It’s that time once again, boys and girls, for Dan, Liane and I get to camp out at the happiest place on earth: the Television Critics Association press tour!
If you’ve been reading me a while, you know what press tour is all about; if you don’t, the press tour primer I wrote for The Star-Ledger a while back mostly still applies (though one of these years, I need to do a new version to factor in all the Tweeting and other wifi-enabled madness that happens in the ballroom now). Short version: many, many days in a row of a couple hundred TV critics, reporters and bloggers sitting in an air-conditioned ballroom and attending press conferences for a bunch of mid-season shows from many different broadcast networks and cable channels.
For the most part, these tend to be new shows, rather than returning ones. There’s a limited amount of time, and the network publicity departments would rather spend that time (and money) on spreading word about new shows than ones that have already had their shot at press tour. So when a veteran show comes to tour, it’s usually because it’s undergone a big change, whether that’s a new network (the TBS-bound “Cougar Town” will be one of the very first panels of the tour this morning) or a major creative change (NBC is bringing the revamped cast and new showrunner of “Smash: The Smash Williams Story” to their tour day).
Of particular interest at this tour is that Netflix will have some kind of presence, though a lot of the details are being figured out. As I’ve written several times (particularly in our looking-ahead-to-2013 galleries), the impact of “House of Cards” and “Arrested Development” – and the “release all the episodes at once” scheduling model – is, for me, the most fascinating story in the early part of 2013, if not of the whole year. It could be a paradigm changer, or something specific to Netflix that no one else tries.
As always during press tour, we’re going to be playing a lot of things by ear, in terms of which panels get written up and by whom (though Dan will assuredly continue his tradition of live-blogging all the major network executive sessions), in terms of when Dan and I can podcast, and also in terms of what non-tour-related TV I’ll be able to cover while I’m there. There is a lot of new TV debuting over the next week or so, and while I intend to do advance reviews of “Justified,” “Cougar Town,” “Girls” and some other series, the specific episode reviews may be fewer and farther between until I’m back in New Jersey and on a regular schedule again.
If you’re on Twitter, you’ll definitely want to be following me, Dan and Liane, and we will do our best to not tweet out the exact same news developments and quotes as each other, though sometimes it’s hard to resist instantly transcribing the latest funny thing that Bill Lawrence has said.
See you on the other side.