The Television Critics Assn. recently wrapped up ts annual two-week-long press tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, with the nets trotting out their latest and greatest for the jaded press corps. As several key trends emerged for the new season, some networks were clearly at the top of their game, while others might need to polish their spin.
With shows like “Cristela” and “Black-ish,” ABC’s Paul Lee earned praise for his lineup’s ethnic and racial diversity (“It is a mission statement to reflect America,” Lee said), while CBS’ Nina Tassler got hammered for her primetime schedule’s lack thereof. “We don’t look at fall as the defining mark of giving us our diversity quota,” she said, pointing to programming including “Extant,” which stars Halle Berry, and daytime’s multiculti “The Talk.”
HBO (99 total) and FX (45, most for a basic cable net) crowed about their Emmy nomination haul (well, except for “Sons of Anarchy” creator Kurt “I really want an Emmy” Sutter), while the broadcast nets grumbled about being shut out of the major races. Tassler: “I admit it; I’m still really pissed about ‘The Good Wife.’ ” NBC’s Bob Greenblatt: “Should we debate the fact that James Spader is one of the best actors working on television or working anywhere, and isn’t nominated?”
PBS and FXX scored with their Ken Burns and “Simpsons” digital components, which provide second-screen viewing options like personalized playlists and interconnecting timelines (just try to resist getting hooked in “Simpsons World”). And while “Selfie” showrunner Emily Kapnek charmed the crowd at the Hilton, ABC may have a tougher time winning over Millennials to a comedy that trashes social media.
Live. Live same day … L3 … L7 … Across the board, the nets bemoaned declining ratings, with panelists arguing why reporters need to ignore live ratings and adopt L7 as the standard. But it takes 20 days to pry the data from Nielsen. By then, it’s old news.
The search for the next great sitcom continues, and perhaps the best received was the CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” whose star, Gina Rodriguez, stunned the press with her warmth and honesty. (“I don’t have to be a perfect size-zero. I can be a perfect size-me.”) NBC’s “Marry Me” also won goodwill, from the team that brought us “Happy Endings.” But Fox’s “Mulaney” flatlined when its star joked that he simply copied “Seinfeld’s” structure.