it slow, and at least one executive-type person at CBS agreed with me. The pilot, about a group of thieves that conduct the most violent heists network TV has ever seen, should have been fast and snappy. Instead, it was slow, plodding and humorless. And also hugely expensive, as all involved admit. The pilot runs 60 full minutes, and CBS plans to either premiere it 90 minutes or commercial-free (I expect 90 minutes), and the cast is about as high end as it gets, with Liotta, Sideways and Prairie Home Companion’s Virginia Madsen, House of Sand and Fog and 24’s Shohreh Aghdashloo, The Devil Wears Prada and The Guardian’s Simon Baker and Amy Smart, who is much, much smaller in person that she seems on TV. She’s looked tall in everything I’ve seen her in, but she’s possibly shorter than I am. There’s a lot of actors who when I see them I wonder how they broke in to the business. For example, How I Met Your Mother and Buffy’s Alyson Hannigan was in attendance and she’s just a tiny little average looking thing, but she gets a fair amount of attention wherever she goes.
Anyway, I digress, which I’m sure I’ll be doing a lot of. All the suits at CBS and Warner Bros. are thrilled to death regarding Smith, but when we watched it at a sparsely attended pilot night/aka Paige’s personal TV focus group, we were all more like bored to death. Those 60 minutes wore on, let me tell you. And when things are blowing up and paintings are getting stolen, being bored is the kiss of death in my book.
I missed the panels on Shark, starring James Woods, who showed up at CBS’s party at the Rose Bowl with his girlfriend, who appears to be about 40 years younger than he is and I do not exaggerate, and on Jericho and The Class. Which is too bad because I actually watched all those pilots.
Shark was better than I thought it would be, although someone asked me at the Rose Bowl how much coke I thought Woods was doing, and I have to say a fair amount. My more reasonable comment when I watched it is that movie actors are often too big for TV, and I think that’s really true with Woods. He comes off as manic in certain scenes of this show (and apparently during the panel as well). His 16-year-old daughter in the show, played by a gorgeous up-and-coming 21-year-old actress named Danielle Panabaker, looks older than his current blondie girlfriend. This is why I love
A lot of people said they liked
Finally, I personally hated The Class, CBS’s only comedy, finding the script silly and contrived and not funny.
In a non-glamour note, I’m staying at the Travelodge in
For people who like this sort of thing, here’s the “famous” people I saw yesterday, besides the aforementioned ones: Numbers Rob Morrow, Cold Case’s Danny Pino (so cute), Charlie Sheen without new girlfriend (who went to highschool with a friend of mine) or visible restraining order, Jennifer Love Hewitt and her very average looking boyfriend, Rent, Prada and Cold Case’s Traci Thoms (who also is tiny and young, and she looks larger and older and more imposing on screen), CSI: New York’s Gary Sinise (also a slight man), The Unit and 24’s Dennis Haysbert, Scrubs and The Unit’s Scott Foley (and his non Jennifer Garner girlfriend, who was in NBC’s Heist) and CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves and his beautiful wife
Oh, and I chatted with David Krumholtz, who stars with Rob Morrow on Numbers and plays Mr. Universe in Serenity, which is the movie I saw the night before I left for LA. It was funny to see him in a movie one minute and then in front of me the next. He is SHORT. (And so is Rob Morrow.)