Winter 2011 TCA Press Tour: No Quotes from Day 6? (Well, not many, anyway…)

The greatest mystery surrounding ABC’s day of the TCA press tour is why they chose to make so little of it. Given that they had ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel, DisneyXD, the outgoing SOAPNet, and the incoming Disney Junior to work with, it’s absolutely unforgivable that there were only five panels the entire damned day.

Day 6 began on a decidedly solemn note, as the giant screens in the ballroom aired the national moment of silence to commemorate the tragedy in Tucson, and, perhaps appropriately, things shifted directly into the introduction of new ABC News president Ben Sherwood. Next up, Paul Lee, the president of ABC Entertainment, took the stage for his executive session. After that, we had a “Winter Wipeout”-themed cocoa break, then came back into the ballroom for two more panels: one for the return of ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars,” the next for the new ABC medical drama, “Off the Map.” Then came lunch revolving around the new Disney Junior animated series “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” followed by a panel for the new Disney Channel movie, “Lemonade Mouth,” which – beyond the music playing during the trailer – only held my interest when the very cute and very British actress Naomi Scott opened her mouth.

And that’s it.

Well, it wasn’t quite it. We had a cocktail party at 5 PM which was ostensibly “Off the Map”-themed (they offered a trio of tropical cocktails, but I am hard pressed to recall any hors d’oeuvres that had any particular South American flair), but it only featured stars from ABC’s mid-season shows, and even then there were several notable names missing from the guest list, the two most notable being Matthew Perry from “Mr. Sunshine” and Dana Delaney from “Body of Evidence.” Now, admittedly, my experiences with Mr. Perry during the summer tour make his absence neither surprising nor overly upsetting, but it was kind of a bummer that Ms. Delaney wasn’t there, as she’s always been a real sweetheart.

What I want to know is, why didn’t ABC offer panels for one or two of their existing shows, like CBS and NBC are doing with “The Good Wife” and “Community,” respectively?

I’ll give us them credit for setting up a “Cougar Town” set visit for us – that’s happening on the 12th – but I would’ve loved a panel for “Castle,” “The Middle,” or any number of current ABC series.

And why not have an evening function featuring folks from all of their series rather than just their midseason material? I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the fleeting chance to speak with Allison Janney about “Mr. Sunshine.” I’m just saying that the whole day felt like one big missed opportunity.

You know, I was originally going to try and offer up the top 6 quotes from Day 6’s panels, but it would feel forced, so I’m not going to waste your time or mine. I will, however, offer at least one which made me laugh…

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Another fine excuse to hype ABC Family

I’ve indicated on several occasions that I’m a big fan of the ABC Family Channel, which went through many permutations before finally coming up with a format that has been providing some really solid family-safe series for the past few years. While I can’t claim that I’ve followed “Lincoln Heights” as closely as some of the other shows on the network, I hate to miss out on any opportunity to give ABC Family’s programming some love, so I just wanted to mention that the series’ third-season premiere is available for viewing over on Fancast.com.

“Lincoln Heights” follows the lives of the Sutton family, led by Eddie (Russell Hornsby), an ambitious police officer who moved his wife and three kids to the inner-city neighborhood where he was raised, with hopes of cleaning it up and making a difference. The cast includes Hornsby, Nicki Micheaux, Erica Hubbard, Mishon Ratliff, Rhyon Brown, Robert Adamson and Michael Reilly Burke, and the show has been nominated for multiple NAACP Image Awards and NAMIC Awards since its premiere on ABC Family in 2007.

If, God forbid, you miss catching the premiere on Fancast, fear not: it will make its format network premiere on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 8 PM. But if you’ve got the time, then why not take advantage of the opportunity to start the season early?

In the meantime, enjoy this preview of the series…

  

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