8:50 am My first official day of the Television Critics Association press tour gets off to a smashing start when what to my wondering eyes should appear on the front page of Daily Variety but a smiling Papa Smurf! Turns out Paramount is developing a trilogy of Smurf features to debut in 2008! Azrael is gonna pee himself!
8:58 My Smurferrific mood dampens a bit when I learn that the Godfather of CBS, Mr. Leslie Moonves, will not be headlining this morning's executive session for the first time in, like, a decade. It seems Les is holed up in the Big Apple at a Viacom board meeting, leaving CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler to go it alone. Bummer. Nothing against Ms. Tassler, but press tour without Les Moonves is like Deadwood without Al Swearengen.
9:05 Before Tassler takes the stage, it's time for a quick TCA checklist: Laptop? Check. Diet Raspberry Snapple (courtesy of the public-relations s