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Jack Myers On the Road

"Fringe," "Dollhouse," "90210" and More: A Summer 2008 TCA Download - Ed Martin Live from TCA
By: Ed Martin   (07/24/2008)

For the first time in longer than any current TCA member can recall, hundreds of television critics from across the United States and Canada assembled to learn all they could about the new series set to debut during the upcoming television season without seeing pilots for most of those shows.

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NBC's Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff at TCA: It's All About Cars and Stars - Ed Martin Live at TCA
By: Ed Martin   (07/22/2008)

The broadcast network portion of the Summer 2008 Television Critics Association tour has run surprisingly smooth these last eight days, given that three of the five networks - ABC, The CW and NBC -- had no pilots to show the press prior to sessions with the producers and casts of their new shows. The critics have been good sports about it, conducting interviews and filing stories with far less information than usual to go on.

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"Gossip Girl" and "90210": The CW's Day at TCA - Ed Martin Live at TCA
By: Ed Martin   (07/21/2008)

It seemed as if every moment of The CW's morning at the Summer 2008 Television Critics Association tour throbbed with the influence of the two-year-old network's first true signature show, Gossip Girl. From the sessions for 90210 and Privilege, two new scripted dramas with canvases largely populated by wealthy and attractive young people, to the presentation of a new reality series about young people competing for a job at a fashion magazine that caters to the wealthy and the attractive, to a press conference with CW Entertainment President Dawn Ostroff, The CW's day at TCA felt as if it were all Gossip Girl all the time.

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Emmy Glory: "Mad Men," "Damages," "Monk" and More Make This a Big Year for Basic Cable - Ed Martin Live at TCA
By: Ed Martin   (07/18/2008)

The 2008 Summer Television Critics Association tour has been notable for showcasing an unprecedented number of successful scripted basic cable series. A press conference with the cast of AMC's Mad Men and, one week later, an unforgettable field trip to the show's set, where critics eagerly explored the offices of the Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency. A party with the casts of TNT's The Closer and Saving Grace. Press conferences with the casts of FX's Damages and The Shield (and the opportunity to talk with most of the actors in both casts at Fox's spectacular party Monday night on the Santa Monica Pier).

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TCA Terror! When Publicists Attack! - Ed Martin Live at TCA
By: Ed Martin   (07/17/2008)

I have watched a number of personal publicists express extreme displeasure with journalists during my almost 20 years of covering TCA tours, but I have never seen anything like the assault Tuesday night on Hal Boedeker, the hard-working and very well liked television critic for the Orlando Sentinel.

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"Grey's Anatomy:" It's All About Katherine Heigl and Shonda Rhimes at TCA - Ed Martin Live at TCA
By: Ed Martin   (07/17/2008)

Something major is going to happen to Katherine Heigl's character, Dr. Izzie Stevens, when Grey's Anatomy returns for its fifth season this fall.

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Yet on this Thanksgiving week, there are a few things to be thankful for in this environment where the state of TV is concerned. First, television’s absence in this eco-system hasn’t hindered a remarkable television era from taking shape – one that will influence the rest of this decade and beyond. Consider the explosion of original programming all over the place, especially distinctive scripted series, along with the adoption of smart TV sets by consumers allowing them to watch their favorite networks, the Internet and original interactive applications; the quickening adoption of accessories that make TVs “smart,” such as Roku, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV, and growing avenues for talent to break into the medium, such as the New York Television Festival and South By Southwest.

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The quality that sets “The Middle” and “Mom” apart from most comedies is that they overflow in every episode with uncanny insights into the way tens of millions of American families actually live, a quality generally absent from other series in the family sitcom genre, since the ‘50s a crucial cornerstone of the foundation of broadcast television. It’s as if every comedy producer in Hollywood except those directly involved in the creation of these two shows is afraid to acknowledge the reality of modern family life: It’s all about living without enough money and the ways in which people behave under those circumstances.

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