Monday, Jan. 12
The Television Critics Association tour is on at the Universal Hilton in Los Angeles, with a visit to the CSI set and a chat with Laurence Fishburne about his new role on the CBS mega-drama. The star quotient stays sky-high as The CW and CBS Paramount throw a 90210 bash at the Peach Pit, with the Kokomo Café standing in for the greatest TV diner since Arnold's. Stars from both 90210s will be there, though sadly Pit proprietor Nat, as played by Joe E. Tata, will not. Down D.C. way, the NAB holds its Winter Board Meeting at its headquarters on N Street. And up in Manhattan, The Paley Center hosts the world premiere of American Experience: The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Director David Grubin and star David Strathairn grace the panel.
Tuesday, Jan. 13
Fox takes its TCA turn: It's breakfast with The Simpsons and an executive session with Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly. Out in Vegas, the RTNDA hosts a News and Terrorism Workshop at Alexis Park, moderated by ex-CNN anchor Aaron Brown. Back in New York, PBS host Bill Moyers sits down for a chat with New York Times Op-Edder Paul Krugman at the 92nd Street Y, while “Big” Chris Noth's popular, if not popular enough, watering hole the Cutting Room marks its closing with a performance from Joan Rivers. And, lest we forget, that Idol show has its season premiere on Fox at 8 p.m. ET.
Wednesday, Jan. 14
Next up at TCA is CBS/Showtime, with peeks at the likes of Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson and United States of Tara. Later, Showtime's Secret Diary of a Call Girl gets a season premiere party at Bardot in Los Angeles. For more intriguing secrets, bigwig chronicler Michael Wolff reads from his Rupert Murdoch tell-some The Man Who Owns the News at the 92nd Street Y Tribeca. Wolff reads at 1 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 15
CBS wraps up its TCA sessions with a Mentalist panel, as star Simon Baker predicts critics' questions before they ask them. Then it's on to NBC, as primetime entertainment/Universal Media Studios prez Angela Bromstad does the executive session, and Jimmy Fallon segues into cocktail hour. Across the country, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin holds his final commission meeting in Washington, and packs up all those nice parting gifts from cable executives. On the tube, CSI star William Petersen walks the halls of his Sin City crime lab one final time on CBS at 9, just as Patrick Swayze steps onto the set as an FBI agent in The Beast on A&E at 10.
Friday, Jan. 16
Last but certainly not least, ABC steps to the podium at TCA. Lost boys Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse greet the crowd before sneak peeks at The Goode Family and Better Off Ted. And a couple of hot season premieres are on. If you missed it on DirecTV, Friday Night Lights rolls on NBC at 9, while the final run of Battlestar Galactica takes flight on Sci Fi at 10. Better yet for Battlestar fans, a prop and costume auction goes down at the Pasadena Convention Center all weekend. Sources tell us that fanboys are already lining up for a shot at Tricia Helfer's red dress.