Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Press tour: another POV

Since I'm cutting out early and will be in the air for much of tomorrow, here's Ken Levine on what press tour is like from a producer's perspective. At one point, he cites this incident:
For one of our sessions we followed a producer who insulted all of the critics, made fun of one member’s accent, and listed every euphemism for vagina he could think of. By the time we got up to speak there was almost a mutiny.
This occurred at my very first tour, the summer of '96, and involved Jamie Tarses' dad and one of the worst sitcoms ever made. And Tarses was every bit as hostile as Ken makes it sound, if not moreso.

Oh, and while "American Idol" premiered tonight, I won't be watching much or commenting at all until at least the Hollywood rounds, if not the semi-finals. The freakshow audition version has never done much for me. (Given how highly-rated those episodes are compared to the rest of the season, I suppose that puts me in the minority.) Comment on it here if you want, but I don't really pay attention until the audience gets involved in the process.


K J Gillenwater said...

I can't stand watching the bad try-outs. Why do they make us suffer through 2 hours of that with only 4 or 5 good ones in the bunch? If fast-forward through the freaks and watch only the serious contenders.

Wish they would show more of those. I find their reasoning why a decent singer is or isn't accepted to be very interesting. What are they looking for and why?

But they cater to the lowest common denominator, unfortunately. I'm with you. Skip the early stuff and get me to the *real* competition.

Anonymous said...

I hate the try-outs, they're like humiliation porn. If that sort of thing majorly winds your clock, you better recheck your priorities.

dark tyler said...

Yeah. I've been watching the X-Factor for the whole time since September, too, so it's not like I'm dying for more Cowell. Strangely enough, or maybe drunkenly enough, this time it's gonna be Paula that draws me in. You know what they say about car wrecks and such.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alan, one more footnote to the Levine memory ... that was my first TCA as well, and then six months later, after the Jay Tarses show bombed, his co-producer, who was none other than Steven Bochco, was asked what lessons he had learned from "Public Morals." His answer? "Be careful who you work with." Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

I rather guiltily admit to enjoying watching the rotten singers -- though only the ones who are insufferably arrogant and should know better. Is this refusal to accept that there are some things you just aren't great at a particularly American trait? I wonder if it's related to our Horatio Alger myth, and our insistence that there are no experts, no objective standards that matter. Everyone's opinion is supposed to be counted equally, even when patently ridiculous. There's plenty of room for subjectivity in what type of music or voice you like, but being tone deaf isn't a style choice.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I watched a little of night one while packing, and the moment that struck me the most was when the awful juggler got rejected and launched into a weeping, profane tirade in front of his parents, and his mother tried to console him with, "Don't worry. You're going to be famous one day. I know it."

It's like Ricky Gervais said: this growing belief that we're all destined for fame is the most horrifying societal development of the 21st century.

Anonymous said...

wow he is dead-on with that statement!
you know though, now with YouTube everyone can be famous...well kind, uh,long live Ricky Gervias!