Monday, January 12, 2009

My 25th TV Critics Association Press Tour

Twice a year, the Television Critics Association -- a national grouping of TV scribes from newspapers, radio, TV and the Internet -- throw their television press tour. I'm not a critic, but enough execs attend and hold sessions that it's worth my time; it's also still a kick to check out the panels on new and returning TV series.

This winter's event marks my 25th press tour, having covered the event since the summer of 1996. A lot has changed: The tour is much less lavish than when I first started covering the beat (and from what I understand, by 1996 the tour had already dumped most of its lavish elements), and the networks spend a lot less time hawking their wares than they used to. In the summer of 1996, each network spent three days a piece, promoting every new show, miniseries and movie, and daypart. This winter, most networks are taking just a portion of a day, sharing time with their cable brethren.

Nonetheless, it's gonna be a busy week, so posting may be a little lighter than usual.

Above, a famous shot from 1997 (post on Alan Sepinwall's site), when embattled ABC Entertainment president Jamie Tarses was forced to defend her tenure... and respond to rumors that she was about to be fired. That's young me (well, the back of my head and right ear) on the far left, writing on a notepad.

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