A Close Encounter with a Couple of Hellcats (and an Olympian to boot)

Recently, Premium Hollywood was pitched the opportunity to attend the so-called SuperGirl Jam 2010, an event which, if we’re to be completely honest, we’d never heard of before we received our invitation.

Why the invite…? Because a couple of the stars of The CW’s new cheerleading drama, “Hellcats,” were going to be in attendance – Robbie Jones and Aly Michalka – and we’d been told that we’d have a chance to chat with them about the series. As a bit of pop culture gravy, we’d been told that we’d also be getting the opportunity to speak with an honest-to-goodness Olympian: Nastia Liukin, who’s also managed to turn up on such series as “Gossip Girl” and “Make It Or Break It.”

So off we went to SuperGirl Jam 2010…and $17 dollars in parking fees later, we did indeed get to to talk to all three of these individuals. That’s the good news. The bad news, however, is that the sum total of time spent with the trio – we talked to each of them separately – barely topped out at the 10-minute mark. Note to self: next time, get a guarantee of at least five minutes per person.

And possibly parking validation.

– Robbie Jones –

Premium Hollywood: Hi, I’m Bob Westal from Premium Hollywood/Bullz-Eye.com.

Robbie Jones: Nice to meet you.

PH: I’m not usually a TV guy and I was researching you. You’re kind of a mystery man.

RJ: Am I?

PH: There’s not a lot about you on the Internet. For example, your age.

RJ: It’s crazy.

PH: Your age is unknown. Are you like 50 years old?

RJ: 57. I have 16 kids.

PH: In five different states.

RJ: It’s crazy. The math is all off but it’s true.

PH: Okay, I know you were on “One Tree Hill” and they kind of killed you.

RJ: It was sad. Sad. Q. [Quentin Fields] was just turning the corner to be a positive guy and — life cut short. Tragic end.

PH: “Tragic end.” Okay. Let’s get a little background [before we move on to “Hellcats”]. Where are you from originally? How did you get started?

RJ: I’m from Sacramento, California and I’ve been in L.A. for about five years and I’ve been acting pretty much since I got out here.

PH: How did you get the “One Tree Hill” gig?

RJ: Well, it was the audition process. I’m sure a ton of guys auditioned for the role. I went in, just like everybody else. [Series creator] Mark Schwahn, I’m telling you, he changed my life, he gave me a shot, believed in me, [CBS Television President] Peter Roth believed in me, and the rest is kind of history. It’s really a blessing from God, honestly.

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Greetings to the New Season: The CW – UPDATED

And so we come to the last of the big network upfronts…if, that is, you consider The CW to be a big network. I’m not saying I don’t, you understand. I just mean that there are still some people out there who haven’t yet accepted Fox as being a real network, so you can only imagine what they think of The CW.

But I digress.

Sort of.

It probably is worth noting that, unlike ABC, CBS, NBC, and, yes, even Fox, The CW held their upfront without providing photos, let alone videos, to accompany their new fall series…and since there are only two of them, you’d think they could’ve at least managed to throw together logos for them to serve as preliminary artwork. Instead, I’m stuck falling back on the tried and true network logo.

Yawn.

Okay, sorry, that really was a digression…and, as it turned out, a mostly unnecessary one, since the photos had appeared on The CW’s press site by 10:30 AM EST. Still, that was well after the press release about the fall schedule went out…a press release which, FYI, required two revisions due to various accidental omissions. I’m just saying.

Anyway, on with the show(s)…

MONDAY

8 – 9 PM: 90210

9 – 10 PM: Gossip Girl

TUESDAY

8 – 9 PM: One Tree Hill

9 – 10 PM: Life Unexpected

WEDNESDAY

8 – 9 PM: America’s Next Top Model

9 – 10 PM: Hellcats: a coming-of-age story about Marti Perkins, a young, pre-law student at Lancer University in Memphis, Tennessee. Marti is cool, hip and alt, but her world flips upside down, literally and figuratively, when she loses her scholarship, and realizes the only way she can stay in school is by reigniting her dormant teen gymnastic skills to win a place on Lancer’s legendary cheerleading team, The Hellcats. Against her every instinct, Marti goes for it and makes the squad, and is thrust into a world of camaraderie, backstabbing and the intersection of sports, backroom academia and big money.

Marti’s new roommate, Savannah Monroe, a petite, peppy Texan, is among the diverse cast of athletes, undergrads, family and friends, all set on the sprawling campus of a powerhouse college football program in the deep South. The series stars Aly Michalka as Marti Perkins, Ashley Tisdale as Savannah Monroe, Heather Hemmens as Alice Verdura, Robbie Jones as Lewis Flynn, Matt Barr as Dan Patch, with Sharon Leal as Vanessa Lodge and Gail O’Grady as Wanda Perkins. “Hellcats” is executive produced by Kevin Murphy (“Desperate Housewives”), Tom Welling (“Smallville”), and Allan Arkush (“Heroes,” “Crossing Jordan”). The pilot was directed by Arkush.

