Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

The Alphabet Network

n my little hiatus before last week, I actually had an amazing amount
of stuff happen to me. I feel like I lived about six months in that
three week period. One of the best and most incredibly awesome
experiences I had was working the ABC fall press tour.

I’ve written about these press tours before, and I know, for the
people involved in television shows, they are the least favorite part
of their job, but I love them. It’s an experience where, I, as a
wannabe writer get to meet my real heroes, the people who write the
shows. Most people love the press tours because we interact with the
stars. And yes, I was a little excited the I got to meet and hang out
with Kate Walsh because Dr. Addison Montgomery-Shepard is my favorite,
but really I love hearing all about the development of these new
shows.

Let me back up a little bit. Basically, the fall press tour is where
the networks bring out all their new shows for the fall. Only one or
two (maybe three) will make it to season two and even less will make
it past that, so it’s always nice to get some bets down during the
press events. I, of course, love to preview new shows because I love
to see what’s coming out. This year the theme seems to be, let’s take
HBO and Showtime shows and take it down a notch. Basically (and I
promise I’ll dedicate a rant to this at some point), right now HBO and
Showtime have the best programming on T.V. and the reason why is
because they aren’t censored. Now, I think that many times censorship
can create great television. Hello, we wouldn’t have the infamous Va
Jay Jay if we didn’t have censorship. But, the fact that on an HBO or
Showtime show people can say fuck and they can have sex and they can
be real people means that the shows on HBO and Showtime are, for the
most part quality programming that can explore aspects of humanity
that Network television simply can’t.

Now, that being said, the one Network that is making quality
programming across the board is ABC. With programming like Desperate
Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Brothers and Sisters, Lost,
etc, ABC really concentrated on Character shows rather than High
Concept shows (thought sometimes there’s a happy medium). ABC is
taking risks and I totally respect that. Plus, many of their risks
are paying off.

So it is no shock to say that ABC definitely has the most exciting new
fall lineup, and I’ll give you my predictions for what will survive,
what will fail, and what will be good. And I’ll give you some good
stories behind them all.

So we’ll go alphabetically because I’m looking at an alphabetical list
so I don’t forget anything. First we’ve got Big Shots. The original
title was supposed to be Big Dicks (which I think was a great title)
but of course, you can’t do that on Network television, hence Big
Shots. Now, for the ladies this is the most eye candy and
ridiculously hilarious cast of the new season. It’s starring Josh
Malina (West Wing), Christopher Titus, Dylan McDermott (who is
surprisingly short), and Michael Vartan (who I was in charge of at the
press tour and was so unbelievably sexy I almost peed like twice.
Plus he was charming and funny and nice, and said he’d rather be
surfing…lord knows I can’t resist a surfer). Anyway, this show has
been lauded as Sex and the City (HBO show) for guys. I think this is
going to be a great show, but I don’t know if it will last.

Next, we have Carpoolers, Jerry O’Connell’s new show. And though
Jerry is very nice and very down to earth, I give this show three
episodes at the most before it is cancelled.

And then there’s Cashmere Mafia, a.k.a. Sex in the City Light.
Starring Lucy Liu, Bonnie Somerville, Frances O’Connor, and Miranda
Otto. I was in charge of Bonnie, thank god. She didn’t talk to me at
all, but she wasn’t crazy like some of the others. Basically, Lucy
Liu was nice and didn’t have a huge ego. Frances O’Connor refused to
come out of her room on three separate occasions, she was the worst by
far. All these ladies were surrounded by their publicists and hair
and make up people and all that shit, they were celebrities of the
most annoying kind. Kevin Wade, the creator, was, however, one of the
nicest, most down to earth guys. He asked me about my aspirations as
a writer and warned that it was hard work, but ultimately wished me
luck. He even remembered me the next night when I was working the
party. Because I liked Kevin it does pain me to say that I don’t
think this one will last, I think it’ll be lucky to see a season, but
it could surprise in either direction.

And then there’s the Caveman show. Called Cavemen. If you’ve seen
those Geico commercials with the cavemen that’s what the show is based
on. It does have one of my favorite actors from Detroit Rock City,
Sam Huntington, who proudly shouted to his bible-thumping mother, ‘I
just lost my virginity in a confessional. Lord. Have. Mercy.’ It
might be my favorite scene of all time in a movie. Apparently racism
is a big theme in the show. I give it 5 episodes.

