You're never going to believe what found its way into our little snack bags this morning: chocolate-covered pretzels! Fox, I take back all the bad stuff I said yesterday about
'Til Death. It's the next
9:02 am: Here's what you need to know about this new legal drama: Victor Garber and Kerr Smith are lawyers who tackle high-profile cases. And it's not half bad.
9:06 am: The trailer ends, the lights come up and... OMG! Jack Bristow's alive! Sweet Jesus, he's alive!
9:09 am: Exec producer Jonathan Shapiro (a onetime federal prosecutor) is giving us a legal dissertation. Is it too late to drop this class?
9:14 am: Garber on returning to series television so soon after Alias: "If you talked to me Friday night around midnight I would've said, 'What was I thinking?' The schedule is brutal."
9:28 am: I just realized that Kerr Smith has yet to utter a single word.
9:29 am: Upcoming Justice cases will deal with a roller-coaster accident, a celeb rehab center and a Heidi Fleiss-type scandal.
9:36 am: Fox publicist Todd Adair announces that "we have time for one more question." Quick, someone ask Kerr about a Dawson's Creek reunion. Something. Anything. Just let the boy speak.
9:37 am: D'oh! The last question goes to Shapiro. Poor Kerr. He deserved better.
HAPPY HOUR PRESENTATION
9:45 am: Realizing the only way we'll write anything nice about this wretched Friends wannabe is if we're plastered, Fox has hired cocktail waiters to walk around serving Bloody Marys and mimosas prior to the start of the session. ( Happy Hour? Booze? Get it?) Say what you want about Fox, they know their audience.
9:56 am: Mmmmmmm... mimosa.
9:59 am: The session hasn't even begun and already I'm feeling a little woozy.
10:02 am: Fox is showing us a clip of Happy Hour. Wow, it's a lot funnier than I remember.
10:03 am: Costar Beth Lacke is a dead ringer for Debra Messing. On and off screen. And for some reason, this makes me giggle.
10:06 am: We're only 10 minutes into the press conference and Fox publicist Kim Fitzgerald is already making her way to the dais. Have the crickets started? Am I so drunk I can't even hear them?
10:07 am: This cast is a lot of fun. And I'm not saying that because I'm drunk. Really. I mean it. (OK, it's partly because I'm drunk.)
10:08 am: Hey, where did those waiters go? I need a refill!
10:20 am: Scoop! The show's husband-and-wife producing team, Jeff and Jackie Filgo, enjoy working together! That's hysterical!
10:21 am: The same three reporters are asking all of the questions and I'm not the least bit annoyed!
10:27 am: Jamie Denbo's role as the wife of a rabid NASCAR fan was cut from Will Ferrell's upcoming Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Normally, this would bore me, but not today!
10:28 am: I think costar Lex Medlin suffers from Ericbalfourism. He keeps interrupting his costars with annoying and unfunny remarks. Even drunk off my ass I can figure that out.
10:29 am: OK, now one critic is asking all of the questions and I'm becoming a little irritable. The buzz must be wearing off.
10:30 am: Lex Medlin is running through his commercial résumé. Ms. Fitzgerald, it's time to euthanize this session. Or bring us another round. Take your pick.
10:31 am: Dang, I was kinda hoping she'd pick Option B. I guess it's back to Snapple.
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE PRESENTATION
11 am: We're being treated to a dance performance by Allison and Travis! Free booze and live entertainment? This is better than Caesar's Palace!
11:01 am: Look at them go!
11:02 am: How'd they do that?
11:04 am: Wow, what a finish!
11:06 am: Now it's Benji and Heidi's turn.
11:07 am: They're even better than the first pair!
11:08 am: Fantastic!
11:09 am: Unbelievable!
11:10 am: No, don't start the session. I wanna see more hoofin'!
11:17 am: Juicy tidbit! Dance choreographer Shane Sparks reveals that he had a difficult time training Lindsay Lohan when she performed at the 2004 MTV Movie Awards. Lindsay Lohan difficult? Pshaw.
11:29 am: Dance exec producer Nigel Lythgoe reveals that the show's winner will get a one-year contract on "The Celine Dion Show." What? When did Celine get her own sitcom? Did I miss that session?
11:35 am: Benji discusses receiving a letter from a high-school bully who saw him on Dance. He says the creep apologized for picking on him back in school. That reminds me: I'm still waiting for my letter.
11:40 pm: Scoop! Lythgoe hints that the Dance finalists may hit the road for a 25-city tour.
TALK SHOW WITH SPIKE FERESTEN PRESENTATION
1 pm: Time to
AMERICA'S MOST WANTED PRESENTATION
2 pm: Still
3 pm: Talk about perfect timing. I finished
napping packing just in time to attend Fox's Sunday-night-themed sundae break! Unfortunately, I didn't arrive in time to grab any of the
Family Guy swag they were giving away. Those vultures didn't even have the courtesy to leave me a friggin' Bart Pez dispenser.
4:01 pm: FX's top communications guy, John Solberg, makes a quick housekeeping note: It's Franka Potente - not Famke Janssen - who will join The Shield for three episodes next season. The Hollywood Reporter got the two of them mixed up in its story last week. No more scoop for you!
4:05 pm: Upcoming Nip/Tuck guest star Rosie O'Donnell is such a fan that she had the show's set designer flown to her East Coast home to re-create the McNamara/Troy fish tank.
4:09 pm: Ryan Murphy claims he decided early on in Season 3 who the Carver was, but "nobody knew until the last script. And I was shocked that it didn't get out on the Internet." OK, who's gonna be the one to tell him it did get out in the Internet? (Don't look at me.)
4:10 pm: Dylan Walsh admits that he's relived that Season 3 - and the Carver story - is behind him. (You and me both, buddy.)
4:11 pm: Murphy doesn't agree with those who think Season 3 blew chunks. "I don't like to apologize for my work," he says. "I liked last year. I'd say 10 [episodes] were home runs, five were tricky." Having said that, Season 4 will go back to the show's roots and focus on Sean, Julia and Christian. "I missed these three people sitting in a room talking. So, yes, it was a concerted effort to redirect the show back to these three people, the love triangle and how they live their lives."
4:13 pm: Julian McMahon announces that it's "hot in here!" Sweltering is more like it.
4:14 pm: McMahon takes off his jacket.
4:15 pm: What's McMahon's strategy for approaching his graphic sex scenes? "You just get in there and do it."
4:16 pm: Scoop! Brooke Shields' psychiatrist character is harboring a secret. "She's actually playing a sexual-compulsive shrink," Murphy previews. "Unbeknownst to [Christian], she develops a mad crush on him. It's a very different part for Brooke and a very different shrink than we've ever seen on television."
4:20 pm: When Murphy met with Larry Hagman about playing Sanaa Lathan's wealthy, older husband this season, he says the Dallas icon asked, "'Do I get to have sex with her?' I said, 'You came to the right show.'"
4:27 pm: McMahon declares that, "I've always found Christian a little gay. Certainly a swinger." That's good, 'cause Season 4 will apparently find Christian exploring new aspects of his sexuality. "It seemed like a natural evolution for this character," says Murphy. (Something happens between Sean, Christian and a couch in the season premiere. I'll know more this weekend when I watch the episode.)
4:29 pm: Murphy says he can see Nip/Tuck going "several more years, and I'd like to be involved. I don't have a contract beyond this year, but I will state on the record that... this show could easily go seven years."
4:31 pm: The heat is making McMahon a little irritable - and he's taking it out on his mike. When it falls off his shirt, he picks it up, looks at it and snaps, "Stupid thing." Hey, it's not the mike's fault California's in the middle of an energy crisis!
4:32 pm: McMahon wasn't crazy about last season, either.
4:33 pm: Richardson also thought the show took a creative "dip" last season. To sum up: Everyone on the panel disliked Season 3 except Murphy.
4:38 pm: If the scheduling can be ironed out, McMahon plans to shoot Nip/Tuck and the sequel to Fantastic Four simultaneously. Are they seriously making a sequel to that piece of crap?
4:44 pm: All four panelists are roasting up there. Seriously, the sweat is literally pouring off them. FX, for all that is good and holy, put an end to their (and our) misery and halt the session. At the very least, hose them down before they pass out!
4:44 pm: Vanessa Redgrave won't be back as Julia's mom this season. "We have plans for her," Murphy reveals, "but not this season."
4:45 pm: Catherine Deneuve will guest-star this season as a "woman who comes in and wants her husband's cremated ashes put in her breast implants." I think I'm about to lose that sundae.
4:50 pm: Finally, Solberg returns to the dais and brings the hottest press-tour session on record to a close.
OMG - that was the last session of press tour! I think I'll celebrate by taking a cold plunge at the spa!
FOX ALL-STAR PARTY
7-10 pm: Just got back from the soirée with fresh prattle - most of which I'm saving for Ask Ausiello (which, BTW, makes its triumphant return on Aug. 2.) But being that this is my last Press Tour Diary until summer '07, I suppose I could dish out a few scoopy nuggets to tide you over until next Wednesday.
I'll have tons more scoop from my 10 days of press tour in next Wednesday's jam-packed Ask Ausiello. And I haven't forgotten about all those Grey's Anatomy goodies I promised you. They're still coming. I'm almost done transcribing all my interviews, and I hope to have that story up by Friday. Thank you for your impatience, er, I mean patience.
11:05 pm: This was fun. Let's do it again next year, OK?