It's the final day! I survived another press tour! Hooray for me! Here's a rundown of what's on tap today:
9 am/PT: Nightline (aka time to get my bags packed)
11:15 am: Greek (ABC Family)
Noon: Kyle XY (ABC Family)
2 pm: Samantha Who?
3 pm: Men in Trees
4 pm: Private Practice
5 pm: Big Shots
11:27 am: Came in a little late to this one. In my defense, I had a lot of swag to pack up and ship home.
11:35 am: Confession time: I have yet to see this show. I plan to jump on board soon, though. I'm hearing nothing but good things.
11:40 am: The cast seems really down-to-earth.
KYLE XY PANEL
12:04 pm: Spoiler alert! By the end of the season, Kyle will let his parents in on his secret, according to supervising producer Julie Plec.
12:05 pm: On revealing so much about Kyle in the season premiere, Plec says "out of respect for the audience, [we didn't want] to tease them."
12:11 pm: Spoiler alert! Jaimie Alexander hints that something happens to Jessi in an upcoming ep that leads her "to act in a different way toward some of the characters on the show."
12:12 pm: Scoop! Nicholas Lea will be back as Foss... at some point, teases Plec.
12:14 pm: Matt Dallas recalls some interesting fan encounters: Once, a girl rushed him and stuck her tongue in his ear. Another time, a woman stuck her hand under his shirt, felt his belly button and whispered in his ear, "I touched it." That second one happens to me at least once a day.
12:18 pm: Plec reveals that the theme of Season 3 will be, "Kyle's realization that the ordinary can be just as extraordinary."
12:23 pm: Gaggle stampede!
12:30-1 pm: Three-bean salad, watermelon, 30 minutes on the elliptical.
2:03 pm: Show: A- Christina Applegate: A+ Sookie: A
2:07 pm: Exec producer Donald Todd says Applegate's Samantha character — who suffers from retrograde amnesia — will never "fully regain her memory. She'll recover a little memory at a time."
2:08 pm: Barry Watson "kinda had a feeling [ What About Brian?] wasn't" going to be back. He adds that he's not all that bummed. "I didn't really like those people much. This is a much better group." I think he's joking.
2:09 pm: Melissa McCarthy says she was shooting the Gilmore finale when the Samantha opportunity presented itself. "I didn't know what I wanted to do [next]. And I was nine months pregnant, so I wasn't thinking too clearly," she recalls. "But then I read the script and I thought, 'I could give that a go.'"
2:17 pm: Jean Smart, an absolute gas as Samantha's narcissistic mom, thinks a 24 return is unlikely. "I don't assume Martha will be back. But she's not dead."
2:21 pm: A reporter, clearly hoping to get into Applegate's pants tonight after the ABC party, asks the producers if they're worried she's too good an actress for this show.
2:22 pm: McCarthy seems less than gung-ho about the prospect of a Gilmore reunion pic. "It might be fun to go back. It would have to be something special. It was an [amazing] seven years, but I think it ended itself."
2:25 pm: "I am not a dumb blonde," Applegate declares in response to a Q about Married with Children. Good to know.
2:26 pm: Jennifer Esposito originally read for Applegate's role, but producers thought she'd be better playing Applegate's bitchy sidekick. And they were right!
2:39 pm: Gaggle stampede!
MEN IN TREES PANEL
3:01 pm: I don't know who has bigger cojones: ABC for holding this session, or Anne Heche for agreeing to it. (Exposition alert: Heche is embroiled in a nasty divorce that may or may not have been triggered by her behind-the-scenes romance with MIT leading man James Tupper.) With that out of the way, let the fun begin!
3:06 pm: Series creator Jenny Bicks admits she was "slightly disappointed" that the show was pulled off the sked this spring "because we were excited about those [final five] episodes."
3:07 pm: Annie and Patrick are MIA. For their sakes, I hope it's not due to "scheduling conflicts." On the flipside, Ty Olsson (aka "The Plow Guy") is here, as is Seana Kofoed (Jane).
3:10 pm: Bicks reveals that when the show returns this fall a new "introductory episode" will precede the five banked episodes. "We've been off the air for a while," she explains, "so we wanted to reset who everybody was."
3:13 pm: Ugh. The dreaded round-up question. "To each of the cast, what have you learned about relationships through this show?" Someone shoot me now.
