The semi-annual Television Critics Association press tour can be quite an educational experience.
I can’t tell you how many times I said to myself over the course of a week in Pasadena, Calif. last month “I didn’t know that.”
Here’s a Top 10 list of things I learned from talking to people or listening to people.
The Word Freedom Wasn’t in the Original Constitution: The word wasn’t in the original document, though most Americans think it was, according to the people behind an upcoming PBS series, “The Constitution, USA with Peter Sagal” in which Sagal of “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” radio fame is host. Of course, it is in the First Amendment. I also learned that Sagal, whose radio show is carried on 88.7, rides a motorcycle and is follically-challenged. (Obviously you couldn’t tell that by listening to radio.)
Poppy Montgomery’s “Unforgettable” Series is Alive: I thought that CBS had canceled the series in which Montgomery played a woman with psychic powers who solved crimes. But it is coming back for a second season this summer in late July.
Jimmy Kimmel Has Never Been to Buffalo: Kimmel had to think about it for a moment on the set of his late-night ABC show before concluding he’d never been to Buffalo. Stay tuned for more from Kimmel at a later date.
It Gets Verrrry Cold in Los Angeles in January: I used to escape here in January to help survive Buffalo winters. But for several days, it was colder in L.A. than WNY. Kimmel even carried a bit on the show I attended in which meteorologists here were scaring people into thinking they practically were living in Buffalo. The same night Kimmel’s concert ended with an outdoor concert of Bruno Mars. It was a great concert but I wished I had packed my Buffalo overcoat.
Showtime Rejects Can Land on CBS: A Stephen King miniseries, “Under the Dome,” was first pitched to the pay-cable channel. After it was rejected, CBS decided to carry it this summer. Of course, Showtime and CBS have the same owner.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship Is Popular With Women: I was initially surprised when UFC President Dana White said 50 percent of its audience was female, but since then have gotten some confirmation from readers.
Netflix is Airing Original Programming: Kevin Spacey in “House of Cards” is only a start. Ricky Gervais has a new comedy, “Derek,” that will air on Netflx. The critically-acclaimed and little-watched Fox series “Arrested Development” is coming back in May with 14 new episodes, each one featuring one character’s point of view. That’s a few weeks after the April 19 premiere of a mystery-murder series coming, “Hemlock Grove.” Netflix is doing something different – it is making all the episodes of its series available at the same time so people can watch them at once just as they do past seasons of popular series.
Stay Tuned for “Arrested Development,” The Movie (Maybe): The “AD” episodes are supposed to make viewers eagerly anticipate a movie that has been rumored for years. There is no certainty it is going to happen, though Jason Bateman’s current hit “Identity Thief” with Molly McCarthy could help make it happen.
Dustin Hoffman Was Cast in “The Producers”: That nugget was confirmed by Mel Brooks, in a laugh-filled session in which he was promoting an American Masters program about his life and career. It seems Hoffman was cast, but then told Brooks that he was seeking a movie career. Brooks didn’t think someone who looks like Hoffman could become a movie star before the actor was cast to star in “The Graduate” and seduce Brooks’ real-life wife Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson.
I Don’t Own My Tweets: I learned from Sagal during the session about “Constitution USA” that after people post their 140 character tweets they legally become the property of Twitter even though Twitter wants you to still own them. Thankfully, most of what is written on Twitter is instantly worthless anyway.
BREAKING NEWS: Channel 4 meteorologist Amelia Segal is headed to WRC, the NBC affiliate in Washington D.C. According to the Washington Post, she begins March 11th. Her final day at Channel 4 is Thursday. The Post quoted Segal, who is originally from the D.C. area, as saying that working in the market was her “dream” since she began studying meteorology.