Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Your guide to the TV critics press tour

As mentioned in today's column (which partly repeats sentiments from this post, but also includes a list of notable premiere dates over the next few weeks), I'm flying off to LA to cover the Television Critics Association winter press tour. You can read my traditional press tour primer, where I explain concepts like the scrum (like the one pictured above, featuring a very miserable Jamie Tarses repeatedly explaining that she wasn't about to be fired), the non-party party and the Rule of Jay, here.

If you've been hanging around here a while, you know that the tour consumes virtually every waking moment while I'm there, plus I'll need to carve out some time to write column reviews of all the new and returning shows of note. So I have to dial back some of the regular episode-by-episode blogging for a bit. The good news is that I've seen a lot of stuff in advance, and whenever possible -- the last two "Friday Night Lights" episodes, the "Lost" and "Battlestar Galactica" premieres, etc. -- I'll have some kind of review ready to post as soon as the episode finishes airing on the East Coast. (I have the outline for tonight's "FNL" post already written, and hope to get it done on the flight, laptop battery permitting.) But in other cases, particularly with new shows, there may be a lot of "So, what did everybody think of 'United States of Tara'?" posts.

To pre-empt the "Are you going to Twitter the tour this time?" questions, the answer is no. I'm distracted enough as it is writing tour blog entries during sessions; if I had a Twitter feed at my disposal, I'd feel compelled to fill it, and then I'd basically stop paying attention altogether to what's happening in the room. As you can see from a skim of some of my July tour entries, I'm not exactly a slacker when it comes to blogging the more interesting moments. And if you somehow need a real-time, Twitter-tastic take on the tour (say that five times fast), there's always Dan Fienberg, whom I'll be sitting next to and kibbitzing with during most sessions.

15 comments:

dez said...

The weather's been pretty nice the past few days, so you'll be warm, at least :-) Have fun!

Eric said...

I wonder how the networks are going to get even the second-tier stars to show up for the non-party parties they're likely to throw this year. I'd predict flat Diet Coke and cold pigs-in-blankets.

mj said...

I could be way off here but my perception is that whenever you mention you've seen a show in advance, if you like it you will say so (e.g., Lost, Scrubs, BSG in other posts) and if you don't like it you tend not to say anything about you not liking it until after it has aired. I'm making a conscious choice, however, to not let this normally reliable leading indicator of episode quality get in the way of watching tonight's FNL. Safe travels.

Matthew L said...

I've read it before, but the press tour article is so entertaining that I enjoyed re-reading it - and the Martha Stewart line made me laugh out loud again.

Enjoy the press tour, and I'm looking forward to hearing your reports.

Mo Ryan said...

Not as many non-party parties this year, based on my skimming of the TCA schedule. I'm not going, btw. Alan and Fienberg will have to eat all the stale appetizers by themselves.

Alan, try to get Fienberg to twitter your comments and reactions too. I want real-time notification of any Sepinwall shout-outs from the stage.

Pamela Jaye said...

wow! I'm so happy you can find your old articles - I never can! (i'm sure NJ.com just changed their approach to linking - annoying when reading old HIMYM poata with links but not your problem (I'm *not* complaining)

thanks also for the link to Dan's Twitter feed. My duck (who has more right to twitter than I do) will add him (I mean I already did and will try to remember to peek in.)

and thanks for the pre-written stuff too. I haven't peeked into the open thread yet. Ystrday was lots of Scrubs, all around. (including those two posts I shot into the ether at ABC.com)

I've read it before too, but will probably read it again.

I'm also loving the tags (you might want to add press tour 08, in case you need to refer later. I have yet to find a solution to what looks like "we have all the "xxxx" tagged posts we could fit on the page, but we ran out of room" problem - so the Season 1, Season 2 tags are coming in handy with the HIMYM and other (future) sets (thank you!) It's funny (in a good way) how few comments there were back then.

Does anyone *here* know what panels/presentations are when? (someone might have published, posted, or blogged it, right?)

Pamela Jaye said...

and that someone,apparently,would be Maureen. Can you share? (and are you not going too? I skimmd your page (from google - I forgot there was a link here) and if there was TCA mention, I missed it. (google did hilight an your article or Grey's though)

Pamela Jaye said...

sharing a tweet from Dan

Tuesday Ratings:
http://tinyurl.com/9jtjw4 "Scrubs" does better than "According to Jim"!!!! Take that for what it's worth. about 3 hours ago from web

(I know, wrong thread, pass it on)

Michael said...

Here's something cool for Alan: a visit to the set of "The Wire" abandoned soundstage.

Master Prudent said...

@ MJ
I suspect the lack of an early post has more to do with the fact that our host has already reviewed them as they came out on directv. Various internet scuttlebut suggess that s3 is a vast improvement on s2 but tends to lean a little too much on s1.

(Word verification is the eerily appropriate "crits")

mj said...

@Master Prudent - my fault, I should have been more clear. I didn't mean the whole season of FNL, I just meant tonight's episode on Directv. When Alan says something good about any specific episode of tv in advance, I have usually found it really worth watching (e.g., Scrubs last night, even though I haven't watched Scrubs in years) but when he says he has seen the specific episode in advance but says nothing in advance about the quality of the episode then it's worrisome. I've already been following FNL season 3 very closely and looking forward in about an hour to seeing if my prediction rings true but much more importantly to seeing what happens next in Dillon, TX. Hopefully, the more general advance positive word-of-mouth about Season 3 so far (which I wholeheartedly agree with) will draw viewers to NBC on Fridays starting next week at 9/8c.

LA said...

If Bill Lawrence is around, will you ask him if there will be a Scrubs Soundtrack Volume 3?

jcpdiesel21 said...

Wow, that Martha Stewart working lunch story is classic! Funny stuff.

legion said...

Have fun Alan! I'll still be reading whenever you have the time to post, so go have a kick ass press tour :)

Pamela Jaye said...

LA, done

here