PASADENA — Kicking off the network stretch of the summer Television Critics Assn. press tour, ABC opted to party in the Horseshoe Gardens of Pasadena’s Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel.
ABC Entertainment Television Group co-chairs Lloyd Braun and Stu Bloomberg hosted the event, where the drink of choice was — what else? — a passion fruit cocktail with a definite ABC-yellow tint.
Stars from ABC’s new and returning series included Gabriel Byrne (“Madigan Men”), Alan Thicke (“Growing Pains: A Reunion”), Camryn Manheim (“The Practice”), Rick Schroder (“NYPD Blue”), Charlie Sheen (“Spin City”) and Andre Braugher (“Gideon’s Crossing”).
NBC took a blue-collar route with a bash at Jillian’s Hi-Life Lanes at Universal Studio’s CityWalk complex.
The Peacock took over both floors of the retro bowling and videogame complex, serving up a menu heavy on comfort foods like chicken fried steak and mini egg rolls.
NBC West Coast topper Scott Sassa got in the swing of things by handing out electronic cards that gave partygoers unlimited use of the hi-tech amusements, while NBC Entertainment prexy Garth Ancier passed the night clad in one of the bright blue bowling shirts the net was handing out.
Most of the stars of NBC’s new fall hopefuls showed up, including comic heavyweights David Alan Grier (“DAG”) and Michael Richards (“The Michael Richards Show”). NBC Studios topper Ted Harbert was also in the house, along with megaproducer Dick Wolf, who has three shows on the Peacock’s fall lineup (“Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Deadline”).
Closing out the party circuit was Fox with a fete Friday at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington and CBS with a soiree on Saturday.