You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Best of TCA’s 2019 Winter Press Tour

The Television Critics Association’s winter press tour wrapped Wednesday in Pasadena, Calif. The 16-day junket featured its usual share of dull panels, bizarre questions, and awkward silences. But there were also moments that stood out for the right reasons. Among the highlights:

The streaming service’s presence at the tour was genuinely impressive, with a series of shows whose teams — from “Catch-22” director George Clooney to “Shrill” executive producer Elizabeth Banks and actor Aidy Bryant to “The Act’s” Patricia Arquette and castmates to documentary subject Dr. Ruth Westheimer — provided not merely star power but real insight. Major talent at TCA is nothing new, but the all-killer, no-filler nature of Hulu’s fast-moving of panels, along with the fact that the stars came with strong ideas and points to make indicated that a scrappy Hulu’s ambition, at least, is on par with its more dominant peers in the streaming space.

Appearing at TCA via satellite from Austria on a break from filming feature film “Downhill,” Julia Louis-Dreyfus kept the 300-odd already punchy journalists laughing but also thinking politically during the final panel for her HBO political comedy “Veep.” On Donald Trump she said, “I think he’s a pretend president. I’m not a fan,” and when asked how the show can push boundaries in the current political climate, Louis-Dreyfus reminded that she plays a character who was in office as a female president of the United States, which is a boundary not yet pushed in the real world. Although she admitted she didn’t yet know who she was going to support in the presidential race in 2020, she noted “it will be a Democrat, and that’s for goddamn sure.”

John Landgraf
FX head Landgraf lambasted Netflix’s self-reported non-Nielsen metrics as “myth”-making that misrepresents its hit-to-miss ratio. He touted FX’s success via a limited slate, but acknowledged it will ramp up output amid the integration of Fox into new parent Disney. The 2% year-over-year growth to 496 scripted original series in 2018 was fueled by major growth in online shows.

Arturo Castro
“Broad City” and “Narcos” alum Castro had the unenviable task of closing out one of the longest days of the press tour to promote his new Comedy Central sketch show “Alternatino.” Castro, flying solo, injected some much-needed energy into the room and kept the journalists in attendance rolling with his rapid fire humor.

Karey Burke and Charlie Collier
NBC and CBS opted out of what was once the traditional executive despite each having undergone recent executive transitions worth engaging reporters about. (It has now been nearly two years since NBC presented an executive session at TCA.) But Fox and ABC were game. Recently installed ABC entertainment president Burke was candid about her goals, noting that ABC recently lost its title as America’s No. 1 network women, and declaring, “I am determined to get it back.” New Fox Entertainment CEO Collier, meanwhile, showed himself adept at playing to the TCA audience, recruiting actor Jonathan Banks — a favorite of critics — for an elaborate gag that demonstrated a willingness to be open and unstuffy with press.

“Desus & Mero”
Desus Nice and the Kid Mero brought some much-needed laughs to room in talking up plans for their new weekly Showtime late-night series. They also delivered a dose of realism straight from da Bronx by explaining how they plan to make the show a zone that is truly spontaneous and devoid of pre-interview preparation for guests. Plus, the pair who made their name with a late-nighter on Viceland and on the Bodega Boys podcast instinctively developed the coolest possible way to call on TCA questioners, with smooth synchronized hand gestures that looked a lot like the press conference version of dabbing.

“Jane the Virgin”
Series finale panels are often the most emotional gatherings on stage at TCA, and The CW’s farewell to “Jane the Virgin” was no exception. Series star Gina Rodriguez and executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman held hands through part of their time with the press as the duo recounted the landmark series’ creation, what it meant for Latino representation on TV, and the bond they created over the series’ five seasons. “The knowledge of how lucky and grateful we are to be on a show that we love has never gone away,” Rodriguez said. “We don’t take that for granted, not for a second, not for a day.”

More TV

  • Name Of The Rose

    Germany's Tele München Group Sold to Investment Firm KKR

    Global investment firm KKR has acquired Tele München Group, one of Germany’s largest television businesses. The surprise deal was announced Thursday. New York-based global investor KKR has holdings in multiple sectors, including infrastructure, energy and real estate. Tele München Group, or TMG, is active in both production and distribution; its projects include the highly anticipated [...]

  • UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report: Women, Minorities

    Hollywood Diversity Gains in TV but Falls Short in Movies

    Minorities and women have registered gains in several key areas of television but women continue to lag in movies, according to a report issued Thursday by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. “My basic take is that TV is improving more for minorities and women than film,” said Dr. Darnell [...]

  • 60 Minutes" reporter Lara Logan takes

    Lara Logan Says She's Been 'Targeted' for Her Claims of Liberal Media Bias

    Former CBS News foreign correspondent Lara Logan appeared on “Hannity” Wednesday evening to expand on her recent remarks characterizing the media as “mostly liberal.” “It’s obvious, right, because you get targeted,” she said, explaining her earlier comments that she was committing “professional suicide” by criticizing the media. “It’s the same group of people, they’re already [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    'Empire' Producers Consider Suspending Jussie Smollett (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fox is considering removing Jussie Smollett from production on “Empire.” Sources close to the production told Variety that producers are weighing whether to suspend the actor after he was charged Wednesday in Chicago with filing a false police report. A spokesperson for 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the series, declined to comment. Smollett’s status on [...]

  • Game of Thrones Final Season: Best

    The Best 'Game of Thrones' Merch to Get You Ready for the New Season

    We’re just weeks away from the premiere of the final season of “Game of Thrones,” and whether you’re a die-hard fan, on the hunt for a novelty gift, or a serious collector hoping to nab some memorabilia before the series signs off for good, we’ve found 10 pieces of merch that pay tribute to one [...]

  • Ryan KadroPaleyLive NY: The News Is

    Ryan Kadro Will Join Quibi to Oversee News Programming (EXCLUSIVE)

    Ryan Kadro left CBS News several weeks ago, but he isn’t leaving the news business. Kadro, the former executive producer of “CBS This Morning” is set to join Quibi, the company led by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman that is devoted to short-form  content. Kadro is expected to oversee news programming for the subscription-based service, [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Charged With Filing False Police Report

    “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with filing a false police report, the Chicago police said Wednesday. “Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter. Smollett is due to appear in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content