Tuned In Journal

PRESS TOUR JOURNAL: Preparing for the Golden Globes

Sunday, 17 January 2010 07:41 AM Written by

Ricky Gervais hosts the Golden Globes tonight. (NBC)PASADENA, Calif. -- Just a reminder that I'll be live blogging the Golden Globes in this space tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Come visit during the telecast for running commentary.

In the meantime, read today's interview with Globes host Ricky Gervais, conducted a few weeks ago.

Friday at a press conference for HBO's upcoming animated series "The Ricky Gervais Show," the host seemed unconcerned about tonight's hosting gig.

"I'm pretty calm because I've got low standards," he said, prompting laughs. "I don't really care what happens. They are not really going to invite me back."

Frequent collaborator Stephen Merchant asked if Gervais plans to be controversial.

"No," Gervais said, "I'm going to be drunk. Everyone else is."


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PRESS TOUR JOURNAL: Megan Mullally joins 'Party Down'

Sunday, 17 January 2010 05:08 AM Written by

Megan Mullally as Lydia Dunfree in PASADENA, Calif. -- With Jane Lynch off working on Fox's "Glee" -- she'll only appear in one episode of the returning Starz series "Party Down" (April 23) -- Megan Mullally joins the cast of cater waiters.

She said she was a "Party Down" fan before she was asked to join the show and finds herself in a much different situation from last year when she was on the terrible ABC midseason series "In the Motherhood."

"I just feel really lucky to be able to work with good people and good material, because I don't know if you guys remember, about this time last year, I was in a little bit of a different sitch?oo?a-tion," she said, turning her final word into a sing-song. "So now, I've turned over a new leaf. I realized that there is one small factor, which is that the scripts actually have to be good. Or that there has to be a script. That's all, simple, simple."

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PRESS TOUR JOURNAL: It's all good: 'Breaking Bad'

Saturday, 16 January 2010 10:43 AM Written by

Bryan Cranston stars as Walt White in PASADENA, Calif. -- Just saw a you-could-hear-a-pindrop scene from the third season of AMC's "Breaking Bad," which returns March 21. This show is so intense and anxious-making and that tone does not appear to abate in the new season.

"Breaking Bad" tells the story of a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher, Walter White (Bryan Cranston), who begins making and selling crystal meth to support his wife, Skyler (Anna Gunn), and children when he's gone. He works with a former student, Jesse (Aaron Paul), who begins the new season in rehab after the death of his girlfriend in season two.

"The actions Walt took last season are starting to have consequences," Gunn said.

And secrets are revealed, including a biggie in the season premiere.

"I think it's courageous of Vince and the writing staff to take what Walt held sacred and in the very first episode, the secret's out," Cranston said. "The entire construct he was holding fast to is blown up. The brilliance of it is they write themselves into unbelievable corners and then they have to find a way to scratch and fight their way out."

Gilligan said the new season also follows another theme.

"There may be some unintended consequences," Gilligan said. "Walt this season is a little like Dr. Frankenstein in the sense that Dr. Frankenstein with good intentions creates a monster and maybe we'll see a little of that with Jesse."


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PRESS TOUR JOURNAL: 'Spartacus' barges in

Saturday, 16 January 2010 08:59 AM Written by

Peter Mensah as Doctore & Andy Whitfield as Spartacus. (Starz)PASADENA, Calif. -- My review of "Spartacus" will publish in Thursday's paper (hint: the more episodes I watched, the more I liked it. I was not wild about the pilot but the show improves markedly in subsequent episodes) and the show premieres Friday at 10 p.m. on Starz.

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PRESS TOUR JOURNAL: Nick gets a 'Big Time Rush'

Friday, 15 January 2010 08:48 AM Written by

Pictured (left to right): Kendall Schmidt (Kendall), James Maslow (James), Logan Henderson (Logan) and Carlos Pena (Carlos, kneeling).PASADENA, Calif. -- Usually I'm at least somewhat keyed into what's going on with the kid's networks, even if I don't have time to write abou them that much, but i was surprised by the wire story we ran earlier this month about a Nickelodeon show that previewed last year that I'd never heard of.

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PRESS TOUR JOURNAL: MTV plans Haiti telethon

Friday, 15 January 2010 08:19 AM Written by

PASADENA, Calif. -- MTV Networks has put together "Hope for Haiti," a telethon that will air commercial-free cross multiple networks for two hours Jan. 22 beginning at 8 p.m.

George Clooney will host in Los Angeles with Wyclef Jean in New York and Anderson Cooper in Haiti. Funds raised will be split among five relief organizations: Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, Unicef and Yele Haiti Foundation.

The program -- airing on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1 and CMT -- will feature musical performances and celebrity appearances.

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Friday, 15 January 2010 07:40 AM Written by

PASADENA, Calif. -- MTV is getting into the scripted TV business with two series coming this summer: "Warren the Ape" and "The Hard Times of RJ Berger." Initial glimpses of both series left positive impressions.

"Warren" is a spin-off from the three iterations of "Greg the Bunny" that have already aired, focusing on one of the "Greg" secondary characters. This new comedy follows Warren as he goes to rehab and gets counseling from Dr. Drew Pinsky in a parody of celebrity rehab reality shows.

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PRESS TOUR JOURNAL: More 'Haunting Hour'?

Friday, 15 January 2010 03:52 AM Written by

PASADENA, Calif. -- Last night at the Discovery Networks party I ran into veteran kids television executive Margaret Loesch, who is now running The Hub, the new Discovery Channel-Hasbro collaboration channel that targets ages 3-12 with an emphasis on kids 6-12.

Loesch was in Pittsburgh in 2006 as an executive producer on "R.L. Stine Presents: The Haunting Hour -- Don't Think About It," which aired on Cartoon Network, was released on DVD and was intended to be the first in a series of movies. Loesch told me ratings were strong and DVD sales were robust but a new regime at Cartoon Network wasn't interested in additional films in the series, a common situation when new executives take over a channel.

Loesch said she's now developing "The Haunting Hour" as a possible series for The Hub. Should it go to series -- and it's just one of many series in development so that could be a long shot -- Loesch said Pittsburgh would be considered as a filming location.

It's obviously a long way from anything resembling a sure bet but it's nice to know that the project still has at least some pulse and that Pittsburgh might play a part should it rise again.

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