Stars work without a script at TV conference
FILE - In this Aug. Sarah, a contestant on the FOX show "Master Chef Junior," makes fun of judge/executive producer Gordon Ramsay during a panel discussion on the show at the FOX 2013 Summer TCA press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — So, all you actors and other folks with TV shows to promote, what do you have to say for yourself?
Their proving ground was the just-ended Television Critics Association summer meeting, at which the TV industry paraded the stars and creators of next season's fare to produce newspaper ink or blogs or tweets that might entice viewers to tune in.
It turned out some celebrities, familiar faces and new ones, can be charming, funny or impressively honest without a script. Here are some of the breakout moments, possible clues to the shows to look for in the 2013-14 season.
— Michael J. Fox, patiently explaining that, yes, he has Parkinson's disease and, yes, it's OK to make his life with it part of his NBC sitcom. "It is what I deal with. It is my reality and my life, but it's not horrible. ... There's nothing on the surface horrible about someone with a shaky hand."
FILE - This July 27, 2013 file publicity image released by NBC shows actor Michael J. Fox from the "The Michael J. Fox Show" panel during the NBCUniversal Press Tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. Fox will star as Mike Henry, a former local NBC newscaster with Parkinson’s. (AP Photo/NBC, Chris Haston)
— Jeff Garlin of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" fame, stealing the session for ABC's "The Goldbergs" with good-natured, high-decibel razzing of reporters. "It's very unsettling to be up here and have half of you playing poker," he bellowed at reporters peering at their laptop screens.
— The women of PBS' "Downtown Abbey," upstairs and downstairs. Laura Carmichael, aka the downtrodden Lady Edith, dazzled in chic hair and dress as she proclaimed that in season four Edith would prove "the Carrie Bradshaw of the '20s." On-screen servants Daisy, Mrs. Hughes and Anna, played respectively by Sophie McShera, Phyllis Logan and Joanne Froggatt, looked like a million bucks — or pounds — each.
— Robin Williams, politely sedate, until one reporter lit the fuse by comparing the star of CBS' "The Crazy Ones" to a sad clown. Replied Williams, gleefully: "Especially a sad clown you wake up next (to) and go, 'Oh, my God. What are those big feet doing in the bed?!'"