Deggans heads to TV critics summer press tour; hijinks ensue
For the next nine days, I'll be sitting in a huge room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel -- same spot where they stage the Golden Globe Awards -- listening to producers, stars and network TV executives trying to sell me and 250 other TV critics from across the nation on why their fall shows will be amazingly stupendously successful.
The tour always sparks a bit of controversy, usually voiced by Los Angeles-based critics who resent seeing the folks from out of town step on their turf or from writers who don't come out and object to the blur of cocktail parties and special events arranged to dazzle the TCA.
I long ago made my peace with all of that. This is the best way a critic in Florida can get up close to all the folks who make the TV I critique all year. I've hoping to pull away from the planned stuff to visit some shows on my own, and I'm also going to stop by the National Association of Black Journalists convention in San Diego on Thursday.
For once, TV types have a good argument against those who insist they are becoming more irrelevant; the success of new shows such as Glee, Modern Family, the Good Wife and Showtime’s Nurse Jackie highlight how television is still finding new ways to engage and entertain us.
But each network also has challenges ahead. For Fox, it’s replacing the biggest star on their biggest show, American Idol judge Simon Cowell; for NBC, it’s rebuilding a schedule so tattered they’re debuting seven new shows this fall and 13 over the season.
ABC needs strong drama hits to back up aging fare such as Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy and CBS must revitalize a stable of aging, cop-focused crime shows that feel awfully formulaic.
So expect lots of interesting blog posts, Twitter tweets and Facebook updates for the next 10 days or so.
Fell free to let me know here what you'd like to see my try an cover. Check out the video below to get you in the mood.