The Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour officially (and mercifully) ended on Thursday, and media members now find themselves having to locate their own lunch.
It was a long two-plus weeks in the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom in California, freezing our buns off in the A.C. to bring small-screen news directly to you, the beloved Wrap reader. We also ate all those cookies for you guys too. What can we say? We’re dedicated to our craft.
Below are 11 of our takeaways from the Summer TCA — at least, whatever we can remember after the open bars.
Diversity’s Still a Problem…
“Empire,” “Survivor’s Remorse” and “Fresh Off the Boat” are nice starts, but the small-screen has still got a long way to go before we put this diversity issue to bed.
During the just-ended press tour, CBS’ Glenn Geller got raked over the coals on Wednesday for his network’s overwhelming whiteness. “We need to do better and we know it,” he admitted.
Over on ABC, new entertainment chief Channing Dungey promised that “The Bachelor’s” diversity problem will be addressed. Meanwhile, one of her showrunners, Kenya Barris, told media members attending the “Black-ish” panel that he’s tired of having to talk so much about diversity. Aren’t we all?
… But “Sexualized Violence” Towards Women May Have Upstaged It
HBO’s Casey Bloys probably should have just called in sick for his executive session — or at least had a better answer chambered.
The TCA newbie fielded numerous questions about his pay-TV channel’s heavy dose of sexualized violence towards women, particularly rape. Unfortunately, he didn’t offer a satisfactory answer to the reporters pelting him from the Beverly Hilton ballroom audience — so Bloys got asked the same thing over and over.
Later that same day, a “Westworld” producer defended his show from the same critiques.
At Least Gay Characters Are Making Strides
CBS may have started its day by fending off questions about the network’s racial diversity problems, but it fared better with the inclusion of LGBT characters.
Laverne Cox‘s history-making turn as the first transgender lead of a broadcast network series on legal drama “Doubt” and Bryan Fuller‘s announcement that “Star Trek: Discovery” would “absolutely” feature a gay character were among the highlights. The CW also revealed that one of the characters on its DC superhero shows would be “exploring their sexuality and coming out” in the coming season.
Tim Curry’s Still Got It
After Tim Curry’s stroke a few years ago that confined him to a wheelchair, there was naturally some apprehension about his participation in Fox’s reboot of “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” But the veteran actor proved all fears were unfounded when he appeared on the TCA stage.
Curry was funny, engaging and gave his unequivocal endorsement of the new cast, who could not stop singing his praises. Except when one member actually took a moment to sing.
Dylan’s Candy Bar Made BANK …
Fox used to be the highlight of TCA, rolling in popular sweets store Dylan’s Candy Bar to fatten up TV critics (even more) in attendance. This summer, several other networks beat them to the punch — and the peanut butter cups.
Oh well. Fox’s Soho House party setting was still tough to compete with — and you can never have too many M&Ms. (OK, so technically you can, and nutritionally speaking, we all did.)
… As Did IP Owners
This may be the last chance intellectual property has to prove itself on the screen screen. TV adaptions of existing film IP have had some limited successes, but far more notable failures. After all, the amount of press that these things generate doesn’t help when they don’t work out.
This fall, Fox alone is bringing back “The Exorcist” and “Lethal Weapon” — let’s hope those two fair better than “Uncle Buck,” “Rush Hour” and “Minority Report.” Good luck, you guys.
The CW Continues to Bet Big on Superheroes
This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the IP point, but with “Supergirl” swooping to CW, the Warner Bros.-half-owned (with CBS claiming the other 50 percent) network is officially the home for comic-book TV — at least, on the DC side of the rack.
Here’s what CW’s got: “The Flash,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “Supergirl,” “iZombie,” “Constantine” and “Riverdale” — again, that’s all one broadcaster.
So, gauntlet thrown, Netflix and ABC. Step it up the Marvel end.
Nerds Dig “Star Trek”
With “Star Trek: Discovery” slated to debut in January, the hunger for details about the new project was laid bare during Bryan Fuller‘s TCA appearance. Also, it was made uncomfortable.
Journalists speaking over each other as they try to ask questions is inevitable, but never during the entire two weeks of the press tour was it more apparent than when Fuller released new details of the streaming sci-fi series. He could barely get the words out that the show will feature a female lead before TCA members began fighting to ask the next question. Ah, teamwork.
“Twin Peaks” Stays (Mostly) Under Wraps
Showtime shared another teaser for the highly anticipated reboot of “Twin Peaks,” but it featured no footage and revealed just about no new information about the upcoming season. You’re welcome, fans.
CEO David Nevins was similarly light on details, revealing only that they’re aiming to release the series in the first half of 2017.
Nevins also said the network plans to “embrace the unusualness of it” in the show’s rollout and marketing plan, whatever that means.
We’re All Still Waiting for More “X-Files” — Including Fox
Dana Walden and Gary Newman probably can’t leave the Fox lot without being asked about more “X-Files,” so there was no way they were getting through a TCA without that happening.
First, the fairer co-CEO addressed some of the negative feedback about Season 10. Later, her male counterpart broke down for TheWrap exactly what has to happen to bring Chris Carter, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson back for more.
As much as fans think they want more Mulder and Scully to come back again, Fox wants it more — just look at the TV ratings from the recent six-part run.
Crossovers are King
OK, dig this. NBC and Dick Wolf confirmed plans for a FOUR-way crossover between the procedural prince’s “Chicago” series: “Med,” “PD,” “Fire” and the upcoming “Justice.” That ought to be perfectly convoluted — but it’s not the strangest crossover to come out of TCA.
“Supergirl” and “The Flash” will share the screen a few times on the CW, including for an all-musical episode. Yes, you read that right.
Additionally, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “New Girl” plan to mix it up this October. We know Zooey Deschanel likes to sing, so…
Joe Otterson and Reid Nakamura contributed to this report.