×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

5 Things We Learned From TCA: Day 1

The Television Critics Association’s summer press tour began Wednesday in Beverly Hills with presentations by HBO, National Geographic, and first-timer Facebook. The day brought some anticipated programming-budget discussion, a couple surprise appearances (as well as a surprise absence), and a heated exchange when an exec tried to wave off a question.

Here are five things we learned from Wednesday’s sessions:

1. The long gestating “Deadwood” movie is finally official. HBO programming president Casey Bloys announced that the film is currently slated for a spring 2019 debut, though that timeline is “not set in stone.” Bloys said the biggest obstacle to getting the project moviing was coordinating the schedule of the ensemble cast, which includes Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker, and John Hawkes.

2. After a New York Times report earlier this month spread details of an internal meeting in which longtime AT&T exec John Stankey told HBO employees that their way of doing business would need to change (and compared those coming changes to childbirth), the pay cabler and its new owner are trying to take control of the narrative of their union. Bloys put a positive spin on Stankey’s mandate. “There are no plans to dilute the HBO brand in favor of volume of programming,” he said, adding later, “what I heard in the meeting with John is someone talking about investing in programming, which is music to our ears.”

3. During the panel for the upcoming HBO limited series “Camping,” executive producer Jenni Konner addressed the end of her partnership with fellow executive producer Lena Dunham, who have collaborated for the past eight years. “There’s no drama to be found there. It’s just work,” Konner said. Still, Dunham was scheduled to appear on the panel via satellite but did not. HBO said she had been stricken with the flu.

4. Facebook execs appeared prepared to field questions about objectionable content on their platform, but not prepared enough. VP of product Fidji Simo responded to a question about videos from Alex Jones’ Infowars — which promotes the false claim that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax — being available on Facebook Watch, saying “if you are saying something untrue on Facebook, you’re allowed to say it as long as you’re an authentic person and you are meeting the community standards.” When asked about Facebook’s Fox News partnership, head of global creative strategy Ricky Van Veen tried to shut down the line of questioning. When another reporter shouted to him “answer the question,” Simo answered for him.

5. National Geographic is famous for entertaining the TCA press corps with puppies and TCA bingo, but nothing could compare to Jeff Goldblum, who was on hand to promote his new 12-episode documentary series, “The Curiosity of Jeff Goldblum.” Making the most of his viral moment since the debut of his shirtless statue in London, the star went off-script as soon as he hit the stage, telling the Teleprompter operator that he was going to “extemporize.” Goldblum accomplished the rare feat of making reporters laugh as he riffed on surprising facts about ice cream. “Odds bodkins, he’s a curiosity, isn’t he?” he said of himself. Indeed.

More TV

  • Cineflix Rights Scoops Icelandic Political Series

    Cineflix Rights Scoops Icelandic Political Series 'The Minister'

    Cineflix Rights, a leading U.K. content distributor, has acquired “The Minister,” the anticipated political drama series headlined by Icelandic star Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”). Produced by the Icelandic company Sagafilm, “The Minister” centres on Benedikt Ríkhardsson (Ólafsson), a populist politician who becomes Iceland’s Prime Minister. However, Benedikt is suffering from [...]

  • WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make

    WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make Deals if Agents are Fired

    The Writers Guild of America has authorized managers and lawyers to negotiate deals for writers in place of agents — if the guild tells members to fire their agents on April 7. The guild’s negotiating committee notified members of the plans in a message Wednesday. The WGA and the Association of Talent Agents having made [...]

  • Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna'Jane

    Rachel Bloom on the 'Beautiful Mystery' of the 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Series Finale

    While four seasons of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” have explored musical genres from boy bands to country, the one type of music series co-creator and star Rachel Bloom admits the show will not explore before the end is Rebecca’s own style. “Basically the idea is that part of the music in her mind is her looking inside [...]

  • Netflix's Lisa Nishimura Named Indie Film,

    Netflix's Lisa Nishimura Named Indie Film, Documentary Features Head

    In the wake of Bela Bajaria’s recent move to lead Netflix’s international non-English original TV series, the online streamer is shuffling its leadership team to more clearly distinguish between development of its English and non-English language content. As a result, Netflix has elevated Lisa Nishimura to vice president of independent film and documentary features, a [...]

  • Family Guy Bob's Burgers

    Fox Entertainment Lays Out Programming Slate in Post-Disney Merger Sizzle Reel (Watch)

    Fox Entertainment unveiled a new sizzle reel on Wednesday night in the wake of the Disney-21st Century Fox merger officially closing, with the broadcaster touting its current series roster. The video features both scripted and unscripted programming across Fox’s lineup. Among the shows featured are legacy series like “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy,” and “Empire.” In [...]

  • Katherine Heigl

    Katherine Heigl Cast as Lead in CBS Comedy Pilot

    Katherine Heigl has been cast as the female lead in the CBS comedy pilot “Our House,” Variety has learned. The show centers around a devoted mom (Heigl) and dad, who are committed to raising their children with the love and support the mom never got as a kid, but discover how difficult that is with her insane [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content