BEVERLY HILLS - ABC wrapped up their part of the critics tour last week and...here are a few thoughts and quotes from the stars and producers of the network's newcomers...
- Nashville:" Easily ABC's most anticpated newcomer of the new season - if you believe the hyperbolic hyperbole of the critics in attendance here. (And by the way, the pilot is good...) Good cast and production team (Callie Khouri of "Thelma and Louise") who have put together a drama about a country diva (played by Connie Britton) who's sparring with a younger counttry diva (based in Nashville, with a pure country sound)....Starring Hayden Panettiere as the whippersnapper....
Connie Brritton: "There’s something about Southern women that is so unique and yet so universal, and I think that ’s why I think that’s why people really respond to strong Southern women, because strong Southern women are also allowed to be soft and feminine and have a sense of humor, and there’s something that I really love about that, but what I love about it in particular is actually the universality of it. You know, my family, we did spend time in the North and then I grew up in Virginia ultimately, so I feel that I’ve had a lot of different backgrounds, and you know, this character is actually incredibly different from Tami Taylor of “Friday Night Lights.” I think even her accent is gonna be different. There probably won’t be as many y’alls"
Panetierre: "I recorded an album when I was younger from about 15 to 19, something like that, and in that period of time, I just was so ever changing as a person, and I think music really reflects who you are as a person, so you’re really putting yourself out there. And I quit after about four or five years of recording, and I said this is not me. But I said that if I was ever going to do music again, I would do country music, and for this to come along and to get both of the things I love combined in one show, it’s a dream come true. Really. And I don’t mean that in a cliche way."
"The Neighbors:" About a family that moves into a (New Jersey) subdivision only to discover that the neighbors are from...outer space. Created by Dan Fogelman - "Crazy, Stupid Love," "Cars" - he had this to say about his inspiration: " A couple of years ago I went to visit my mom, and she lived in one of those gated townhouse communities. They litter New Jersey everywhere. And she was in they were all identical. You could reach out my mom’s bathroom window and touch her neighbor’s bathroom window. And I would watch and wonder as I would look out my window and watch all these people in unison taking their garbage cans out into the street and coming back in. She never spoke to any of them. They never spoke to her. And it was the impetus behind the idea of going, “Who are these people that she’s living between?” And I started wondering, what if they were all aliens that my sweet mom was living amidst. And that was the starting place."
"666 Park Avenue" : It's hard enough to find a decent place to live, but imagine if the place you finally rent/buy is the portal to Hell - or something along those lines. This Stephen Kingsian (though not written by King) drama-horror stars Terry O'Quinn. Said he of his career, and this new job...." It seems like a very curvy road, and I can see as far as the next curve and that’s where I’m going to go. I’m going to go to the next curve and then see what’s around that one. And you know, around the last one there was New York City [where this is produced] and that... takes a bit of adjusting. I mean, if you’re not used to living in that city in particular or any city that intense...I have moments of panic where I go, you know, this doesn’t ever stop...if you haven’t shot on a street in New York, that’s an experience that every actor should have, I think, because it certainly is an exercise in focus and concentration. There are those people who don’t want to stop their day and will cross the street and don’t care what you’re doing or if you’re making a movie or how you are or who you think you are. And then there’s the tour buses going by, snapping pictures and going “Hey, Locke” when you’re in the middle of a piece of dialogue, you know. So it’s a trip."
Malibu Country: With Reba McEntire in this comedy about a great country music star (and fine Broadway singer) who moves to Malibu. Yes, "Reba 2.0.." Reba talked about how the new show parallels her own life: "In “Malibu Country,” I bring my two children into from Nashville to Malibu, and the oldest boy ,my oldest my son. is a jock on the football team, and my daughter is trying to get into California life. Our son, when [husband] Narvel [Blackstock, also her manager] and I moved Shelby out to L.A. in 2001, he was 11 years old. And we thought we were going to do 13 [episodes of the WB sitcom, that aired from '01 to '07.] and then I said at Christmas, we could go home, or we could stay here and do the back nine [episodes.] We didn’t know it was all up in the air. And so he was banking on going home. He didn’t want the show to be a success at all. And so when I had to tell him around Christmastime that we got picked up for the back nine, he was devastated. So to be happy that your show got picked up but knowing that your child is going through this turmoil is really hard on the parents and the children, everybody involved. So some of the stories that happened with Shelby and Narvel and myself while we were here, we are translating that into this show, “Malibu Country.” For instance, one night I was doing the taping of the show, and Narvel had to take Shelby to a school function and, kind of, everybody get to know each other, going back to school. And Narvel had a couple of bologna sandwiches and a paper sack and went to the country club looking school campus, and here comes everybody with their ice coolers and caviar and tablecloths"
How to Live with your Parents (with the rest of your life): Some show titles state precisely what the show is about. Welcome to "Parents." Produced by comedian, actress and veteran producer (also the producer of "The War at Home"), Claudia Lonow, you may remeber her best as Diana Fairgate of "Knots Landing." Here's what she had to say about her new sitcom: "The show is autobiographical. I still live with my parents, and I’ve been living there for 15 years, and I’ve been working on the show for about 12, and by the time I got to this point, I decided that a good title would be “How to Live With Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life)” because that seems like what is happening to me."