Letter from TCA

The nation’s TV critics, reporters and bloggers have gathered once more at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills to learn about the new and upcoming shows from network and cable in a two week sprint of the summer press tour.

It was tough to tell on day one Tuesday whether the numbers of critics had been decimated by newspapers and outlets eliminating local TV reporting, as the incredibly shrinking Tribune papers have been doing. (They dance with technicalities: My position at the Hartford Courant for example hasn’t been eliminated, they say; they maintain they only chose not to fill it after I left the paper last week).

On the other hand, the numbers of TV reporters from online outlets has grown, offsetting the print decline.

At any rate, it was tough to tell from the first day, which was taken up with a series of set visits that critics might have just skipped. Two buses were ordered to cart reporters around; one of them remained empty all day.

Stops included Paramount to catch “Rizzoli & Isles,” the Radnor studios of CBS for a session on social media uses; a visit to the animation studios producing “The Simpsons.”

Studios were happy for the visits; they loaded up catering tables with hot mini-donuts, coffee options at Paramount; FatBurgers at CBS, more snacks at the Burbank animation studios.

The first day culminated with cocktails following the hotel’s first session, regarding Anderson Cooper’s upcoming daytime TV show.

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