For the next nine or so days, television critics (or those who are left) will be at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. for Q&A sessions on the new fall shows, countless press releases, and sharp exchanges with network execs (sorry, no more Ben Silverman.) Here are some of the early highlights of the tour:
– TBS is launching a new late-night show titled Lopez Tonight featuring comedian George Lopez on November 9. The show is shooting on the Warner Bros. lot and hope to capture an audience not interested in Conan O’Brien or David Letterman.
– USA has renewed their successful dramas Burn Notice and Royal Pains.
– ESPN plans to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the network on Sept. 6 with a special anniversary edition of SportsCenter – you know, President Obama’s favorite show.
– Instead of launching shows along the lines of featuring rich teenage girls throwing parties and reality shows featuring women vying to be Paris Hilton’s leetch, MTV is aiming for something inspirational instead by launching Gone Too Far and The Buried Life.
– And say goodbye to the traditional “splat” logo you’ve been associating with Nickelodeon since 1984. The kids’ network plans to unevil a new logo that unites all of the channel’s brands.
The original logo is still associated with Nick programs from yesteryear, including Double Dare and You Can’t Do That On Television.
– And of course, there wouldn’t be a press tour without a little controversy. On the TV Land presentation, Joan Rivers – who has a new show titled How Did You Get So Rich? slammed Jay Leno, whose new weeknight show will air at 9 p.m. beginning Sept. 14. The one-time daytime talk show host – who once referred to former WLS-TV GM Joe Ahern as “a nazi” after he denied her an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show – said about Leno: “I think it’s brilliant that they put Leno on at 10 p.m. (9 p.m. CT) because America can get bored more easily and go to sleep earlier.”
Just like we did with her laugh-free late-night talk show in 1986.