TCA Summer Press Tour: FOX Party at the Beach

By Jeff Pfeiffer

After yesterday’s FOX panels (more on them in a later post), FOX shuttled us out to the coast to Gladstones in Malibu for their All-Star party. Located where Santa Monica Boulevard meets the Pacific Coast Highway, Gladstones is situated on prime real estate — beachfront, on the Pacific. My shuttle arrived in time to see a spectacular sunset lending a cool glow to the establishment, the rocks along the coast, the surfers catching waves and the pelicans diving for their dinner. The smell of saltwater was in the air, and a nice, cool breeze came off the sea, all the more refreshing after being cooped up in sessions all day. The waves were fairly high, and loud enough that you could still hear them meeting the shore over the sound of DJ tracks pulsing into the night.

Gladstones is a fairly narrow building, but long, stretching along the beach. You could keep walking and finding new rooms and surprises that FOX had in store, like ping-pong and foosball tables (I didn’t witness it myself, but I heard that Raising Hope‘s Cloris Leachman played a mean game of ping-pong), a fresh lemonade stand, hammocks on the beach, horseshoe pits in the sand. Of course, drinks were flowing, and the food spread was delicious, including a raw seafood bar.

Vying to outdo the beautiful natural scenery was the lineup of FOX stars on hand, all looking great. Again having to navigate the red carpet and throngs of fans hoping to catch glimpses, once inside the party the stars were fun and open with reporters. I was with some other reporters who spent some time with Glee‘s Lea Michele and New Girl‘s Zooey Deschanel (both pictured), looking fantastic in somewhat different ways — Zooey had almost an old-fashioned, and cute, party dress, while Lea had a sleeker look. When asked Zooey told us that she runs a fantasy baseball team, which makes her all the cooler, at least in the eyes of us similarly self-described “awkward” folks. The word “adorable” was thrown out a lot during the day of the FOX sessions — a running joke among critics about how Zooey was initially described — but it was a pretty fitting word for her at last night’s party. (On another note: At the party I saw a number of women wearing the kind of large, black, “geeky” glasses that Zooey’s character sports on New Girl. If this series does nothing else than put into vogue that kind of sexy and smart female look, I’m all for it.)

I also ran into Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who are both improbably — at least on first glance — teaming up to reinvent Carl Sagan’s classic science series Cosmos for FOX in 2013. Tyson was very passionate about his desire to help science reach all people, and how important science education is. He also admitted that the series might be good for FOX’s “portfolio,” a show that the network could point back to whenever they get hit with some inevitable criticism (“But look, we also have Cosmos!”) MacFarlane joked (?) that the show was FOX’s apology for Glenn Beck. If you follow MacFarlane on Twitter and see how often he praises and references Tyson, and offers thoughts on science and religion himself, this partnership actually doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, and I am looking forward to this show, which is also involving Sagan’s original creative collaborators — writer/producer Ann Druyan (Sagan’s widow) and astrophysicist Steven Soter.

After a few hours, some other critics and I caught the shuttle back to the hotel, tired but refreshed after the nice meals, fresh air and fun conversations experienced during our night at the beach.


© 2011 Fox Broadcasting

Lea/Zooey: Credit Frank Micelotta/FOX