We brought you all of the details on midseason TV from the Winter TCA, where stars of new and returning shows gave us the inside scoop on what to watch. That's not all — we've also been reviewing all of the new shows so you know what's worth checking out. There's a lot to sift through, so here's the lowdown on shows like Touch, Alcatraz, and many more.
The CW brought out a treat for the Winter TCA: their hot male actors. Kristoffer Polaha of Ringer, Wilson Bethel of Hart of Dixie, Jared Padalecki of Supernatural, Ed Westwick of Gossip Girl, Joseph Morgan of The Vampire Diaries, and Shane West of Nikita were all part of "The BadAss Boys of The CW" panel. The very good-looking group sat down, took questions, and quipped about why they (or their characters) were so badass. Read the funniest quotes while checking out the pictures, if you can take that much handsome.
Showtime's midseason comedy House of Lies has all the elements of a bold cable series: lots of drama, foul-mouthed characters, and sex, sex, sex. The show is about the consultants of firm Galweather & Stearn, who are committed to doing whatever it takes to make their clients happy — even if that means compromising their morals. Stars Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell, and Ben Schwartz joined showrunners at the Winter TCA to talk about their new show and morally ambiguous characters.
- Bell acknowledged that the role of Jeannie is "more provocative than anything [she's] ever done," especially in comparison to her previous TV role on Veronica Mars. When she was asked if she was enjoying the "naughty talk" on the show, she went for shock value and exclaimed that she was "f*ckin' enjoying the hell out if it!" More seriously, she said that as Jeannie, "sometimes I have a potty mouth," and added that "it's nice to not to have those limitations."
- Cheadle said that the decision to do a TV series wasn't out of the ordinary for him, because he wants to "spread [his] wings, so to speak," though he assured the audience that he was still making films. As for his character of Marty, who heads up the firm, Cheadle let us know that there's a good reason viewers might not be able to put their finger on the character: "he's asking himself that same question, who's the real me?" Cheadle said Marty will deal with that identity crisis this entire season, and "chart his crash and burn mentality."
- My favorite part of the panel was when someone referenced star Ben Schwartz's Parks and Recreation character Jean Ralphio. In response to whether Jean Ralphio would hire the firm to represent Entertainment 720, Schwartz said he would definitely figure out a way to afford Galweather & Stearn: "Oh, he'll get the money again." Also, Schwartz thinks Jean Ralphio would love the characters on House of Lies, saying "I think if Jean Ralphio met Marty he would do anything to be friends with him," and he would also "want to fall in love with Kristen and bring her home." The cast laughed about a House of Lies/Parks and Recreation intersection, with Schwartz saying that "it would be a very interesting mix to see those two worlds collide."
Saturday Night Live alum and frequent Adam Sandler collaborator Rob Schneider is coming to TV with his own series, Rob. The CBS show's title isn't the only thing that's inspired by Schneider: the premise of the midseason show, about the newlywed relationship between Rob and his Mexican-American spouse (played by Claudia Bassols) and her family, is based on Schneider's own relationship with his wife. Schneider hit the Winter TCA along with showrunners and other stars like Cheech Marin to talk about the love story behind the show.
- Schneider, whose wife Patricia is from Mexico City, said their home life has inspired the show. "It's like a sitcom at our house," he said, because his wife is so funny, and since her first language is Spanish, there's often humor found in that. She's prone to saying things like "in Spanish I'm much funnier, you have no idea," and "translator off!" meaning she's not going to listen to him anymore at certain times of night.
- Schneider recounted his love story with Patricia, highlighting their mutual ethnicities as a factor. "My dad's German," he explained, "they're not touchy feely," but "Mexicans kiss you when you see them and when you leave." He called it a beautiful thing, and when he first met his wife (he was a guest on a show in Mexico that she was producing), and she kissed him to greet him. He said he then begged her to go out with him for weeks, and finally she accepted, flying from Mexico to LA with her mother to meet.
