Fox Net takes gang for a ride

HOLLYWOOD — The summer TV Critics Assn. press tour bowed out in a big way, courtesy of Fox.

Net — perhaps wanting to celebrate its first-ever seasonlong ratings win — rented out the Santa Monica Pier’s Pacific Park on Friday, bringing back memories of an era when press tour bashes were routinely supersized. TCA warhorses still remember the time one web rented out an entire aircraft carrier for its summer soiree.

Event also gave new Fox Entertainment prexy Peter Liguori the chance to schmooze with journos as well as talent, many of whom were no doubt meeting Liguori for the first time. The exec had other concerns, though, early on in the night: “I’m just trying to find my wife and kids,” he said, surveying the scene.

Night’s biggest kick might have come from seeing execs like Fox comedy chief Jeremy Gold and Fox Reality Channel programmer Bob Boden compete like crazy to snag prizes at midway games such as the Surfside Skee-ball.

And at last Wednesday’s ABC all-star party, Alphabet execs and stars sipped on “Desperate Housewives”-themed cocktails (the mango mojito was particularly popular), for they had reason to celebrate.

A year ago, critics and even Alphabet execs were wondering whether the net would finally pull off a turnaround. This summer, as the net continues to ride high thanks to hits like “Housewives” and “Lost,” reporters gathered at West Hollywood’s the Abbey could muster only a mini-brouhaha over the voting behind hit reality skein “Dancing With the Stars.”

“Dancing” champ Kelly Monaco made the rounds, defending her well-earned crown, while two of the show’s judges, including Carrie Ann Inaba, held court elsewhere at the bar/restaurant.

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