5. The Bates Motel re-opens.
Norman Bates is coming to television. A&E's series about the relationship between Norman (Freddie Highmore) and his mother (Vera Farmiga) opening the Bates Motel comes in March. The stars were on hand to discuss the show, with the Viennese ballroom dressed up like the Bates Motel dining room (versatile room!) They really broke out the fancy '50s era centerpieces, even though the new series is updated to present day. It felt like Hitchcock's production design; all that was missing were taxidermied birds.
Oh, and Highmore was sure to drop the line "We all go a little mad sometimes" in the press conference. Psychophiles swooned at that.
4. Doctor Who's companion in an odd place.
Okay, nothing about The Carrie Diaries is geeky, right? It's the prequel to Sex and the City with a cadre of beautiful young CW talent. Well, there's one geeky person on Carrie Diaries. Freema Agyeman was the Doctor's companion during the David Tennant years, and she plays Carrie's New York fashionista mentor Larissa Loughton on the show. We got to chat with Agyeman and she was a delight, even telling us that she'd be making some promotional appearances for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary this year, because how could you not acknowledge you were part of something that huge? Alas, The Carrie Diaries is her fulltime gig now, so David Tennant's companion won't be meeting Matt Smith's Doctor.
3. Amazon, shipping.
With the success of Arrow, of course the CW is going to make another superhero show. Their next plan is a Wonder Woman prequel called Amazon. If you happened to see a bootleg of David E. Kelley's rejected NBC pilot, you know anything's gotta be better than that. CW president Mark Pedowitz said Amazon would be set in the present day, she will be called Diana (casting reports called her Iris) and that it would be an origin story like Smallville. He also said Kelley gave them his blessing, and invited Kelley to pitch any project he wants to the CW!
2. JJ Abrams twice.
J.J. Abrams has three geek shows on TV, and he came to TCA for two of them. For NBC's Revolution, he sat on a panel and stayed a few minutes afterwards chatting with reporters. For Fox, he came to the evening party to talk about the final episode of Fringe. In both cases, 90% of the questions were about Star Trek Into Darkness, and he gave nothing away. He wouldn't even talk about Daniel Craft, the Star Trek fan to whom he showed a rough cut of the film before he passed away last week, out of sensitivity to the Craft family.
One thing he did say is that it's no easier to make a sequel just because he's made the first one. "Honestly, it's never easier the next time, ever, for anything," Abrams said. "You always think, 'Oh, I've done that, it'll be easier the next time.' No, it's harder the next time. But it's important that every character need to be in the story, otherwise they shouldn't be. But I wouldn't say it was easier."
1. S.H.I.E.L.D. shcuttlebutt.
By far the network with both the biggest and the geekiest show is ABC, with the S.H.I.E.L.D. series in development. In his executive session, ABC president Paul Lee said he's fast tracking the pilot and it will be the first one he looks at for pickup consideration in the fall. Joss Whedon would have to fail colossally for this not to happen. Later that night, IGN found Lee at the ABC party and got him to confirm that the series takes place AFTER The Avengers' New York City battle, Agent Coulson and all. Man, when S.H.I.E.L.D. comes to summer TCA, that's going to be the geekiest TCA ever.
"The truth about Joss is he has some great relationships in it," Lee said. "So there are a lot of really funny male/female relationships, some very flirtatious ones that go through it. But it's also Joss, too, and it's Marvel, and there's a lot of action to it. So we haven't yet seen the pilot. We fast-tracked that before the others. We are going to see it a lot earlier than the others and we are very hopeful that that's going to move forward to series, and we will build our marketing campaign early for it. And by the way, the script is great. So I don't want to jinx it because that may not mean a good pilot or a good series, but we are very excited about it, and Joss is wonderful to work with."