Alex O'Loughlin and Yvonne Strahovski by Alexandra Wyman/WireImage.com
It's Thursday night and the party celebrating TV Guide's Sexiest Stars issue is just starting to clear out. Settling down into a vacated plush couch across from the sushi bar, for the first time in, oh, six hours I am off my feet. What a time! Katsuya and S Bar here at Hollywood and Vine was chock full of pretty - and that was even before I discovered the whole other room in the back! The turnout was terrific. You had a nearly full
(cast), a bazillion
and "Sarah" and, yes,
. TV Guide's Sexiest Woman on TV 2008,
Jennifer Love Hewitt
, put in an early appearance, entirely earning her honor in a super-shimmery shape-hugging silver shift (is what I think the ladies call it).
While the memories of my countless laps around the party crowd are still fresh (and only moderately fogged by vodka and tonic), let me do my best to take you inside the Sexiest night of TV's year.
" The red carpet has just barely been unfurled and there is buzz that
wants to sneak into the party via the club's kitchen. (After she in fact
pose for the paparazzi, it becomes apparent the plan was for her to ultimately and discreetly
the back way.)
" My first chat of the evening is with
Lost's Rebecca Mader
(aka freighter gal Charlotte). She cannot sell me enough on the three-hour finale, using the cutest phrases like "ridonkulously exciting" (and the occasional expletive, but tempered by her classy accent) to describe what transpires.
- Michael Gladis (Paul) and Bryan Batt (Salvatore) - and one Sexiest Woman are congregated in a back booth. I tell
I hope I did her justice in describing her for
TV Guide Network's Sexiest Stars special
airing this Sunday (at 8 pm/ET). As for Season 2 scoop, despite being two episodes into filming, the group is
hush-hush. geez, does
cast get to tease storyline anymore?!
, actually, more than happily teased
's May 8 season-ender. It's been out there for a while that (
) Liz may have a "baby scare," but also look for Kenneth to figure into a cliffhanger as well. Maybe the stalwart NBC page is a candidate for Liz's babydaddy, I suggest? We have a good chuckle over that one.
" Jodi Lynn O'Keefe arrives, and we chat briefly about
's Season 4 storyline. Production starts May 20, she shares, but other than Michael continuing his mission of vengeance against Susan B., Whistler et al, she knows nothing.
" A recurring topic this eve with the
star types is
's seemingly unbeatable run this season. Lisa Rinna, for one, believes KY will in fact win. Season 1 champ (and
, though, has much more to say on the subject - especially being the show's only female celeb champ to date.
Here is that full Q&A
" Another recurring theme during the night is, "Hmm, why does that person look familiar?" - a tough question to ask the person him/herself too often, for fear of coming off like a bad pick-up line. For example: I ask a Jessica Alba-esque brunette where I feel I know her from. The answer: Her name
, but she's one of the
. (That doesn't help me, actually, but... she was very sweet.)
" Being hopelessly square, I just now discover the S Bar portion of the club, and it's basically a whole other ginormous room in the back. Among its many denizens is most of the
cast, DJ Samantha Ronson and... Cheryl Ladd.
" Ronson is toggling between the turntables and her PDA. Ooh, is "gal pal"
on the other end...? Tell her to come by and discuss
Ausiello's new Ugly Betty scoop
! I remind the Aussie actress that I was one of her very first interviews, and she instantly remembers the topics we covered (e.g. she had just gotten her first manicure,
). After procuring some interesting teases for
's second season (let's just say for now that the Secret and the Agent might be getting "closer"), I make Yvonne my only photo request for the night. Alas, the flash-free cell-phone pic came out blurry. Nonetheless, I'll Facebook it later this weekend.
" During one of my sojourns back outside to the red carpet (so as to cool off
get a "preview" of who is en route into the party), Ausiello and I shoot a "bit" for his next
Ausiello Report vodcast
. Watch for it.
is in da house. Hide yer womin!
" An early bet to make the 2009 Sexiest Stars list:
Life's Sarah Shahi
. We confabbed for a bit to discuss her NBC series' strong pre-strike finish and pleasantly surprising pick-up. Sara says Season 2 will be a bit different, but only in the best ways.
" The lords of the TV Guide Photo Booth get me to cave, and I pose for a few clicks. Maybe I'll (finally) get a new headshot out of it, or maybe I'm looking too crispy at this hour. We shall see.
the elusive, everyone-is-looking-for-him
. Having just seen each other last week for the video Q&A, we quickly reconnect, and I tell him how well the first batch of
fans' questions answered was received. Alas, there is still no word on Season 2, but all fingers are crossed. Ooh, is "cross" a bad word in vampire context?
spills something on her dress, and I "admonish" the Sexist Star for her non-sexy gaffe. We then get to talking about
's season finale, a good part of which is already "out there" in the spoiler press. Still, it sounds like a fun episode, as House struggles to solve a medical mystery using a different set of deductive tools - as in
" I bring
up to speed on the TVGuide.com Power Rankings, and how the
Dancing with the Stars
reader poll currently has her grabbing a good 65 percent of the vote. She and Mark Ballas are not entirely surprised. I ask for an update on
Cristian de la Fuente
, and Kristi says he is doing well, though this week's tango could really put his impaired left arm to the test. (As for Shannon and Derek's departure, Mark feels their last on-camera "confessional" kinda sorta sealed their fate.)
" I make my final pass by DJ Ronson to see if LiLo is hanging around. No luck. As I work a fresh vodka, I pay close mind to her platter-spinning skillz. It really is pretty cool, navigating the iPod, MacBook and what not. I attempt to shoot Sam a "What you do for a living is very impressive!" look. Instead, we share what I can only describe as an awkward/borderline scary moment.
cast member/TVGuide.com celebrity blogger
Valarie Rae Miller
offers to beat up Ronson for me, if it gets to that. Now
" A pack of ladies from TVGuide.com ad sales apparently appreciated
's textbook gams a moment
's Joy to ask them (and I'm paraphrasing/sanitizing here), "Um, what can I do for you?" Minutes later, Pressly is actually detailing for the gals her Stairmaster secrets - I kid you not.
is tinier than I thought (though not quite
-tiny). I share my opinion that she got sent home too soon, and she is most appreciative.
It's late. The party is thinning out. I've got an early-morning breakfast meeting - at Bob's Big Boy - with my buddies from Warner Bros. TV (aka
Men in Trees
land). After that, many NBC events and hopefully a visit to the boys at Fox. So I grab my Chips Ahoy! (sponsor alert!) T-shirt and call it a night.
Lots more sexy:
Photo gallery: TV Guide's Sexiest Stars Party
Additional Sexiest Stars party coverage