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Liveblog: Fox at the TCAs

August 5th, 2011 by Ben Collins Editor

Let’s do this simply, easily: Fox’s TCAs are where they put TV critics in a room, butter them up with bacon and boxes of almonds, and show off their new fall shows.

Of course, we drop any presupposed notions of being fair about this. Zooey Deschanel’s show is first—she just, off the cuff, called one of her characters “a huge douchebag” while I was typing this—so we’ll be accidentally in crush glow until about 2 p.m.

But here’s our biased unbiased attempt. Feel free to hit us up @hulu with active dissent or questions you want us to ask any of the celebrities not named Paula Abdul.

Some Two-Door Cinema Club to kick off the morning here. Overall, considerably less ornery vibe here than the NBC ones on Monday. Also saw Paula Abdul in the hallway and she didn’t puke on my foot. One-hundred percent success rate so far.

The New Girl

The gist: Zooey Deschanel plays “Jess,” a startlingly hot girl with a chronic case of the quirk, who moves in with three attractive guys and they just can’t wrangle how uselessly wonderful she is. Her character is a lot like the star (not safe for work for its language) cat video.

– Don’t really care if this show sucks—I’m really, really enjoying that Zooey Deschanel is 20 feet away from me right now. That’s all.

– Every groveling old man in this building is actively flirting with Zooey Deschanel with these questions and/or eating melon and scrambled eggs.

– Deschanel, about the link between her (500) Days of Summer and Jess: “The characters are so different. Obviously, they look alike.”

– Here’s the deal: Damon Wayans Jr. peaced out to go full-time on the freshly picked-up Happy Endings, so they had to replace him with Lamorne Morris. They’re not doing a “mom on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” situation—where they just replace him with some dude who doesn’t look like him and keep his name—thank God. They just created a new character. Phew. I’m so happy I don’t have to read the CNN.com “Is this racist?” article that would’ve come with that whole deal.

– “Did your sister (Emily Deschanel, the lead on Fox’s Bones) give you any advice on how to deal with the idiocy of Fox?”

Executive producer Jake Kasdan: “They’re not here, are they?”

– The trailer looks bland, it’s maybe a little too cute, and it’s a Fox sitcom—so with it comes their jerky tendencies that inhibit growth—but at least Zooey Deschanel is going to get to dinnertime-conversation-in-a-nuclear-household-level famous she should’ve been at a long time ago.

The X-Factor

The gist: Simon Cowell screams at people while they sing badly on television.

Oh, maybe I’m being harsh. It’s a rebranded American Idol. I like American Idol, even if I shouldn’t.

– Simon’s here via satellite. Someone’s grilling the hell out of him about the dropped judge to-be Cheryl Cole, a super-famous British R&B singer who is practically unknown here, as you know because you don’t know, you know? You know.

The rumor is that she was booted because she either didn’t get along with Paula Abdul or her British accent was too severe. He dispelled both, saying it was just a contract dispute, but she unleashed holy reporterly Hell on him. It’s interesting where the people with the grilling capabilities end up.

– “We didn’t make it an intentional effort to be mean; that’s just in us.

– Lower age group. More mentoring. Hatred of badness remains consistent. You can vote online, plus via text, phone calls, FedEx and videotaped dance maneuver, as usual.

– The judges are brought out so Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell can continue their fake rivalry I forgot they had.

– New judge Nicole Scherzinger, who’s the lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls and was a former Pop Stars contestant, is called “a revelation” by Simon Cowell. She seems a little bit too normal to be a judge on this show, actually, which may be what that means.

– The winner gets $5 million cash, plus a record contract and a Pepsi commercial during the Super Bowl. So, basically, peanuts.

Executive Session (A.K.A. Talk to the President of Fox, Kevin Reilly, About Why They Cancelled Arrested Development)

– About a Glee spinoff: “The spinoff was in the wind. It is in the wind. We haven’t said we’re not doing it … We’ve decided to really focus on this year.”

– About a return to focusing on stories: “The season feels so focused this year. Not gonna be any big guest stars. Not gonna be a big tribute number. We’re going to focus on the characters.”

– There is going to be a graduation in the end. We know the three characters who are going to graduate.”

– Here’s your Arrested Development allusion of the day: “I haven’t loved some of our comedies over the years. We’ve had some misfired.”

– The most refreshing thing anyone has ever said in the history of Fox was just said about the new Cosmos series. Let’s block quote it:

“That’s kind of what I love about it. This is a very unique property. It doesn’t feel like a natural fit on Fox. Since we’ve announced this, I hear more people come up to me and say, ‘I love that show!’ But there’s something about that brand that we think is enduring. This show is not going to be Thursday at 9 o’clock. We’re going to use a lot of resources in the company to get that out there. Will it be our biggest rating? Probably not. But it could have a long tail and a big cultural impact.”

Yep. We’re excited.

Breaking In may or may not return. He just sort of compared it to both Family Guy and Seinfeld, too, so, yeah, it’s through.

Bones might be in doubt beyond this season, but Reilly wants to keep this thing going. Even if Fringe doesn’t grow, that thing’s probably staying because it’s such a nice critical grab.

Million Dollar Money Drop has gone to puppy heaven.

– House might end at anytime. Reilly doesn’t “want it to be one of those shows that limps along for four seasons” as a shade of what it once was.

TWEETBREAK 2011

– So we’re answering your questions on Twitter during lunch. You can hit us up @hulu.

From @leah_bh:

@hulu the trailer for new looks bland? What trailer did you see? Cause I loved what I saw

Maybe bland is harsh. The last comedy trailer I watched was ‘Up All Night,’ the new Will Arnett one. I was kind of killing myself laughing at it. I think the New Girl can work, though. The writer seemed really cool about the whole thing, which is a little low-concept. Plus, Zooey.

(I hope we get a restraining order as a company from Zooey Deschanel by the end of the day. That’s my goal.)

Allen Gregory

The gist: Cartoon Jonah Hill is a seven-year-old boy who may or may not be a genius, but definitely acts like one. They are considering having a plot, maybe. It’ll be on between The Simpsons and Family Guy.

– All you need to know is that Jonah Hill said this sentence: “We’re remaking Diffr’nt Strokes but with elderly people.” Sadly, he was kidding.

I Hate My Teenager Daughter

The gist: It’s a standard sitcom, but this actually looks good. The in-house trailer was the first thing at the TCAs that had people almost cackling. It’s basically about how impossible it is to parent children, but with less emotional gravitas than Louie and less complete fake bulls–t than 7th Heaven.

– One of the reporters just said she has “a 13-year-old son, but he acts like a 13-year-old daughter.”

– It appears a lot of these reporters who are offended by the premise of this show have not been around a teenager for an extended period of time recently.

– Jaime Pressly (of My Name is Earl) and Chad L. Coleman (Cutty from The Wire) are totally stealing the show here, both in this trailer and at this panel. They have no idea how these people are being sympathetic to loiter-y type children.

– Pressly just randomly made fun of Wilmer Valderrama: “So many people get stuck (thinking of Valderrama as FES from That 70s Show) … Now my son knows him as ‘Handy Manny,’ you know?” We know.

Terra Nova

The gist: It’s a special effects showcase with sort of 90s-looking special effects right now. But it is also a time travel show with a cogent sense of how time travel works, based on how they’re talking. It could be great! It could be a huge moneypit! We’ll know almost immediately.

– Jason O’Mara, the guy from the short-lived, much-hyped ABC series Life on Mars goes back to his exact same role as a time traveling detective. Yes, he realizes how weird this is.

– One of its somewhere between 11 and 17 executive producers (seriously) is Steven Spielberg.

The 730th Primetime Emmy Awards, or Some Number Similarly High Like That

The gist: It’s Jane Lynch’s turn, thank God. We’re pumped about it. Her promo was this:

“Fox called and asked if I’d like to do the EMMY’s, so I asked if they were looking for Ellen DeGeneres.

And they said ‘yes.'”

– Hm. If the panel is anything like the Emmys, expect the Emmys to be Jane Lynch very politely answering questions while a bunch of people get super sleepy.

– “I think ‘In Memoriam’ doesn’t need to be a bummer.” Solution? Waterslide of taxidermied celebrities.

Last comment: Aug 13th 2011 1 Comment
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