fb-pixel Skip to main content

Notable quotes from Television Critics Association press tour

From left, Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Rupert Friend at Showtime’s Homeland TCA Panel. Eric Charbonneau/Invision For Showtime/Invision for Showtime
Michael J. Fox spoke during "The Michael J. Fox Show" panel discussion. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images/Getty

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Queen Latifah has sung and danced on the set of her eponymous new talk show. Headless Horsemen have roamed the hallways to promote the new Fox series “Sleepy Hollow.” Robin Williams has performed over a dozen accents in less than a half hour in discussing his new CBS series, “The Crazy Ones.”

These are just a fraction of the sights at the semi-annual Television Critics Association press tour.

Twice a year, in January and July, the broadcast and cable TV networks – and increasingly, the online content platforms — present their upcoming and returning shows to roughly 250 journalists in panel discussions in the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton, where they hold the Golden Globe awards.


The executives, creators, writers, and actors on every type of show imaginable — from reality to drama to daytime talk — answer questions about characters, story lines, and the current TV landscape.

Here are a few notable quotes from the sessions thus far.

‘In no way am I Charles Manson, but I’m never going to be Mother Teresa either, OK? So, some good advice. Just don’t be so quick to understand me. Just don’t get too close, and be careful, I will bite you, as you may know, right?” Mike Tyson, during a panel for an HBO broadcast of his one-man show, “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth.”

‘He was the fictional quarterback on that show, and he was the very real quarterback on that set. And he was an incredibly warm guy. A guy who was welcoming to everyone who came on that show, from the beginning through the new folks who came onto the show this past year. And he was a very, very hardworking actor. And I just loved working with him. He was a great guy, and I miss him very much.” Mike O’Malley, who was there to talk about his new NBC sitcom “Welcome to the Family,” remembering his “Glee” costar Cory Monteith.

Arsenio Hall at the CBS portion of the press tour. Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

‘I started to think about this a little bit, because I was lucky enough to go to the Mel Brooks [AFI Life Achievement Award]. And I’m sitting by Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese and Morgan Freeman and just all kinds of people. And they put the ‘Blazing Saddles’ farting scene up on the screen and everyone is dying, laughing. So farts are funny.” Greg Garcia , creator of the new CBS series “The Millers” which contains several fart jokes in the pilot.

‘Well, I mean last time I was on TV, wired meant a gram [of cocaine] and a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.” Robin Williams of the new CBS series “The Crazy Ones” on some of the changes since his last turn on network TV in “Mork & Mindy.”

The panel discussion for Showtime’s CIA drama “Homeland” included stars Claire Danes, Rupert Friend, and producer Howard Gordon. Friend was wearing a notable outfit that included suspenders and Danes had announced that he had only recently gotten a cellphone. A reporter asked if he was Amish, and this was the exchange that followed:

Danes: That’s by the far the best question.

Friend: Yeah, that’s the best.

Gordon: He left his pitchfork backstage.

Danes [to Friend]: Is this your Rumspringa?

Reporter: Why so low-tech?

Friend: I could tell you. But then I’d have to kill you.

‘We’re not really going for a joke. I mean, if you put a dildo in front of Beau Bridges’s face, people are going to laugh.” Actress Lizzy
on the sometimes unintentional laughs in the new Showtime drama “Masters of Sex” about researchers Masters and Johnson .

‘A lot of times when you have a disability, one of the things you deal with is other people’s projections of what your experience is, and their fear about it, and not seeing the experience you’re having. There’s nothing horrifying about [having Parkinson’s disease] to me. It is what I deal with. It is my reality and my life, but it’s not horrible. I don’t think it’s Gothic nastiness. There’s nothing on the surface horrible about someone with a shaky hand. There’s nothing horrible about someone in their life saying, ‘God, I’m really tired of this shaky hand thing’ and me saying, ‘Me, too.’ That’s our reality.”
Michael J. Fox,
whose Parkinson’s disease will be woven into the story line of his new series, “The Michael J. Fox Show.”

‘It’s kind of the same Arsenio, you know. Less hair, less shoulder pads.” Arsenio Hall on how his eponymous new late-night talk show will differ from his ’90s original.

‘I’ve never been comfortable with it. I’ve never been happy about this height. I was very self-conscious at school. I was not good at basketball, despite the fact that all my classmates were at least a foot-and-a-half shorter than me. Occasionally, I like to go to a Laker game because it’s like I’m among my people.” British comic actor Stephen Merchant, of the upcoming HBO series “Hello Ladies,” on being 6 feet 7 inches tall.

Sarah Rodman can be reached at srodman@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeRodman.