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The Final Stop on the TCA Press Tour
August 12, 2015  | By Ed Bark  | 1 comment

Beverly Hills, CA -- The annual Television Critics Association summer "press tour" is finally on fumes, as is your tvworthwatching.com correspondent after 17 days of asking, listening, watching, and trudging to and fro.

Before getting away from it all, here's the last collection of quotes generated solely from TVWW questions. Ask and you shall receive, although some answers inevitably have been much better than others. As evidence, here we go.

Rob Lowe (top, with Fred Savage) and John Stamos (below left), both of whom remain almost criminally handsome and topped off with mounds of thick, dark hair, respectively star in the Fox fall sitcoms The Grinder and Grandfathered. The two heartthrobs, both 51, just happened to be scheduled back-to-back during Fox's full day of panels. Lowe came first and, well, who could resist?

"I would think you are probably up for some of the same parts. Do you guys know each other very well? Have you ever joked about your" -- pause, one-two -- "handsomeness?"

Lowe amiably played along, first noting he's a "founding member of Jimmy Kimmel's Handsome Men's Club."

"Stamos has been up for membership. So far the board hasn't voted him in yet. Sting is really lobbying hard on his behalf. David Beckham has blackballed him every time he's gotten close. But I am looking forward to when John eventually makes it in.

It's a wonderful club and we enjoy it very much."

Yes, but do you otherwise know each other very well?

"There's a rumor," Lowe began before Stamos shouted from the back of a vast hotel ballroom, "Rob, tell the truth. We've dated for years."

"This is what the level of journalism has become. Shameful," Lowe retorted while Stamos proceeded to the rest room. "Anybody can get in."

"Is there security?" Grinder co-star Fred Savage chimed in. "My God, he's not a professional journalist."

Lowe continued: "There's a rumor that in my lost decade, I may or may not have sat on the lifeguard tower at The Beach Boys concert as John was playing the drums. There's talk I did it. I don't remember it. I've seen footage of it, but I have very little memory. But yes, that was my John Stamos moment. And he's a hell of a drummer."

Stamos in fact has toured off and on with The Beach Boys since the mid-1980s.

***Lee Daniels (far right with Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard), creator of Fox's Empire, made some news via a brief Instagram video when he said "F&*% these motherf&*%ers" in reaction to the hit show not being nominated in the Best Drama Series category.

He in fact said it with a smile while in the company of Empire co-star Jussie Smollett on Emmy nomination day. But for those who didn't get the "joke" . . .

"I think people take things out of context," Daniels said. "If you follow me on social media, you'll get my sense of humor. I have friends, intimate friends, from other shows that got nominated and deservingly so. We've got a lot of good shows on television. So I think that 'Que sera, sera.' It is what it is. It's all good... It really wasn't a case of sour grapes. If you study my Instagram, you see there was a deep sense of twisted humor and a deep appreciation for the Emmys. Yeah, of course it would be nice to have an Emmy nomination, but I realize that there's next year, or the year after."

Daniels also was asked about the legacy Empire will be leaving as the very first broadcast network drama series with a predominantly black cast to even make it to a second season. (In the cable universe, Showtime's adaptation of Soul Food managed to last for five seasons and 74 episodes.)

"I'm just hearing this and finding out now," Daniels told his TVWW interrogator. "I'm even more humbled. We have an incredible showrunner. We have an incredible producer and cast. And now this astonishing fact. It's exciting."

***It's Fox's turn in the Emmy rotation, with Andy Samberg (left) hosting the 67th annual awards ceremony on Sept. 20.

The network's panel, with Samberg, executive producer Don Mischer, and Academy of Television Arts & Sciences chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum, just happened to be held in the same Beverly Hilton hotel ballroom where the freewheeling Golden Globes originate each January. So why not do the same with the Emmys? Dispense with production numbers and videotaped comedy bits while gathering the nominees at dinner tables where spirits also are served. Loosen 'em up a little and create an environment where anything can happen rather than putting attendees in theater seats for hours on end without any food or drink to sustain them.

"I think we've all considered that," Mischer said. "We know what the advantage of the Globes is in terms of informality. There's a little more irreverence in the room. People with the Emmys, and it's the same with the Oscars (which Mischer also has produced), they take it a little more seriously. They're less inclined to be loose and a little crazy. The Emmys, like the Oscars, are really, really important. I'm not saying the other awards shows are not."

The Emmys also provide two tickets for every show producer who's nominated, Mischer noted. And some shows have more than 20 producers. "Table seating greatly restricts the amount of seats you can put into a confined space," he said. "The orchestra section of the Microsoft Theater (home to the Emmys since 2008) is by and large filled up with nominees. And there's about 4,000 of them down there."

***In conclusion, here are a few choice words about Donald Trump from Wayne "Butch" Gilliam, co-host of CNBC's new West Texas Investors Club.

"The trouble with Donald Trump is that his thoughts turn into words," Gilliam said.

Thanks. You've been a great audience.

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Mark Isenberg
Even great Don Mischer can't save the Emmys which only gets a lot of folks to watch if a dead actor like Robin Williams is saluted. It's come to that. Awful writing,usually not funny hosts and the best shows rarely win or get nominated. Anybody even seen an episode of Hannibal winding down on NBC at 10pm,Saturdays? And we all know about the AMC Walking Dead and the spinoff but who watches Hell on Wheels Saturdays at 9pm? So,excuse me if the hyped up Emmys broadcast leaves me searching for a Netflix film.
Aug 13, 2015   |  Reply
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