Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A day in the life of press tour: ABC

Yawn. Even on the West Coast, the All-Star Game made me stay up later than I should have, as did my contemplation of the news that Amy Poehler is in final negotiations to star in "The Office" spin-off. (Though more and more, it sounds less like a spin-off than like a spiritually similar show from the same producers: "Futurama" instead of "Cleveland.") I like Poehler, and think she could bring many of the same things to the table that Steve Carell did, but I'm wondering about the human element, since I think she's usually best in broader parts.

Anyway, after the jump, the rundown of ABC's schedule today, along with some speculation on how things may go down.

9:00-9:45 a.m.: An executive session with Steve McPherson. Given ABC's concentration of scripted dramas, I'm guessing there will be a lot of strike fallout questions.

9:45-10:45 a.m.: Writing break. I'm not writing a column for tomorrow, and won't have another press tour-related column in the paper until at least Monday (Emmy nominations will take up Friday's column), so hopefully I'll be able to blog more sessions over the next few days.

10:45-11:30 a.m.: "Eli Stone," the first of many sessions in which ABC puts about 8,000 people on stage (the whole cast plus Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim) and the vast majority of the questions go to either the showrunners or the lead.

12-2 p.m.: Lunch with Julianne Hough from "Dancing with the Stars" (she's hosting a country music special) and yet another writing break.

2-2:45 p.m.: "Life on Mars," in which we will complain about not seeing a pilot yet, followed by the producers explaining that they're doing significant reshoots and recasting, followed by us asking why ABC decided to go put a show in need of so much tinkering on its fall schedule.

3-3:45 p.m.: "Scrubs," in which we will try to get Bill Lawrence to talk as much smack as possible about Ben Silverman.

4-4:45 p.m.: "Opportunity Knocks," the Ashton Kutcher-produced game show, which we also haven't seen. Should be illuminating.

6:00 p.m.-whenever: When networks host multiple days, they obviously have their non-party party on one of the nights, and then they have to come up with an idea for the other. On occasion, they don't bother with anything, but more often than not they'll do some kind of low-key event, like cocktails with executives so we can learn about the intricacies of the business in an informal setting. ABC is going a slightly flashier route by bringing out a bunch of "Dancing with the Stars" pros -- Alec, Edyta, Karina, Kym, Mark and Derek -- to give dance lessons to any interested critics. As I have two left feet, I'll likely catch up on work instead.


K J Gillenwater said...

If they get Amy Poehler for the spin off, I am SO there. OMG! That is probably the best casting news I have heard in a long time. I LOVE HER! (and her hilarious husband...I wish he'd get back on tv)

Anonymous said...

Apropos of nothing, Marc Guggenheim is writing the current arc in Amazing Spider-Man, so ask him about the new Kraven to throw him off.

Anonymous said...

I love The Office. I love Amy. I'm still not sold on this spin off/companion, though. I'm just worried that might be too much "awkward" for NBC to handle and when NBC doesn't know what to do with something it's just bad for everyone.

Totally looking forward to news from the Scrubs panel.

SMM said...

Poehler does go broad a lot, because she can bring the crazy. But I LOVE her straight man. As an improviser, she can make anyone look good. I'll have to find some youtube links -- her slow burn is Dave Foleyesque.

Hopefully they can resist the urge to make her wacky. After all, Carrell was kind of a crazy TDS correspondent, and he underplays on The Office.

Joe said...

For something Office-like, I'd love to see Kristin Wiig.

Anonymous said...

I heard from some gossip person on the radio that Grey's Anatomy's Shonda is "killing off" Izzie as a result of the comments she made about not getting enough material. It is well said that Ms. Heigl could have made a less accusatory statement by saying "there are more deserving roles and I just didn't think any one episode showcased the character's year long development" That would have not slammed the writers (as much). Anyway, can you get any info if the write-off of the Izzie character is indeed true.

Nicole said...

You should ask them why they are recasting almost everyone on Life on Mars except for the lead, when he is its biggest problem. Also, tell them to give Colm Meaney more to do.

Heigl's comments about how horrible Grey's Anatomy was as a show this year were incredibly accurate, but alas the writing is not the entire problem, and that is why I don't feel bad about the backlash against her. Unfortunately, this will also divert Shonda's attention from actually fixing the problems that have crept in since the second season.

Anonymous said...

Interesting news about Poehler. All the stuff I'm wondering about has less to do with her possible role on it and more with ancillary stuff, to wit:

1) Is the spin-off being filmed in LA?

2) If so, does that mean Will Arnett's less likely to make return visits to 30 Rock?

3) If so (again) does that mean I can't look forward to seeing Poehler at the UCB theatre the next time I visit NYC?

Anyway. I also look forward to hearing about the Scrubs panel. I don't watch the show anymore but I still find Bill Lawrence incredibly entertaining.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see Kristin Wiig on something like that. The character she played in Knocked Up would be perfect for that show. Actually, almost every character she's ever played would probably fit right in.

I'm probably one of the few who wasn't the least bit phased by what Heigl said and I think I'm in the minority as far as not having much of a problem with Izzie as a character. Maybe I just don't care anymore. I think I've just grown a little tired of the media being shocked that Heigl has no filter and says whatever she wants whenever she wants. She's been doing it since Roswell. She's probably been doing it since birth. Either way, I'd be really surprised if they actually killed or just got rid of Izzie. They have her under contract and it's probably far more fun and interesting to keep her there than give her what everyone is theorizing she wants. As a viewer I'd be disappointed if they quickly disposed of her because it would be nice to see them actually *try* to write themselves out of the hole they've dug these past couple of seasons with her. Then again, they get rid of her and they could focus on other problems in the writing.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Update on the main blog page now, including McPherson addressing the Heigl situation.