Sunday, August 4, 2013

TCA Summer 2013: Sunday

Sunday began with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which I had completely forgotten was still around. And, apparently, Meredith Vieira has been hosting it for a decade already. Well, now Cedric the Entertainer is going to pick up the hosting responsibilities, and you can read my highlights on that panel here.

Immediately following was the panel for Trophy Wife, which I was not looking forward to. I originally boiled down the series to "a girl who falls for a twice-divorced man with three bratty kids. She wants to win over the kids and avoid the exes, but it's going to be harder than she thinks." After the panel, I must say that I was a little more taken with the series than before. Apparently the title is supposed to be ironic, and even upon reading the script, Malin Akerman "thought it was so brilliant" and "the complete opposite of a trophy wife." However, the title may come into play as the Kate character encounters various people who view her as such. Plus, Kate is not really replacing the previous "wives" in this situation (Jackie and Diane) completely anyway, as she sometimes teams up with either of the women toward a common enemy (like a teacher). That said, it still may not be the best pilot, as EP Lee Eisenberg pointed out that introducing eight characters in 21 minutes is "very tricky," though the final scene has Kate admit to Bradley that she has no idea what she's doing, and that is an honest moment that may resonate with viewers.

Next was the Executive Session with Paul Lee, which I'll bullet-point for you here, as I thought that most of the questions either didn't receive great answers or weren't the most interesting inquiries.
  • Last time Lee spoke at TCA, he talked about the female demographic and its importance to the ABC network. Lee shared that ABC is the Number One women's 18-49 network, and lots of the his "have incredibly empowered women in them." But, shows like S.H.I.E.L.D. and Goldbergs are "constructed to be four-quadrant shows" so women aren't the only focus. He also called ABC "the most upscale network" and mentioned that "we focus on empowered women. We are men-inclusive. We are family-inclusive. And we are highly co-viewed." The journalists in the room mused over the term "co-viewed" a bit, as it's not exactly a familiar word. 
  • It would later be discussed further, but when asked about Rebel Wilson's American accent on Super Fun Night, Lee explained that it was Wilson's "choice" to do that, but he thinks that she's "going to be fantastic at it" and is "actually extremely good at it." He also added that "she's so funny and she brings such a presence to everything she does, and she has an in-built fan base who are already very engaged with that show." 
  • Regarding Suburgatory, which got renewed yet is not on the fall schedule, Lee has "a little inkling in our mind where that show is going to go back" and that the third season will "bring the show back to all the sort of fish-out-of-water stories that it was originally intended to be." This made me happy, as loyal readers know how much I became disappointed in that series. Still, if I had to guess, I think Suburgatory isn't on the schedule yet because ABC doesn't put a lot of faith in Back in the Game, which is a Wednesday night comedy we'll get to later today... 

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland was next, and I was really looking forward to hearing about that series, as I'm not a big fan of the original, yet was surprised that ABC chose to feature it at Comic-Con over the new drama. I'll be writing more about this one at a later date, so stay tuned.

Following that was Super Fun Night, which still looks horrific. And, after a lunch screening of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., we had the garbage that is Betrayal. Everyone in the room tweeted about the many similar series that exist on ABC already, including Revenge, Mistresses, and Scandal. I'll be looking at that one in more detail just before the drama is set to premiere.

Two of the ABC series I'm most looking forward to followed, The Goldbergs, which is the family comedy set in the 80s, and Lucky 7, which has seven Queens residents splitting lottery winnings. ABC handed out scratch-offs to accompany that one, with critics winning massages, gas cards, or a junk food gift basket. I have lots to say about these two series and their panels, and will likely cover one over in my Examiner column tomorrow.

Before the much-anticipated Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel (where everyone really wanted to hear from Joss Whedon, not just because he's shiny but also because he wasn't going to be at the cocktail reception following), we had Back in the Game, which I initially touted as a Bad News Bears-type series, and the panel really solidified that perspective. It actually made me feel worse for anyone wanting to tune in. I mean, look at these tidbits:
  • There are coaches on the show to help the actors if they need it, but "they're actually really athletic," according to EP Mark Cullen. Plus, they need horrible kids to be on the horrible team, so it works out. Maggie Lawson, however, played softball growing up and is good enough that she doesn't need a "stunt thrower."
  • Cullen also noted that even though the kids "have two good coaches," the team will "get somewhat better, but they're never going to be good." He later added that "they're not going to win a game all year," making them worse than Charlie Brown's team. So the gimmick to watch this show over others is a kids' baseball team, but it's a horrid at the sport?
  • I'm glad that someone asked how the series plans to last more than four years with a Little League team as the backdrop for the comedy,
That's it for Saturday, ABC, and TCA, actually. PBS has the end days of the summer tour, and although we may do some retweets, no major articles are planned for their presentations.
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