Monday, July 21, 2008

A day in the life of press tour: NBC

The above picture was from NBC's party last night, and where else could you find three of the women from "Friday Night Lights" hanging with Christian Slater, Selma Blair, Benjie Silverman (as Tina Fey likes to call him) and Stanley from "The Office"? (This was Leslie David Baker's second or third appearance of the tour; he must like us.)

Yesterday was technically NBC's first day, but virtually all of it was devoted to cable channels in the NBC/Uni/GE/Sheinhardt family. Today, for the most part, is for NBC proper. (It's also the last real day of the tour. Tomorrow we do a bunch of set visits, but a lot of people will have already gone home by then, and as we'll be out and about, nobody's going to be blogging.) After the jump, a rundown of the schedule...

9-9:45 a.m.: An Olympics panel, with Dick Ebersol, Bob Costas and company appearing via satellite.

9:45-10:15 a.m.: A panel devoted to sophomore dramas, with Zachary Levi and Josh Schwartz from "Chuck," Damian Lewis and Rand Ravich from "Life" and Brooke Shields and Oliver Goldstick from "Lipstick Jungle." These multi-show jam panels have been really hit-or-miss so far. The ABC showrunner panel was awesome, while a Showtime panel featuring the stars and showrunners of "Dexter," "Weeds," "Californication" and "Brotherhood" sucked all the life out of the room. If all goes badly, we'll see if we can bait Schwartz into discussing his favorite Brooke Shields films of the 1980s.

10:30-11 a.m.: NBC News -- represented by, among others, NBC News president Steve Capus, Andrea Mitchell, Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, David Gregory, Chuck Todd and Keith Olbermann -- take their turn discussing the run-up to Obama vs. McCain. Ya think Olbermann might say something quotable?

11:15-11:45 a.m.: Executive session, where I imagine far too much time will be devoted to parsing the exact nature of the "The Office" spin-off/non-spin-off with Amy Poehler.

12-1:15 p.m.: Lunch, which will include a session for "Deal or No Deal."

1:30-2 p.m.: An informal session with NBC research president Alan Wurtzel, in which we discuss how to measure audiences in this new age of DVRs, Hulu, iTunes, etc.

2:15-2:45 p.m.: "Kath & Kim," which none of us have seen yet, so I suspect there may be an undertone of "How dare you?" to a lot of the questions, and a lot of "Didn't you see how good 'The Office' remake was?" to the answers.

3-3:30 p.m.: "Knight Rider," a shadowy flight into the world of a man... who does not exist.

3:30-4 p.m.: Kate Flannery and Oscar Nunez from "The Office" host a combination smoothie break and demonstration of the new "Office" trivia game.

4-4:30 p.m.: "My Own Worst Enemy," which we also haven't seen. My goal is to measure the percentage of Jack Nicholson that creeps into Christian Slater's mannerisms. If it dips anywhere below 50 percent, the show is doomed, as it became clear a while ago that the Jack impression is really all he has going for him.

4:45-5:15 p.m.: Our second does of Olbermann, this time for a panel featuring the entire, ginormous Sunday night football crew. Be interesting to see how much Olbermann and Dan Patrick will dominate this one.

5:30-6 p.m.: "Kings," in which Ian McShane will become the latest "Deadwood" castmember to explain to us that he wasn't surprised at all to learn the movies would never happen, what with the cast's contracts lapsing, the sets being dismantled, etc.


Unknown said...

I will be really looking forward to your thoughts on the Life panel. Its been months since the last episode and I feel very deprived.

Anonymous said...

I am also interested in the new season of LIFE; I think it is the best new TV show in years and Damian Lewis is outstanding. I am eagerly looking forward to season 2.

David J. Loehr said...

Be interesting to see how much Olbermann and Dan Patrick will dominate this one.

Much as I like Bob Costas, I suspect the show would be much more fun if they just gave Keith and Dan the keys and sent everyone else home.

And am I the only one hoping that Evil Keith might reappear to co-host one day?

Anonymous said...

My impression of Zachary Levi is that he never met an audience he didn't like (and I mean that as a compliment) so I hope that panel won't be death warmed over. Also, as others have said, Damian Lewis is awesome.

Rick said...

I'm such a nerd- the panel that interests me most is the one with Wurtzel. I would LOVE his job.

To counterbalance that, the party with the ladies of FNL would be nice, too.

Anonymous said...

Ditto to what filmcricket said. I saw the Chuck panel at Paley this year and I would be willing to lay money down that any awkward gaps or lack of chemistry between panel members will be remedied quickly by Zach's desire to please the crowd. He's hilarious and charming. I'm looking forward to the new season of Chuck *and* Life. I've been spoiled in bits and pieces on the former, but I know nothing about the latter and am excited to see how they're going to restart the show.

J said...

Wait, Chuck is a drama?

I only recently caught on that Damian Lewis is the guy from Keane. That was such an amazing performance, one of those grab-yr-friends-shake-them-scream-see-this-movie performances. But I've been totally cold to him on Life. Maybe it's just the bad writing?

Anonymous said...

Hey, Alan - did you see that Ken Levine is predicting your early demise today?

Anonymous said...

wow! That was a pretty star studded night! Add Danica Patrick on there and you have all my favorite people on TV! What Danica Patrick isn't on TV? well click my name and see her funny spoof videos, I think she's funny...

Anonymous said...

I sent this to NBC today:

I have watched every episode of Friday Night Lights since day one and have been a big supporter of this show. I am now appalled that NBC/Universal is only airing the next season on Direct TV! I have been a loyal Dish Network subscriber for 11 years, and this will NOT entice me to switch to Direct TV; in fact, it has so enraged me that I am now considering boycotting all NBC shows that I have been watching such as Heroes, Chuck, Life, ER and NOT tuning into any of the new programs this season.

I also intend to send a copy of this to all of the sponsors of the NBC shows I used to watch, but now will not. And , I will ask all of my friends and family to do the same.