July 29th, 2009
01:38 AM ET

The place to be for cable TV junkies

If you’re a cable television junkie, then the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena, California is the place to be this week!

Normally the lavish hotel, which is tucked away in a tony section of Pasadena, is a place where people come for pampering. But starting Tuesday, it’s the home of the Television Critics Association summer press tour (an event where cable and television networks showcase upcoming shows and the talent). So dozens and dozens of actors and producers talked to hundreds of journalists about their new reality shows, documentaries, and series. That’s it in a nutshell.

What makes the TCAs so great is you never know what you are going to get from the participants and how far off the beaten path they may go during the interviews. Take my interview with comedian George Lopez. He’s got a new late night talk show coming out on TBS in November, but what’s the first thing he talks about when he walked into the CNN suite at the hotel? He started in on CNN’s Lou Dobbs and Don Lemon. He quipped to me and my cameraman that his hip was injured and that he wanted CNN to know he was injured in our suite and that he believed Don Lemon was to blame. Then he jokingly asked if David was rolling on this. From there he talked about Lou Dobbs’ political views and reminded us that Lou is married to a Mexican-American woman.  Lopez then joked that if the economy doesn’t improve immigrants will leave this country.

We also ran into Darryl Bell, formerly of “A Different World” and now on the upcoming reality show “Househusbands." He pretended to be lost, walked into our CNN guest suite, asked for Don Lemon and then walked out… as if to say if Don wasn’t there then neither was he.

And then there’s actor Dylan McDermott, formerly of the hit ABC show “The Practice” and the son of activist and playwright Eve Ensler. He talked about his new Jerry Bruckheimer produced show on TNT called “Dark Blue”. I flat out asked him if this show could tell a story about cops that we haven’t seen before. He quickly agreed with me that the cop format is overdone, but said it will highlight a different slice of Los Angeles that few people ever see. He also talked about how refreshing it was to take on a darker role than he’s used to playing on the small screen.

Perhaps the most rewarding part of the day... my interviews with my own colleagues. From my interview with Christiane Amanpour, who touted her upcoming documentary called“Generation Muslim” and her upcoming CNN show on Sundays featuring live interviews with newsmakers and more investigative stories, to my short talk with Joy Behar. Her new show“The Joy Behar Show” premieres on HLN in the fall and finally my probing chat with Soledad O’Brien, who will introduce the documentary series “Latinos in America” in the fall.

Next up Day 2 at the TCAs… looking forward to my time with Joan Rivers.


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