Press Tour Begins

What with the rose pedals finally swept up in Pasadena after the bowl events, time now for the TV Critics Association winter press tour beginning in earnest this morning  at the Langham Huntington Hotel.

It’s a grand, old world hotel sometimes termed the velvet prison by journalists who are ensconced there for the full 11 days of panel press conferences, screenings, set visits and the like. There was one press tour, I recall, where I never got off the grounds.

It’s an invaluable resource for both the press, stockpiling their information and taking advantage of the access that can inform their coverage for months to come, and for networks, who take advantage of the large group of journalists and possible tastemakers to display their latest shows.

But, man, it can also be a grind.

Squirreling amusing quotes and stories behind the shows for when they actually premiere is less and less an option, though; the increasing presence of online reporting (even among the ink stained wretches, carried kicking and screming intot he new era) requires a quicker wire-service turnaround on most of the most important news here. Many others are just tweeting the thing sentence by sentence, banging keyboards and smartphones in a Sisyphusian effort to keep up and cover it all.

Still, after months of coverage by telephone or by watching TV, it’s a big deal to be face to face with – and this is today only, for example –Betty White (and the rest of the cast of her “Hot in Clebeland,” Wendie Malick, Jane Leeves, Valerie Bertinelli; the accompanying TVLand sitcom “Retired at 35,” led by George Segal and Jessica Walter, Ed Asner and Melissa Peterman in another cable sitcom, “Working Class,” stars of a coal miner reality series, the anchors of a bogus Onion sports network, Comedy Central phenom Daniel Tosh, the record exec Walter Afanasieff (whose girlfriend is in a nail salon reality show), onetime hostage Terry Anderson, former rocker Henry Rollins (who has also been an actor and talk show host; he’s here as “snake enthusiast” for a National Geographic show); Tatyana Ali, formerly of “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” starring in her own sitcom; Niecy Nash and Chris “Kid” Reid (of Kid’N’Play!) in a second sitcom; football hall of famers Jerry Rice and Steve Young (they’re on an ESPN panel, Brent Musburger and Erin Andrews (who are on another), Chelsea Handler, Kardashian parents Kris and Bruce Jenner, Joan and Melissa Rivers, journalist and onetime North Korea detainee Laura Ling, former Hefner girlfriend Holly Madison, and Tempestt Bledsoe (who is somebody I just have to look it up). You can see how it can be little headspinning.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep up for you, reporting several times daily, here.  Y’all come back.

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