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Artcetera: NBC's stars keep arm's length during mingle op with critics

Posted by: Neal Justin under Behind the scenes, Television Updated: July 28, 2013 - 12:53 PM



Betsy Brandt and Mary McCormack/ Photo by Charley Gallay/NBC

LOS ANGELES -- Give NBC credit for presenting an impressive lineup of new shows, including "The Michael J. Fox Show," which plays on its stars likability, and "The Blacklist," which plays on James Spader's ability to exude creepy charm. There were also engaging panels for "Parenthood" and "The Voice."

A packed day like Saturday should have concluded with a celebratory cocktail party that gave writers a chance to do one-on-one interviews with executives and stars.

It didn't work that way.

Sure, big names like Lauren Graham, Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine were happy to pose for cameras on a third-story red carpet, but they blew off the party. Even NBC's top two executives blew us off, an unprecendented event by all veterans' memories.

Big names like Sean Hayes and Michael J. Fox did stop by, but if you went to the bathroom while they were there, you might have missed them.

I did manage to engage in conversation with some stars. James Spader talked about his love of jazz. Ricardo Chavira spoke about how playing Stanley Kowalski at the Guthrie was the best thing he's done over the past 10 years. Mary McCormack was a treat to talk to, despite her handler trying to limit the questions to only three.

"Oh, relax," she told the well-meaning handler. "Go get something to eat."

NBC, you've got a promising lineup this year. So come out and sell it!


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