Next we have Dirty Sexy Money. Now, this show is shooting on the
Paramount lot and the whole production seems sort of up their own
asses about how fucking great they are. They won’t allow tours on the
set (which is the stupidest thing ever because people will watch the
damn show if you let them on the set). The saving graces are Peter
Krause (from Six Feet Under, HBO) and Donald Sutherland. The girl
they cast is Samaire Armstrong (from The O.C. and Entourage, HBO), and
even though she’s been on two of my favorites (actually three because
she was in Freaks and Geeks as well), she’s not a very good actress.
She’s stiff and speaks haltingly and I generally don’t really like
her. This one I could see lasting for at least a season…or it could
get cancelled immediately because of high production costs (the sets
are ridiculous).

Miss/Guided, I don’t really know much about. There’s a copy of the
pilot sitting in my house, but have no desire to watch it. It is
starring Judy Grier, who you will recognize when you see her. She’s
hilarious, but this just doesn’t seem very good. Can’t even tell you
what the story is. 3 episodes before this is cancelled.

Then we have the shining star. Another HBO rip off, but one that has
major potential. It’s called Pushing Daises. It is a Diet Six Feet
Under type of show, but the cast alone is enough to get me to watch.
Anna Friel, who was kind of a bitch, but has been in a million movies
and been great in them, leads the cast with Swoosie Kurtz (of Reality
Bites fame) and Kristin Chenoweth (my favorite good witch from
Wicked). Basically, it’s a great cast of true characters and that’s
where it’s charm comes from. If I had to put money on one show this
season, I’d say this one will make it past season one.

And the magic words that give me goosebumps…PRIVATE PRACTICE. My
girl Shonda seems to be poised to do it again with this show.
Basically, this is the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off with the superstar
cast. Taye Diggs (who is even sexier in real life), Tim Daly (from
Wings), Amy Brenneman, and of course Kate Walsh. Now, Kate is who I
spent the most time with during the tour. She was so polite, she
remembered my name the next day at the party, she introduced herself
and shook my hand, she apologized for speaking on the phone.
Basically she was one of the nicest celebs I’ve met. But even Kate
was trumped by Shonda, Betsy and Marti. So basically, the Grey’s
Anatomy creative team is the Private Practice creative team. And
basically, I’m putting this out here right now, I will believe in God
if I have Shonda Rhimes’ life for even one day. I started shaking a
little bit when I met her because I think she’s the best writer in
Television (well, she’s neck and neck with Aaron Sorkin). Then, Betsy
Beers, executive producer of Grey’s, got out of her car and I met her
too. I listen to her every week on the Grey’s Anatomy podcast and I
think she’s amazing and awesome and a genius. And then there was
Marti Noxon, another executive producer on Grey’s Anatomy, who got her
big break as a writer on my favorite fantasy show, Buffy the Vampire
Slayer, and who is…………a banana slug. That’s right Marti is a
UCSC grad and gives me hope every week when I watch her name in the
credits. Now, as for the show, I think it’s actually going to be
really good (despite the less than stellar pilot) but it might have
trouble finding an audience because many Grey’s Anatomy fans seem so
opposed to the idea.

Next there is Samantha Who? which is Christina Applegate’s new show.
She was great. Very nice and very down to earth. This one has an
all-star cast (which usually means big ratings at first, but the true
test will be can this show hold it’s ratings…think Studio 60…big
cast and then huge ratings drops). So along with Christina we’ve got
Jean Smart (from Designing Women), Jennifer Esposito (who will be a
huge star soon, she’s freaking hilarious), Barry Watson (7th Heaven),
and Melissa McCarthy (a.k.a. Sookie from Gilmore Girls). Seems funny,
but I guess we’ll see.

Lastly, there is Women’s Murder Club. It looks not too good, though
it’s set in San Francisco, so that can often be charming, though hard
to watch for me since it’s so clearly not San Francisco and is, in
fact, L.A. I have the same problem with Monk. This is basically
Murder She Wrote with four Angela Lansbury characters. Though there’s
no big names, so that sometimes spells a hit (hello, Friends, Grey’s,
90210, etc.)

So that’s my wrap up for the ABC fall lineup. I guess we’ll just have
to wait and see if I’m right.

Peace, Love, and New Television,
Julia

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August 17, 2007 - Posted by | Grey's Anatomy, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Parties, Sex and the City, Studio 60, Television

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