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The CW: The Fall Schedule

Although I’m as cautiously amused about the idea of a “Melrose Place” reboot as I was with “90210” last year, and I’m sure my “Twilight”-loving wife will be into the network’s new Thursday night drama, I really only have one observation to make about The CW’s fall schedule: instead of pairing “Smallville” with a third season of “Reaper,” they’ve canceled the latter and are wasting an hour of their schedule re-running the episode of “America’s Next Top Model” from earlier in the week.

Are you kidding me?

Okay, that’s all I’ve got. I’m just really pissed off about that and needed to get it out of my system. Read on to see what else The CW has in stores for “the kids” this season…

MONDAY

8:00 PM – Gossip Girl
9:00 PM – One Tree Hill

TUESDAY

8:00 PM – 90210
9:00 PM – Melrose Place

In an elegant Spanish-style apartment building in the trendy Melrose neighborhood of Los Angeles, a diverse group of 20-somethings have formed a close-knit surrogate family. Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton) is the landlady, still beautiful at 40, and a central figure in the lives of all her tenants, especially handsome and rebellious David Breck (Shaun Sipos). Sydney started an affair with David despite her turbulent history with his estranged father, Dr. Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro). Both father and son learned through experience that Sydney was not above using blackmail to control people. Another tenant, high-powered publicist Ella Simms (Katie Cassidy), once considered Sydney her mentor, but their friendship was destroyed by betrayal, and Sydney threatened to evict Ella and ruin her career. Sydney also played a pivotal role in the career of Auggie Kirkpatrick (Colin Egglesfield). After they met at an AA meeting, she became Auggie’s sponsor and encouraged his dream to become a chef. Now a successful sous chef at the trendy restaurant Coal, Auggie has been avoiding Sydney since she began drinking again. The other tenants include Lauren Yung (Stephanie Jacobsen), a medical student in desperate need of money to pay her student loans, and Jonah Miller (Michael Rady), an aspiring filmmaker who has just proposed to his live-in girlfriend Riley Richmond (Jessica Lucas), a first-grade teacher. The newest tenant, 18-year-old Violet Foster (Ashlee Simpson-Wentz), has just arrived in LA with her own secret connection to Sydney. When a bloody body is found floating in the courtyard pool, David is the leading suspect. However, as the police are soon to discover, almost everyone living at Melrose Place had a reason to want the deceased out of the way.

WEDNESDAY

8:00 PM – America’s Next Top Model
9:00 PM – The Beautiful Life

The life of a high-fashion model appears glamorous and sexy, but as every new model quickly learns, behind the beautiful façade is a world of insecurity and cutthroat competition. Two teenage models who are about to discover this world for themselves are Raina Collins (Sara Paxton), a stunning beauty with a secret past, and Chris Andrews (Benjamin Hollingsworth), a strikingly handsome Iowa farm boy. When Raina makes an unforgettable impression at a show introducing the new line from designer Zac Posen, she steals the spotlight from her friend Sonja (Mischa Barton). Sonja has been out of the country for mysterious reasons and is now desperate to reclaim her standing as the reigning supermodel. While Raina and Sonja live at the top of the fashion food chain, Chris is starting at the bottom, having just been discovered by agent Simon Lockridge (Dusan Dukic) of the Covet Modeling Agency, which is owned by former supermodel Claudia Foster (Elle Macpherson). At his first photo shoot, Chris’ inexperience almost derails his career until Raina comes to his rescue, showing him how to relax and work the camera. That afternoon, Raina brings Chris to the “models’ residence” where she lives along with other young hopefuls, including Marissa Delfina (Ashley Madekwe), Egan (Jordan Woolley), Issac (Corbin Bleu) and the current alpha-male-model known as Kai (Nico Tortorella). At an exclusive industry party that night, Chris is again impressed by Raina’s generosity when she steps aside to make sure Sonja lands a job that will resurrect her career. However, after an ugly scene with Simon, Chris is left to question whether he can survive in this world of dangerous excess and fleeting fame.

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CW renews six shows

Good news for fans of several CW shows.

The CW network has picked up six series to return in the fall: “Gossip Girl,” “One Tree Hill, “90210,” the Thursday combo of “Smallville” and “Supernatural” and the reality hit “America’s Next Top Model,” which has been green-lighted for its 13th and 14th seasons.

The ninth-season renewal for “Smallville” came after producing studio Warner Bros TV was able to secure a new deal with star Tom Welling.

The last couple seasons of “Supernatural” have been great, and “Smallville” has been really strong this year as well, so I’m happy to see that both will be returning for another season. The same goes for “Gossip Girl,” which is a guilty pleasure.

There are a few other CW shows that are still in limbo…


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