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I'm in Los Angeles Sunday for TV Critics Association's press tour; what do you want me to cover?



tcalogo1.gifSome have called it the Death March with Cocktails, but it's really a gathering of sources and reporters unlike anything you might see elsewhere in pop culture.

It's the TV Critics Association's Summer Press Tour; an event which starts Saturday and stretches to Aug. 4, filled with press conferences, meal events, cocktail parties and screenings designed to show off the TV industry's next six months of programming to the world's journalists.

I'm going to be there from Sunday to Aug. 2, and though I already have plenty of story ideas at hand, I also have a question:

What would you like me to cover?

idolattca.jpgThe TCA is a unique event -- a string of presentations organized specifically to enable press coverage of an entire industry. Big TV entities such as PBS, NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox each take a day or two on the schedule, cramming their time with press conferences featuring their biggest stars and most powerful executives and producers.

At past press tours, I have literally gone from interviewing sex symbol Pam Grier in her hotel room to handing Dexter star Michael C. Hall an award (at the TCA Awards ceremony, where we honor the best in television from the previous year) and chatting up the cast of Mad Men about their Emmy chances at the closing reception.

It is a chance to meet producers, network executives and stars firsthand -- take their measure and pose questions you might never get to ask in a telephone conference call.

_pg31415.jpgIt's also a chance to spend time in Los Angeles, where other shows are in production and you can see the process of making television up close and personal (I've visited sets from The West Wing to Sons of Anarchy on my own during press tours.)

Naysayers believe too much of the tour's "news" is spoon fed to journalists who get free meals and promotional presents from the TV outlets (before the TCA cracked down on what companies could give journalists, one press conference ended with publicists giving journalists free cellphones. I politely declined to take one.

But for a critic like me, working outside some of the bigger show business cities, the press tour is an invaluable networking tool and source of story material.

So the question remains: Knowing all this, what would you like to know most about?

Post your reactions in the comments sections below and try to make them realistic (in other words, I'm not getting a sit down with Jennifer Lopez to explain exactly why she left American Idol, but I might get a shot at the Fox executive who works on the show).

Keep an eye on my Twitter feed @deggans and this blog for regular updates, photos and fun stories.

It will probably be an exhausting, exhilarating, illuminating experience.



[Last modified: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 6:06pm]


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