Group to gather Jan. 7 - 16

The Television Critics Assn. has set the calendar for its next trip through Hollywood.

The group will gather Jan. 7-16 at the Universal Hilton, with three days set aside for cable, one for PBS, one for set visits and a day each for Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC. CW will be part of CBS’ presentation, and many broadcast-affiliated cable entities will present on their respective broadcast partner’s day.

“January seems to be going smoothly,” said TCA secretary Susan Young. “We’re not seeing a significant difference from the past.”

This edition of the press tour is two days shorter than the normal 12-day January outing due to consolidation of cable with broadcast and an overall tightening of budgets.

TCA previously announced that it was moving its 2009 summer tour closer to the fall in order make the panels more productive. At the most recent July gathering at the Beverly Hilton, several panels were misfires because pilots hadn’t been shot yet and scribes were left wondering what to ask.

Dates for the summer tour are July 28-Aug. 11. No hotel has yet been named, but it will be either the Beverly Hilton or Langham Huntington Hotel in South Pasadena (formerly the Ritz-Carlton).With the print media continuing to cut back costs in tough economic times, there have been significantly fewer newspaper writers attending TCA recently. For the January tour, TCA is asking previous attendees if they’ll be coming this time around to get a sense of how many total TCA members will show up.

According to Young, a great majority of critics signing up for membership are affiliated with websites rather than newspapers.

Skeins launching in midseason and thus assured of receiving plenty of press attention include “24,” “Lost” and “American Idol.”

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