As the weekend was kicking off for non-industry-ites, press members were gearing up for the final two days of the Television Critics Association press tour, and the light at the end of the tunnel was brightened by the Fox all-star party Friday night in the lobby lounge of the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, Calif.
Old and new Fox talent mingled with journalists, execs and publicists who crowded over near a large bar, which was overflowing all night with the likes of an “American Idol” clique including Season 8 winner Kris Allen, Season 10 champ Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina, who rubbed shoulders with “Grandfathered” star John Stamos.
“Idol” judges Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. were also chatting up a storm, but without Jennifer Lopez, who missed the party for a flight back to Las Vegas to prep for her residency, which begins on Monday. (Fox’s TCA day marked JLo’s second time back in Pasadena, as she had to jet back and forth for NBC’s session when she was promoting her cop drama “Shades of Blue” just two days earlier.)
After a day stuffed with a Dylan’s Candy Bar and a “Bob’s Burgers” branded lunch (yes, burgers), partygoers noshed at the soiree’s “Sweet Shoppe” (a cutesy wall decorated with cake pops, cookies and popcorn) and one of the two pasta bars, where lobster ravioli and brown butter gnocchi were feasted on by none other than “Empire” co-creator Danny Strong, who was celebrating his third season renewal, announced earlier in the day.
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s” Mike Schur stuck around for the duration of the event, and his star Andy Samberg was moseying around, saying hello to his Fox bosses Dana Walden and Gary Newman, who were hugging “Scream Queens” and “Grease: Live” star Keke Palmer goodbye mid-way through the night. The chairmen duo — also spotted chatting with “The Grinder’s” Rob Lowe and Fred Savage and “Lucifer” producer Len Wiseman — were “Grease’d” out for the night, speaking with director Thomas Kail and producer Marc Platt for a prolonged period of time. In conversation with Variety, Walden joked how “hot!” Aaron Tveit (aka “Danny” in the live musical) is on stage, and spoke highly of his co-star Julianne Hough (“Sandy”).
As for Tveit, he admitted he hasn’t met the original “Danny,” John Travolta (who also stars on a Fox-owned show, “People v. O.J. Simpson”), but he has been in touch with Olivia Newton-John. The “Grease Live” star also explained the complex production, joking, “We’re basically trying to make a live movie, and they don’t make those for a reason.”
Regardless of how the Jan. 31 live-show goes off, the Fox party was bumping with a silver-sequin decked-out DJ spinning tunes all night long.