- Costar Bassols, who plays Rob's wife on the show, said that she has met Schneider's wife Patricia, but has not taken notes for her performance. "She has that something special that's impossible to imitate," Bassols said, and gushed about how sweet Schneider's relationship with his wife is. "Every time Rob talks about his wife, his face lights up," she said, adding that "their love story inspires this whole story." When she was done, Schneider softly said thank you to her. All together now: Awww.
CBS brought Fall hit 2 Broke Girls to the Winter TCA, and stars Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs joined series co-creator Michael Patrick King to talk about the comedy series. King was taken to task by reporters for the jokes on the show that rely on stereotyping and sex, and he took the time to defend himself and the show's humor.
- King was asked about the depiction of racial stereotypes on 2 Broke Girls, and he said that "the big story about race on our show is that so many are represented." King said that "every character is a stereotype when it's born" and that the show "started with two: a blonde and a brunette," and if you have enough time, "you get to shade the characters."
- As for the sex jokes, King called the brand of humor on 2 Broke Girls "classy dirty." "Everyone loves a good naughty joke," King said, and he tried to give it a positive spin: "I think that our show is a big ballsy comedy, but it has a bigger heart than it does balls."
- Dennings thinks that Max's humor is enlightening, saying that "every joke is an insight to Max's life." Even if her jokes are mean or dirty, King said that due to her tough life, "humor is our only way to have Max survive."
- There was one subject everyone was delighted to talk about: Chestnut the horse. Behrs said they felt "so close!" to Rocky the horse, and Dennings recounted a time she teared up because she was rehearsing a scene with Rocky, and he nuzzled her face. King said that Rocky responds to Dennings's voice and joked that he wished Rocky "was here right now!"
CBS focused on its current shows during the Winter TCA, bringing out comedy How I Met Your Mother, which is currently in its seventh season. Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan were the only actors present today, but they had plenty to say, along with series creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. They talked about what's next for Marshall and Lily and their new little family, Robin's recent revelation, and the perennial question about when we'll meet the mother.
- Though no one gave us anything concrete about the mother, Bays insisted, "we know what the end game of the series is." Segel piped up to say that he was "so relieved when I found out there was an actual plan," and then joked about it, implying that it might be the apocalypse before we find out: "We have to see if the Mayans are right! It might be Dec. 21, 2012."
- Bays and Thomas answered the question of whether Marshall and Lily are really moving permanently to their suburban home by saying that we're all about to find out. Thomas said that we're "going to see them deal with that" in the next few episodes.
- Fans weren't the only ones irritated with the show faking us out with Robin's kids. Hannigan recounted, "You should have seen us at the table read. I was like, season pass delete!" But she said she was angry because she cared so much.
- On the show's evolution, Thomas mentioned that they couldn't have done storylines like Marshall losing his dad in season one or two. For his part on that arc, Segel said that "it was a real honor" to be given the chance to play out Marshall's grief, and echoed that "it's a real honor when people ask the best of you."
Ashton Kutcher joined his Two and a Half Men costars Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones along with the show's creator Chuck Lorre at today's CBS Winter TCA panel in Pasadena. Ashton shocked the crowd with a cleaned up look, which he revealed will be woven into the story line starting on Monday night's episode — check out everything Ashton, Chuck, and the rest of the cast had to say with Buzz's full recap of the Two and a Half Men's TCA discussion.
Ashton was still wearing his wedding band, but was noticeably fidgeting with it during the chat. Since news of Ashton's split from Demi Moore the actor's been keeping a low profile at home and overseas. He vacationed with friends in Greece and Germany over the holidays and recently took in a Lakers game in LA. So far the story line of Two and a Half Men eerily mirrors some of the details of Ashton's personal life so we'll just have to keep watching to see what the future has in store for his onscreen character and real-life Ashton.
