Thursday night's NBC All-Star Party, held in conjunction with the Television Critics Association press tour, brought out a rather interesting mix of characters: A new superhero (The Cape's David Lyons), a legendary TV producer (David E. Kelley), Beverly Hills socialites (Paris and Kathy Hilton) and even an Oscar winner (Kathy Bates). But the crowded lobby of the Langham Hotel in Pasadena quickly turned into a place where old friends got a chance to catch up and new friends were made.
As soon as Parenthood's Erika Christensen spotted pals Jason Ritter (The Event) and Ryan McPartlin (Chuck) she rushed up to give both a big hug. Jenna Fisher dragged on-screen hubby John Krasinski by the hand through the crowds and into the TV Guide Magazine photo booth. Community's Alison Brie attempted — unsuccessfully — to pick co-star Danny Pudi's nose. Jack McBrayer (30 Rock), Zachary Levi (Chuck) and David E. Kelley, exec producer of the new series Harry's Law, chatted happily in the hallway, after Kelley asked Levi to pose for a picture with him for his daughter. "It was so weird, I saw him waiting for me and I though, 'David E. Kelley is not waiting for me to finish an interview — that would be weird!' But he did," says a thrilled Levi. "I immediately said I'm a huge fan. He's a very talented guy."
It's no wonder, under such gleeful circumstances, that everyone was all happy to dish on upcoming plotlines.
Community has had its share of random fun episodes (paintball, anyone?) but Brie and Pudi told TV Guide Magazine that the spring episodes will take the study group to a little bit of a darker place. "They're bold, very bold," Pudi says. "Season 2 is an exploration of some of the lowest points of each character." Adds Brie, "I would say that the next episodes coming up has a lot to do with the back stories of characters, and character relationships. There's an upcoming episode that's a very low point for Pierce [Chevy Chase] and there's also a connection between Annie and Pierce. And you learn a lot about Annie. You learn where she lives and about her parents."
Levi tells us he would start placing bets on an engagement taking place between accidental superspy Chuck and agent/girlfriend Sarah Walker sooner rather than later. "I'll say this. That stuff has been boiling on the show since before we went down for Christmas, and we were originally only picked up for 13 episodes. So I would place bets that it would happen before summertime," says Levi, who would be excited to see the couple evolve. "I love character progression. You want to keep changing."
Parenthood's Christensen tells us that her character will face more struggles in upcoming episodes. "Julia and Joel are trying again to have a second child, and you get to see more detail about that," she says. "They've been trying so now they're getting more strategic about it. And also it's a little scandalous. We're looking at all sides of it — the heartbreaking part of it and, 'Hey, it's practice!'" And Adam [Peter Krause], she says, will get a new boss. "He's many, many, many years his junior, which is kind of disconcerting."
On The Office, the departure of Michael Scott (Steve Carell) is now imminent, and co-executive producer Daniel Chun tells us the build-up we've all been waiting for will begin fairly soon. "He's going to leave in episode 22 or 23," says Chun. "And that storyline, specifically, will be about a four-five episode arc." With Michael debuting his movie, Threat Level Midnight, in the February 17 episode, moving to Hollywood could still be an option for the Dunder Mifflin boss. "Based off that episode, he's very entitled to move to Hollywood. He's got the chops I think," says Chun. And regardless of where Michael ends up going, could he be sailing off into the sunset with Amy Ryan's Holly Flax? "Definitely," says Chun. "And I think a lot of people will be happy if that happens."
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