This weekend I attended NBC’s Television Critics Association Press Tour. The tour was designed to give the press an inside look at their upcoming season and rub elbows with the stars of your favorite primetime shows.
The heaviest hitters of the event were of course, “Deception”, starring Meagan Good and “Celebrity Apprentice.” We’ve all seen the billboards, the promos on television and the online buzz. The big question is, will “Deception”, the second show on primetime television with a black woman as the lead role (the first being NBC’s “Scandal” starring Kerry Washington), survive the hardcore critics of American television? Especially with most of them being Caucasian?
The overall response to the panel discussion was a heavy concentration on NBC’s willingness to bring a black woman to the forefront. On hearing that she was cast for the lead role of Joanna Padget Locasto, I asked Meagan Good what was the first thing she did after she got the word, her response was “I cried in my car.”
Asking the same question of her co-star Laz Alonso (Will Moreno), he stated “I picked up the phone and called Meagan,” saying that the “Californication” co-star looked out for him for the role.
Good, who’s real life father is a veteran of the LAPD and stepmother who has time with the FBI, drew from her experience to be an investigative sleuth looking into the murder of a friend.
As for the NBC executives who made the decision to cast Good as the lead, “Meagan Good is a home run.” With race being a front row conversation for the panel, NBC says “Shame on us if we cast 8 or 9 regulars [for a show] and they are all white.”
“Deception” premieres January 7th at 10/9 Central.
All-Star Celebrity Apprentice
One of the livelier panels was that of the “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice”. Starting off with a comical promo in which the stars speak on their previous appearances of Trump’s maniacal celebrity charity circus, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth says after her last season on the show, “I just can’t argue anymore,” (with a comedic tone of course). We first learned of the boardroom vixen in the first season when her not-so-sweet personality garnered more than her fair share of frienemies. “You can’t be concerned about what you look like on reality tv” Manigault-Stallworth says.
While many of the celebs were open about saying “no” and “never again” to another season (at first), celebrity contestant Lil’ Jon, the King of Crunk, says that his main motivation for the show was to fight for his charity, which promotes diabetes awareness. Jon, who’s real name is Jonathan Smith, says that his mother was stricken with diabetes and his famous music friend Phife (A Tribe Called Quest) suffers from the disease. Lil’ Jon says that many successful rappers believe that they are invincible and don’t think about things like healthy eating. He hopes to change that by raising money for his charity, the American Diabetes Association in the “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice”.
On her competition Stephen Baldwin, Omarosa told critics “Stephen Baldwin will stab you in the front….he’s the new villain.”
When asked about the cattiness of the women on the show, Lisa Renna simply stated “women can be bitchy.” That is all.
Apprentice star Trace Adkins spoke on his decision to be on the show despite his personal feelings. “I’m forced to be with individuals that I normally don’t enjoy being around.”
Guess who’s not coming to dinner at the Adkins home?
Adkins says his main motivation for coming on the upcoming season of the show was as clear as day. “My house burned down.” Again, that is all.
The premiere of All Star Celebrity Apprentice is March 3 at 8/9 p.m. Central.
A quick nod to NBC’s second season of “Revolution” starring Giancarlo Esposito. The show made it’s debut last season with a midseason finale that won its slot for viewers 18-49. The show is based upon the concept of a dark world, with the complete loss of electricity and underlying scandal among the cliques that form to survive. Esposito stars as Lt. Neville, a tough southern military general. On the working of stunts on set, Esposito has “nearly broken a rib and almost broke someone’s nose” as he demonstrates his strength as Lt. Neville. It was stated that many of the fight scenes on set are learned the day of filming.