Ashton Kutcher took the stage at the Winter TCA today with the rest of the cast of Two and a Half Men, plus creator Chuck Lorre, to talk about the current state of the CBS series. Kutcher's new haircut and clean shave were in the spotlight, and he revealed that the new look is going to be a plot point on the show. Lorre also talked about Charlie Sheen, and Kutcher's costars Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones also chimed in about the comedy series.
- Kutcher's scruffy beard and long hair were missing when he took to the stage, and a reporter asked him to explain the clean-cut look. It sounds like it's Walden's fault he's cleaned up: "It's related to the show completely. Tune in Monday." As to why Walden was introduced to the show with long hair and scruff, Kutcher explains that that's just how he looked when the show started: he "was starting to get shaggy," so "we just kind of kept it," but it was always planned that Walden would get cleaned up. After being "shaggy" for so long, Kutcher says that "it's pretty funny" looking in the mirror now.
- Lorre was asked about former star Charlie Sheen, whom he famously feuded with last year. He had kind words, saying, "I wish him well . . . I'm glad he's sober and happy and healthy." He also admitted that he "absolutely considered" ending the show when Sheen left, and when asked what changed his mind, he pointed next to him and replied: "Ashton Kutcher."
- Kutcher was asked to compare Walden with his That '70s Show character Kelso, and mentioned that Walden is "quicker, smarter, and brighter" than Kelso, but he thinks the comparisons are mostly due to his acting. "I'm sure I have my own comedic tone and delivery" and it's "probably that overtone" that people are responding to.
- Cryer said that "the Walden/Allen relationship is completely different," than the one between Allen and Charlie in one distinct way: "They're friends." Jones humbly explained how things have changed for him, saying "I'm really just along for the ride. I just go to high school, do normal things."
ABC introduced several new shows at the Winter TCA, but the network closed out the day with a hit that's wrapping up its final run: Desperate Housewives. The soap is on its last season, so creator Marc Cherry joined the cast, including Eva Longoria, Teri Hatcher, and Felicity Huffman, to talk about the rest of the last season. The cast and crew had a lot of funny things to say about the matter, so I've highlighted the best quotes from the panel below.
- "The hair and makeup people will go through more hell than they've ever gone through." — Cherry, confirming that he was going to "do a Hitchcock" and cameo in the very last episode
- "It might have been my garbage men." — Longoria, on having once said she needed to buy a house with a garage because people were standing in her driveway when the show started getting popular
- "This is like having the funeral before you die." — Huffman, commenting on everyone talking about the final season before it aired
- "I'm never sending these girls to Dubai." — Cherry, on there being no plans for a Desperate Housewives movie, and simultaneously making a Sex and the City 2 joke
- "It gets higher?!" — Longoria's reaction to Huffman's reciting the fact that 60% of first marriages end in divorce and 80% of second marriages end in divorce
If you're a fan of Grey's Anatomy, you might be interested in creator Shonda Rhimes's new midseason show Scandal. Though there are no medical mysteries to be solved on the show, there are plenty of juicy PR nightmares. The drama follows the work of a political "fixer" played by Kerry Washington, who leads a team that includes Lost alum Henry Ian Cusick. The stars of the show and Rhimes visited the Winter TCA to talk about the inspiration for the series and whether it bears any similarities to Rhimes's other shows.
- Shonda Rhimes talked about the show's inception, which involved executive producer Betsy Beers telling her to meet Judy Smith, a real-life fixer (she represented Monica Lewinsky during the Clinton scandal). Rhimes said she could envision a show around a character like her, and Scandal was born. Smith is now also an executive producer on the show.
- Washington addressed the fact that Olivia is a character you both love and hate, saying, "I really love playing a complicated woman," but she says that she's "always looking for the good in the character." Washington defended Olivia's imperfections by saying that "the reality is that we are all flawed. There's not a single perfect human being alive."
- Rhimes, who created Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice, addressed the fact that this show is not medical-themed, but added, "I love my shows that have stethoscopes in them. This is just a different story." But unlike those shows, Rhimes clarified that this is not a show about relationships. "It's not romance-y . . . there's no Mer-Der."