TCA tour gets aggressive as competish heats up
Maybe there’s something in the water at the Hollywood Renaissance — or perhaps the hotel’s slow valet service made everyone cranky.
Whatever the reason, network execs, producers and talent got a little more feisty than usual last week at the semi-annual TV critics press tour.
They sniped at rivals on stage and acted out at parties. Vanilla Ice took out his aggression (who knew he had so much?) by ripping down posters of his face, and destroying a few vases in the process, at the WB’s party Jan. 13.
Tycoon turned reality TV star Donald Trump, still miffed over his falling out with CBS honcho Leslie Moonves over rights to the Miss Universe pageants, called the Eye topper “the most highly overrated person in television.” Moonves got the last word in later that week, taking a shot at The Donald’s oddly coiffed ‘do.
“If you had hair like mine, I could understand why he’s jealous,” Moonves said. “I might say the same about Jeff Zucker, too, but I won’t.”
WB publicity’s Keith Marder hit below the waist with a swipe at Alphabet topper Lloyd Braun while referring to the large endowment that made porn star — and “Surreal Life” castmate — Ron Jeremy famous.
“Speaking of Ron Jeremy, he’ll be up here in a minute as part of our first panel, which will be precedent-setting, because up until now Lloyd Braun was the biggest dick at TCA,” Marder said.
ABC execs took the high road and declined to respond.
Critics in attendance didn’t completely take the gloves off, either. WB co-CEO Jordan Levin was accosted by several angry critics at the net’s Monday night cocktail reception.
And Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Gail Shister stunned Moonves by asking the exec whether he had excused himself from oversight of “The Early Show” — a not-so-subtle reference to the exec’s relationship with anchor Julie Chen.
“Are you writing for Page Six now?” Moonves parried.