“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” threw a party, and everybody came

Joshfriedman_3It was probably the closest thing to normalcy the TV industry had seen in months.

Fox gave “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” the royal treatment on Wednesday night, celebrating the launch of the new series in the midst of what’s hardly a celebratory time for the biz.

But for a moment, execs, scribes, talent and others were able to forget their industry woes and party (together!). The set up rivaled any other premiere event: Copious spreads of semi-exotic foods, a decadent desert table, gallons of open-bar beverages, boom-boom-boom music, heat lamps, mood lighting and the din of excited chit-chat and congratulations.

The premiere party for “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” took place on the roof of the ArcLight Theater parking structure, and was packed. (So much so that late arrivees couldn’t find a parking spot in the ArcLight’s massive garage.) The sense of urgency to reclaim a bit of the normal routine of premiere parties, award shows, receptions etc. (we are a party-going people, after all) was palpable. Instead of the usual three or four contortionists, the dance floor was packed.

There were reminders of the civil war that’s raging on the ground. At least a dozen attendees sported “WGAW” lapel pins, and strike-talk was the dominant topic of conversation.

It was not an easy call for “Sarah Connor” exec producer/showrunner Josh Friedman (pictured at 2006’s “Black Dahlia” premiere) as to whether he would, or should, attend the party. He spoke to WGA leaders about the event in advance, and he made a special trip to the guild’s Third Street HQ today to make Termexecs1_2 sure he had plenty of pins for his scribes. In the end, Friedman made the decision to come in support of the cast and crew, because he is proud of the work they’ve all done did on a show that was not easy to pull off. Friedman explained his reasoning as he collected congrats, handshakes and back slaps that were a bit bittersweet, under the circumstances.

“Sarah Connor,” which bows Sunday and Monday, has nine of its 13 segs in the can, but Friedman hasn’t seen any of the episodes since they were in post-production on the second ep. His experience is just one more small example of the fallout from the studios’ intransigence and unwillingness “to come back to the table and negotiate with us,” he said. “All we want is a fair deal.”

All the finger food in the world can’t make up for that.

(Pictured above right: Fox’s Peter Liguori, “Sarah Connor” star Lena Headey, wearing a WGAW pin, and Fox’s Kevin Reilly)

–Cynthia Littleton