TCA Begins at Home, Virtually, with PBS

One of the smaller casualties of the lingering pandemic crisis in the U.S. is the summer TV press tour in California, where networks wold march into chilly hotel ballrooms to present their roster of upcoming shows for reporters through endless panel discussions.

Like everything else, the TV Critics Association tour was reduced to a schedule of Zoom calls organized by the individual networks (and not every one – major broadcasters have so far opted out).

But scheduled like a phantom limb about the time they would have been presenting live, PBS kicked things off this week with a truncated schedule of half-day sessions (and no accompanying meals, entertainment or cocktail parties). 

Sadly, the first panel was one about the impending 50th anniversary of the public broadcasting service this fall. “Needless to say, this isn’t how we thought we’d be marking our 50th,” said PBS chief Paula Kerger, nonetheless looking more comfortable addressing reporters from her den than from the podium on a stage.

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