Monday, April 21, 2014

L.A Cameo: Here's Where "Mad Men" Went In Episode 2

Mad Men week 2

Not a lot of location shooting on this week's episode of Mad Men, "A Day's Work." But in one early scene, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) meets with Dave Wooster (David James Elliott) at a restaurant/bar -- and in real life, it was easy to tell where the scene was actually shot: Downtown's P.E. Cole's, one of the oldest still-operating restaurants (along with rival Philippe the Original) in town.

Mad Men week 2

Mad Men loves Cole's. Here's a 2010 post I did on Cole's and other L.A. eateries that have appeared on the show.

OK, now, I have to admit, I couldn't place the diner where Don and Sally eat and have their big father/daughter breakthrough:

Mad Men week 2

I know I'm going to kick myself when one of you tells me. So do share!

UPDATE: Michael Pop ‏sent me a Tweet to let me know that the diner was Colonial Kitchen in San Marino! And so it is:

Colonial Kitchen
Colonial Kitchen

MIKE ON RADIO: My First "The Business" Guest Host Gig, Plus Interview with Chris Carter

With Kim Masters out this week, I had the privilege of hosting KCRW's "The Business" for the first time. It's an interesting episode focused on Amazon Studios, the upstart digital production company looking to do what Netflix has already successfully done: Launch hit original programming for their streaming service subscribers.

In the episode, Kim talks with Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios, about that company's approach to creating TV shows. Then I sit down with "X-Files" creator Chris Carter, who is making his return to TV with a recently picked up series for Amazon, "The After."

First, on the Hollywood News Banter, John Horn and I discuss:

- WGA diversity study shows no progress in Hollywood as it relates to the employment of female writers or writers of color.

- Glenn Beck plans to get into the feature film business.

- Yahoo! gets into the scripted content game...again.

Listen to the episode below! Or download it here.

Also, last Thursday, John and I did an extended talk for KCRW's Hollywood Breakdown about Glenn Beck's Hollywood plans:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Scenes from Wondercon: TV Guide Magazine's Showrunner Panel; TNT Panel; More


It's becoming an Easter Eve tradition: Heading down to Anaheim on the Saturday of Wondercon to moderate TV Guide Magazine's "Fan Favorites Showrunner" panel. And we had a good one this year, with folks from all walks of the TV landscape: Comedy, animation, comic book adaptations, thrillers, sci-fi, more.


Panelists included Steve Callaghan (Family Guy), Chris Carter (The X-Files), Marc Guggenheim (Arrow), Andrew Kreisberg (Arrow), Steven Molaro (The Big Bang Theory) and Rockne S. O'Bannon (Revolution), as well as Jane Espenson (Once Upon a Time) and John Rogers (Leverage).


We discussed a wide range of topics, from why so many major characters are being killed on TV (Callaghan gave the back story on Brian's short-lived death on "Family Guy") to how and when show runners have fights with fans on Twitter.


As part of the panel, we also screened "Showrunners," directed by Des Doyle, which spotlights the creative forces responsible for overseeing every element of production on television's most popular dramas and comedies.


Here's me with the panel, backstage before it began. I was excited to finally meet many of the folks on these panels I didn't know, including Jane Espenson, "Arrow's" Kreisberg and Guggenheim, and John Rogers, who it turns out is a former comedian.


Thanks to Geraldine Agoncillo for taking all of these great photos for TV Guide Magazine.


Also: Thanks to my colleague Rich Sands, who organized the panel and made it happen.


Earlier in the day, I also moderated the panel for TNT's upcoming thriller "Legends." Stars Sean Bean, Ali Larter, Tina Majorino and Morris Chestnut plus executive producer David Wilcox were there. Yes, we made many jokes about whether Sean's character will survive season 1. Low-hanging fruit.

The scene outside the Anaheim Convention Center. I like the fact that it's not nearly as hectic or crowded as San Diego Comic-Con. The floor this year did feel bigger however, and I think it will continue to grow as the convention that takes place right before the summer movie season starts.

Fake Michonne.

Sugar Frosted Fat, they're gr-r-rooooss!

Yeah, the nut jobs were out in full force.

Wackiest booth might go to "The Room," the low-budget movie that still has a weird cult following.

Friday, April 18, 2014

KCRW's THE SPIN-OFF: April Edition (Listen Now!)

It's that time of the month -- a new edition of KCRW's The Spin-Off TV podcast is now up! This month Joe Adalian and I are joined by Grantland's Emily Yoshida to talk about the latest hot TV topics. Here's a rundown:


Who is the real Stephen Colbert, and will CBS be able to get the best out of him for their late night landscape?

What's up, CNN? Plus, is the revamp of HLN, formerly "Headline News," a cynical bid to reach young viewers?

The unholy alliance between Twitter and TV. Does the social network help shows? Get tweeters jobs in the industry or is it all a big bubble?

Here's the episode, listen below, or go here to download it yourself!

Everything Is Awesome: The "Lego Movie" Exhibit at Legoland

Legoland hotel

We're living in a Lego world, and that's just fine with the blogger kids. "The Lego Movie" was a big hit in the Franklin Avenue household, and our recent visit to Legoland and the Legoland Hotel (more on that in another post) was probably one of the best moments of their young lives.

One of the highlights from this most recent Legoland trip was visiting the actual Lego sets as seen in the live-action tail-end of the movie. Pivotal scenes and characters were also depicted in what would truly be the most amazing personal Lego collection of all times. (Hey listen, I can relate to Will Ferrell's character in the movie. I'd want to try and keep my kids from destroying this world as well.) Some other pics:

Legoland hotel

Entrance to the "Lego Movie" exhibit

Legoland hotel

Everyone loves 1980-something space guy. Here's his space ship!

Legoland hotel

A Wild West display, along with a stern warning like the one in the movie.

Legoland hotel

The ominous Octan tower.

Legoland hotel

One of the climactic scenes from the movie.

Legoland hotel

A sweeping view of Lego city.

Legoland hotel

Emmett's construction site.

Legoland hotel

Will Ferrell's work table.

Legoland hotel

The Lego Movie skyline.
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