TV Content's Light and Dark Spots Starring at TCA.

Author:Hornik, Susan L.

More than 20 o U. S. television critics came together in Pasadena, California for The Television Critics Press Tour, the Television Critics Association's (TCA) semi-annual January conference, which featured two weeks of nonstop panels, industry parties, and production set visits.

All the major U.S. TV networks were in attendance, as were Public TV (PBS), the streaming service Hulu, andoverso cable TV networks. There, they faced the critics without fear. However, neither CBS nor NBC had executive sessions, choosing to focus instead on the programs on their schedules.

The TCA press tours provide TV writers with an opportunity to talk one-on-one with studio executives, celebrities, and network bigwigs at the forefront of their latest, high-profile TV content.

"At its best, the press tours are places where TV critics and reporters can push executives, producers, and stars to be accountable for the images they present to the world and the stories they tell," said Eric Deggans, NPR's television critic. "We also have the ability to ask the talent to comment more on evolving news stories." To that end, during a discussion on AT&T Audience Network's (formerly DirecTV) new conspiracy thriller series, Three Days of the Condor, Deggans asked one of the show's stars, actress Mira Sorvino, to elaborate on her recent open letter to Dylan Farrow, in which she acknowledged her regret over working with Woody Allen.

Inspired by Paramount Pictures' 1975 political thriller, new series Three Days of the Condor is produced by MGM Television and Skydance TV, and follows a young CIA analyst who stumbles onto a plan that threatens the lives of millions. It will premiere on Audience Network in June 2018.

David Nevins, president and CEO of Showtime Networks, somewhat jolted the journalists by noting how the TCA, a not-for-profit organization, might need a new name. "Just look at how quickly everything in television, both the content and the business, is changing, to the point where the very name of your group, the Television Critics Association, seems almost quaint," he told reporters.

"Who among you actually watches shows exclusively on television anymore? That word 'television' is now just an entry point into an ecosystem far more complex and colorful than the black-and-white era that coined that word."

Nevertheless, Nevins was not suggesting a name change. "After all, a brand is a brand. [Names such as] Content Critics Association, the Small and Mobile Screen...

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