Cable networks begin 11-day gathering

The networks now know which dates they’ll be presenting their new programming wares at the summer Television Critics Assn. tour.

TCA, which takes place July 28-Aug. 8 at the Langham Huntington Hotel in South Pasadena (formerly the Ritz Carlton), will begin with three days of cablers, shift to two days of PBS coverage and close out with nearly a week from the broadcast webs.

CBS and the CW (along with Eye sister pay cabler Showtime) will take the stage on Aug. 3-4. They’ll be followed by NBC (Aug. 5), Fox. (Aug. 6-7) and ABC (Aug. 8).

The 25th edition of the TCA Awards will be held Aug. 1, and earlier that day scribes will be invited to mingle with members of the Writers Guild of America.

TCA begins later this summer than in past tours, which have been previously taken place in July and most recently at the Beverly Hilton. Networks believe holding an August press tour is beneficial as there’s a smaller time frame between coverage of the new shows and their impending fall air dates.

In an email to members, TCA president Dave Walker of the New Orleans Times Picayune also stated that rooms would be more available and less expensive to members if the tour was later on the calendar than in years past. With the economy hitting the newspaper business extremely hard, being cost-conscious is a high priority for the TCA leadership.

Two summer tours ago, there was a brouhaha between writers and ABC topper Steve McPherson when he wouldn’t tell the assembled masses that Harold Perrineau was returning to “Lost” and was holding the news for Comic Con, which was only a day or two away. He eventually gave in after several writers complained.

This year Comic-Con is scheduled for July 23-26 in San Diego and will conclude before TCA begins.

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