“Rake” executive producer Peter Tolan took the opportunity to poke fun at Fox — the network that will air the show — along with CBS boss Les Moonves and, yes, the scandal over Lena Dunham’s continuous nudity on HBO’s “Girls” during the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena. Calif., on Monday.
His routine drew peals of laughter from the assembled reporters with fake (we’re pretty sure, anyway) journal entries peppered with profanity and loaded with mock bitterness.
Whipping out a notebook and explaining that he had received an email from Fox publicity detailing what he could and could not say during the TCA panel, Tolan rattled of a list of entries supposedly chronicling the development of the show.
“Sept 20: Call from [Fox chairman of entertainment] Kevin Reilly; he feels ‘Rake’ would be a better fit for Fox if one of the main characters had no head,” the “Rescue Me” co-creator recited, an apparent reference to the network’s drama “Sleepy Hollow.”
And on Oct. 25, Tolan was apparently consumed by the question, “Why is Lena Dunham naked all the time on ‘Girls’?” (Tolan isn’t the only one who’s been asking that question; TheWrap’s own Tim Molloy invoked the ire of Dunham and executive producer Judd Apatow when he made that very query at the “Girls” TCA panel last week.)
After a number of consecutive journal entries reading “Dinner at Les Moonves’ house’,” suggesting that he had considered bringing the show to CBS, Tolan offered this gem: “Dec. 1: Told Les Moonves I’m tired of serving dinner at his goddamn house,” adding that he’s not Moonves’ butler.
During the panel for the show — which stars Greg Kinnear as brilliant and charming, but morally challenged and self-destructive attorney Keegan Deane — the cast discussed many other, non-fictional topics. Such as why the main character’s last name isn’t Rake, when the word is such a fitting description for the character.
“There were discussions of different volumes concerning this,” executive producer Peter Duncan, who created the Australian show that the Fox series is based on. “I didn’t think it would respect the American audience to just make it his surname, because it’s too easy.”
However, Tolan made his own case for using the word for a title.
“We’re also trying to pull in the highly coveted viewership of people who were alive during Elizabethan times,” Tolan wisecracked.