At TCA, quips and quibbles abound

Candid execs stray from intended message

Despite hours of careful coaching, execs and talent meeting the press at the semiannual TV Critics Assn. press tour in BevHills easily stray from their intended message. When they do, the results can be memorable — as the following quotes from this year’s TCA reveal:

“He wasn’t fired… (Kevin) realized or determined, frankly, that there was just no role for him at the company and decided to move on.”

— NBC Entertainment/Universal Media Studios co-chair Marc Graboff, on Kevin Reilly‘s departure.

“Be a man.”

— ABC Entertainment prexy Steve McPherson, admonishing NBC’s Ben Silverman for not owning up to his part in the sticky exec shuffle surrounding Reilly’s NBC departure.

“Before the show gets on the air, I will talk about it in a more appropriate forum.”

Star Jones, on revealing her weight-loss secret. Jones caused an uproar at a Court TV (soon-to-be truTV) session when she at first refused to confirm where that forum might be — until finally admitting it was a column in Glamour mag.

“I think ‘creative differences’ is a euphemism for personal issues.”

— CBS Entertainment prexy Nina Tassler on which explanation for Mandy Patinkin‘s exit from “Criminal Minds” reporters should believe.

“I don’t know because my TV went out.”

— HBO programming group prexy Michael Lombardo, asked what he thought happened to Tony Soprano in “The Sopranos” finale.

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