There are always plenty of surprises, who-knew and they-said-what moments during the parade of TV show panels at the Television Critics Assn. press tour.
Day three of the summer tour that runs through Aug. 9 featured presentations from TruTV, TNT, TBS and Hulu.
Here are five things we learned from Wednesday’s sessions:
- TBS is extremely proud of the unlike-ability of its sleeper hit comedy “Search Party.” “When (the script) was sent to (TBS’) Thom Hinkle, he brought it to my office, and the first thing I said was, ‘I hate all of these people and we have to do this show,’ “ said Brett Weitz, TBS’ exec VP of original programming.
- Tracy Morgan, star of TBS’ “The Last O.G.,” had the crowd in stitches for most of his session. But he got serious for a moment when asked if the show would tackle hot-button political issues for African-Americans. Morgan plays a man who returns to his Brooklyn neighborhood after 15 years in prison. “This isn’t a black show,” Morgan said. “It’s a show about humanity. It’s a show about second chances. It’s a show about redemption. I mean, there’s a black cast, there’s black people in it, but this is dealing with jobs and [Tray’s] issues and all that. It’s humanity. I wanted to transcend that. Black people aren’t the only ones who live here. Who are we to say others don’t matter? There are white people coming home from prison, too.”
- Snoop Dogg, host of TBS’ upcoming revival of the game show “Joker’s Wild,” was a surprise guest who livened up the executive session held by TNT and TBS boss Kevin Reilly. The rapper-actor said the time he spent watching game shows as a kid with his grandmother prepared him for the job. He described his rendition of the show as “an old spirit with a new twist and a fly host.”
- Amy Sedaris is also reaching back to her childhood for inspiration on her latest TV venture, TruTV’s “At Home with Amy Sedaris.” The show is a zany mix of spoof and how-to segments, with celebrity guests and variety show elements thrown in for good measure. It’s partly inspired by a local daytime series with a Happy Homemaker-type host that Sedaris watched growing up in North Carolina.
- Chris Gethard is moving up in the TV world. “The Chris Gethard Show” is relocating to Tru TV as of Aug. 3 after a run on Fusion, and before that, public access. Gethard has never forgotten his humble beginnings despite the fact that he’s now attracting such notable guests as Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler to his anything-goes talk show. “I’m a lot closer in mentality to the kids watching the show than the celebrities that are coming in,” he said.
(Pictured: Tru TV’s Chris Linn, Amy Sedaris, producer Jodi Lennon)