Upping The Heat: NBC Summer Press Day 2009

Within the structure of the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena (formerly the Ritz Carlton), the brief interlude of the 2009 NBC Summer Press Day begins highlighting elements across NBC’s arsenal from USA to Bravo to Oxygen to NBC Proper.

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Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood This second season of the reality show on Oxygen presupposes the different aspects in the lives of two highly focused couple. The balance now becomes between juxtaposing work and the aspects of having two kids under two. Dean [McDermott, Tori’s husband] says that having kids keep you busy. He used to be toasting to the fact that they had sex six times a day. Now it’s different. Tori simply says they never get any sleep, like any normal parents. In terms of her dealing with a second child: “It gets easier in a sense. With Liam [her firstborn], I thought he would break. You take more chances with the second one.” She also dispels the rumors about the selling of her father’s estate, one of the biggest in Los Angeles: “That’s another perception. I didn’t grow up in that house. I moved there when I was 17 and moved out when I was 19. I think it is great that [my mom] is selling it.” As far as the current status of her life, Tori says that she is just trying to juggle with one side being a stay-at-home mom and the other side her business interests. She sums it up: “It is about making everybody and me happy at the same time”. Dean backs her up: “We are partners and get into everything together. She wears the hose in the family. I just do all the guy stuff”.

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Law & Order: Criminal Intent On USA, the big news of late has been the integration in Season Two of actor Jeff Goldblum as a new detective. Jeff’s perception is that right now on the date, they have shot seven of eight scripts. “We don’t find out a lot about my backstory,” he explains. “There is a gloom to the way I go about things.” His belief is that it is about rationing. Most recently in the perception of a cop he was in the short lived NBC series “Raines”. Here, on “Criminal Intent”, he got to play the piano. His co-star Vincent D’Onofrio jokes that he didn’t have his harmonica. Jeff’s perception is perhaps they will have Vincent singing in the shower at some point. In response to seeing a difference in his character in terms of perception of family, D’Onofrio responds: “It gets very intense. There is no back to personal [setting] this season. The thing is to go back to the early years when Goren was completely fixated on the job. We know that he is strange. He is that character again.” D’Onofrio follows this up saying that he is very happy with his character in reference to the writing. In relation if he D’Onofrio will be seen together in scenes onscreen, Goldblum jokes that “this is the most time we’ve spent together” aside from doing their Super Bowl spot which was improvised. In terms of bringing that thought to the show, Goldblum delivers in deadpan: “We offer a cornacopia of things and then they pick. We offer them a fruit plate.” In response to the “Characters Welcome” moniker of USA Network, Goldblum jokes that he “has a map on my door that says ‘not unwelcome'”. Producer Peter Jankowski concludes addressing the aspect of writing on the show: “I look at these shows as a diagnosis for mythology. You can’t see ‘The Odyssey” without Odysseus. [These characters] take you into any world you want. There are very good stories that have the opportunity for nice psychodrama. You just build on clues left before. You start from the last scene and move in reverse”

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The Fashion Show On Bravo, world renown designer Isaac Mizrahi brings his delicious style of commentary that was so prevalent in the successful Miramax film “Unzipped” to the small screen. In relation to its predecessor “Project Runway”, Mizrahi says the format of this show is different in that “maybe it is more competitive”. Described by him, there is a mini challenge within each episode and then the fashion show. In terms of being on Bravo, he says “in terms of quality, [they] do it best”. In terms of exclusions, he says right now there will be no men’s clothes on the show but the challenges are different each time. One week could be society clothes made for only 40 dollars while another week could be shoes. In response to the evolution of fashion and celebrity understanding of what it means, Mizrahi comments “I think we have all become more aware of style. The great thing about television [and online] in general is that it is about education and communication. It is about an evolution. The stars have come a long way. They are working with stylists which they never did before.” The way the media and arts operate today, Mizrahi sees a “very fine line between red carpet and runway” as they move closer towards each other.

Kelly Rowland, formerly of Destiny’s Child, is the host of the show and points toward the exciting voting element of the show: “I like how America gets to vote the final winner. America makes stars now”. She likens Kelly Clarkson as a wonderful example of this. Mizrahi likes how Rowland “cuts to the chase and says ‘that girl cannot wear that'”. A key point brought to Mizrahi’s attention was if the clothes will be seen on real people’s bodies. His reply: “I am right in the middle of promoting a Liz Claiborne line [that I designed]. [To be honest], real people are interested in seeing clothes on models. [At different points on the show] we had real people involved and it was fabulous. The answer here is multi-fold. We do make sure that there are fittings on many different body [types]. Certain designers are very good at that but [when someone] is 65, she is not 35. Paris Hilton has needs too!”

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America’s Got Talent This show continues to build its structure especially after the meteroric rise of Susan Doyle in the British version. Adding to the American contingent along with stalwarts David Hasselhoff and Sharon Osbourne, Nick Cannon has joined the team as host. Nick speaks on his arrival: “I am the freshman and in HD. I am trying to just bring the energy and have a good time. I think my angle is truly as a fan because I will get emotional when it’s time to get emotional.” Osbourne just loves the spontaneity of it: “Every year you never know what is going to come through the door. We’ve done NY, LA and Miami already. There is a great anticipation”. Simon Cowell, who produces the show, has, as is legendary, his own brand of perspective: “It’s always about who turns up. We’ve got new people on board who make the difference but it all depends on who walks through the door. What is great about [the story of] Susan Boyle is that it is one of the underdog. When the story plays out, it either works or it doesn’t. We wanted to create a TV show where there were no rules.”

And that is the key as the presentation of NBC’s Summer Slate 2009 concludes.

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