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"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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You know when television has crossed the Rubicon from a traditional box of analogue content to a multiplatform black box of digital video when the first moderator at the recent DMW Future of Television conference (Vertere’s Tim Hanlon) explained his background as coming from "the medium formerly known as television." It confirmed to me the general acceptance of television’s changing market position but also led to some uneasy questions: Since consumers are the drivers of change, are we as an industry leading from behind? If television is indeed transitioning, why do we cleave to legacy measurement? Will we be able to hold onto television ad dollars or will they erode as the landscape becomes more digitized? How can we better monetize all the new technological opportunities? How can we best harness big data so that it reveals the true story?

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Rather, it’s all about the fact that there doesn’t seem to be any evident fall-season excitement in the air. I don’t think this feeling has anything to do with the quality of the networks’ new fall shows. As always, they are what they are; some will improve, many will quickly fade away. But there are a handful of genuinely interesting new series among them – including ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder,” CBS’ “Madam Secretary,” NBC’s “Constantine,” Fox’s “Gotham” and The CW’s “The Flash” – which is more than we have been able to say about recent fall seasons past. That said there is a certain palpable anticipation for the return of several favorites, especially “The Good Wife” on CBS, “The Blacklist” on NBC, “Scandal” on ABC, “Sleepy Hollow” on Fox and “Arrow” on The CW.

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