3:14 pm: Heche hints at her real-life drama when she says her MIT cast supported her "through difficult times."
3:19 pm: Final castmember (Lauren Tom) answers round-up question. Total time sucked out of session: Six minutes.
3:21 pm: Heche is a spoilerphobe! Asked for a preview of Marin's romantic travails this season, she demurs, "I would never give that away." Luckily, Bicks would! "She will have multiple suitors — and she will be living with more than one man at one point," she teases. "We're on at 10 pm now!" Hint: Scott Elrod (Cash) is on the panel.
3:32 pm: More Season 2 scoop from Bicks: "A lot of this season is about Marin completing her book, and what it means for her to be finishing the book."
3:36 pm: Not a single question yet about you-know-what.
3:37 pm: Bicks admits she goofed introducing Elvis the raccoon last season. As she later found out, "Raccoons are not indigionous to Alaska." That said, he will be back.
3:38 pm: Heche says she spent her hiatus filling her "mind, my heart, my spirit." Not to mention fighting with your ex over yoga mats!
3:46 pm: Gaggle stampede. Quick, grab Anne before she escapes!
PRIVATE PRACTICE PANEL
4:02 pm: The most anticipated session of the tour begins!
4:07 pm: First Isaiah question! On Washington heading to NBC, Shonda Rhimes says, "He's a very talented actor. I hope he does very well on Bionic Woman." I waited two weeks for that?!
4:09 pm: Will the talking elevator be back on Private Practice? "I don't know. It's something we're still playing with." Translation: It's been muzzled!
4:10 pm: On the backlash to last season's final batch of Grey's eps, "I take really seriously what the fans say. I love that the fans feel this strongly about the show... Do I feel that we went wrong last season? No. It was the journey we were planning to take all along. Was it a darker journey? Yes."
4:12 pm: Rhimes "understands" the Gizzie backlash. "I'm not saying George and Izzie is the love story of the century. People make mistakes. Is this a mistake? Maybe, maybe not."
4:13 pm: No plans for a crossover between Grey's/ PP.
4:18 pm: We interrupt this press tour session for BREAKING NEWS on David Greenwalt's sudden exit as show-runner of CBS' Moonlight: Sources just confirmed to me that the ex- Angel auteur bolted for medical reasons. Specifically, exhaustion. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled Private Practice session, already in progress.
4:21 pm: OMG — someone check hell for icicles! Shonda Rhimes just gave us a spoiler! "We do see [Addison] tender her resignation to Richard in the first episode of Private Practice."
4:25 pm: A reporter just mispronounced Rhimes' first name, calling her Shon dra.
4:26: Wow, Shonda has death-ray vision! Who knew?
4:32 pm: Chris Lowell signed on to PP before he knew VM's fate. "I only signed a one-year contract on Veronica Mars."
4:34 pm: Recent PP addition Kadee Strickland didn't see Wedding Bells' cancelation coming. Really? Nobody showed her the Nielsens?
4:39 pm: Rhimes acknowledges, "It was a difficult season for us behind the scenes."
4:42 pm: Rhimes' attention will be "evenly split" between Grey's and PP.
4:43 pm: Gaggle stampede — and I'm leading the charge!
5:02 pm: Got some great Isaiah stuff out of Shonda. I just posted the complete Q&A here!
BIG SHOTS PANEL
5 pm: As luck would have it, Shonda Rhimes' revealing chat just so happened to coincide with the start of the dreaded Big Shots session. As a result, my TV Guide colleague Damian Holbrook has graciously agreed to blog this session while run off to transcribe Shonda Rhimes. Take it away, Damian!
5:01 pm: OK, so I liked Big Shots, even though I've been calling it D**cks in the City. Dylan McDermott, Joshua Molina, Michael Vartan and Christopher Titus as macho CEO types confounded by the many ladies in their lives? McDermott's cosmetics guru even gets busted with a tranny hooker. What's not to giggle about? So fire up the trailer clip, ABC!
5:05 pm: Ooooh, the clips are hitting the fan. Even the 289 ABC flacks lining the ballroom aren't laughing. Is it the slightly doughy Molina's shirtless scenes?
5:07 pm: Before the flacks can even clap, Titus exclaims "I want everybody to know, we are getting Joshua Molina a trainer!"
5:07.05 pm: Silence. Oh no.
5:08 pm: Crap, Titus has commandeered the panel. "What is great about this show....blablahblah, yukyukyuk." Let producer Jon Harmon Feldman talk, funnyman!
5:09 pm: While I'm bored blind by the week's umpteenth question about scenes set in a men's-room, it's refreshing that this panel's query about McDermott's truck-stop hook-up entry can immediately be followed by a tranny hooker question.
5:10 pm: Titus blares that his character never hooks up with a tranny. That's probably because the question was posed to McDermott.
5:11 pm: Feldman eloquently states that men are capable of expressing emotions just as well as their female counterparts. Hence the show's unofficial catchphrase, "Men, we're the new women." So, for that matter, are some trannies.
5:13 pm: Oh hell, Titus is talking again. "I'm learning to be a superstar from Dylan."
5:15 pm: One of the critics just defended Molina's upper body by comparing it to those of the gathered journalists. Honestly, that's like comparing oranges to globular, pale swag-grabbing apples, folks.
5:16 pm: Titus is stilllll talking. It's Titus Run-on-icus!
5:17 pm: "It's hard to be a guy," says Titus. It's also hard out here for a pimp, but you don't see them stealing the spotlight from their co-stars.
5:18 pm: Hey, Dylan McDermott is wearing the same Vans I decided to leave at home in Philly. Dag, we could have been shoe-buddies.
5:18.3 pm: The much-dirtier other term for cats just slipped from Titus' lips. Vartan still not saying a word. Ahh, with that face, he don't need no stinking words.
5:18.9 pm: "Holy crap, can I please stop!" Even Titus is tired of hearing his voice. Amen.
5:18.23 pm: Another journalist just asked whether this show is female friendly. Um, have you seen the cast, dude? It's a Men's Vogue spread come to life. However, the women in the show are kind of shrews... but hot ones.
5:20 pm: The first question about the difference between how men and women communicate and ironically... not a word from the panel. "They're different," says Feldman. Yep, they sure are.
5:21 pm: Finally, someone points out that the women in the show are "shrewish." Feldman dares to reply that the women aren't portrayed badly and that---wait for it---the show's actually about "men who love too much." That sound you just heard of someone screaming "what?!" was me. Thank you very much.
5:25 pm: "At its core, it's a show about friendship," declares Feldman, merely four minutes after saying that it's about men who love too much. Make up your mind, man!
5:28 pm: Now Feldman is sayingthat "they're guys who do love but don't know how to do it the rig ht way." You know, there are books and videos to help with that.
5:28 pm: Finally, someone asks Vartan a damn question! "Do you feel saddled with the nice guy role, or will he get to do something dark?" Apparently he doesn't 'cause the Alias vet admits that he likes being the moral center of the group... then immediately hints to Feldman that maybe his character could become an alcoholic. Based on the amount of drinks these guys suck back in the pilot, that shouldn't be a problem.
5:30 pm: One of the journos throws the Teen Beat question of the panel. "Would you guys rather hookup with the cast of Cashmere Mafia or Lipstick Jungle?" And it's a resounding "Yes!" Boys will be boys.
5:32 pm: Molina just slammed Titus for having a ginormous noggin. Thing really is like Sputnik.
5:33 pm: McDermott says that he knew they "would be all right" after the fellas' chemistry became evident while filming a golf course scene, prompting Molina to confess that off-camera, the cast talks about "real things" and only trash each other in front of critics. Lovefest alert!
5:36 pm: Much questioning about the title has led to genitalia jokes, capping with Feldman stating that the original name was "Big D@*#s." Hey, it beats "Dirty Sexy Homies."
5:40 pm: The tranny hooker Dontrell will be back. "We're still negotiating with her pimp," jokes Titus. Aiiight, that was a good one. All's forgiven, C.T.
5:41 pm: Thank you very much. Ladies and gentleman, TCA is over and we. Are. Outta. Here!
We sure are! Ausiello, here. Back from transcription hell to thank Damian for a job well done (perhaps too well done) and to officially stick a fork in TCA Summer Press Tour 2007. But it's not really over. Next Wednesday's Ask Ausiello will be chockablock with press tour scoopage that didn't make it into the diaries. Press tour — it's the gift that keeps on giving. Well, at least for one more week.
Thanks again for coming along for the ride! Let's do it again next year, OK? Cool.
Live Press Tour Diary: ABC, Day 2
It's the final day! I survived another press tour! Hooray for me! Here's a rundown of what's on tap today: