Thursday, April 19, 2012

NBC Universal Showcases Its Upcoming and Returning Shows

NBC Universal recently kicked off its Summer Press Day 2012 at the Langham Hotel in sunny Pasadena - rolling out its full roster of upcoming and returning shows, as well as its stars. 

Following are some of the day’s highlights.

Returning shows represented at today’s event included: T"he Voice," "Love in the Wild," "American Ninja Warrior," "Dream Machines," "Grimm," "Community," "Smash," "Eureka," "America’s Got Talent" and "Ready for Love".

However, new shows received equal time and included: "Mrs Eastwood & Company," "Saving Hope," "Ready for Love" and "Around the World in 80 Plates," a contestant driven, culinary competition that airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on Bravo.

Celebs on hand in support of their individual shows included: CeeLo Green, Blake Shelton, Carson Daly, executive producer Mark Burnett, Mariska Hargitay, Russell Hornsby, Yvette Nicole Brown, Nick Cannon, Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne, Eva Longoria, Curtis Stone, Cat Cora, Jim Rash, Joel McHale, Katherine McPhee, Megan Hilty, Colin Ferguson, Neil Grayston, Silas Weir Mitchell, David Giuntoli, Bitsie Tulloch, Matt Iseman, Jonny Moseley, Francesca Eastwood, Dina Eastwood, Morgan Eastwood, Ernie Bates, Shane Smith, Eduard Leonard, Emile Welman, Riaan Weyers, Valentino Ponsonby, Mark Parker, Shanon Parker, Daniel Gillies, Erica Durance and contestants from “Around the World in 80 Plates”.

Also on hand were the remaining contestants on the popular music program, “The Voice,” who expressed their surprise that they were still in the competition.  Judges on "The Voice," which is executive produced by Mark Burnett, include Adam Levine, CeeLo Green, Christian Aguilera and Blake Shelton.  The show airs Mondays at 8 p.m. and Tuesdays at 9 p.m.  The season finale is 8-10 p.m., Tues., May 8, with encore presentations on Saturdays on E! (6-8 p.m. ET)


The early elimination of popular contestant Jesse Campbell by his coach Christina Aguilera, was also up for discussion.  Carson Daly expressed shock.

“You could have heard a pin drop,” he said.

“We obviously have different coaching strategies,” said CeeLo of Aguilera’s surprise move.

Contestants expressed shock at remaining in the competition.

“Are you kidding,?” asked Jamar Rogers, who is on CeeLo’s team. “Yes, I’m surprised I’m still here especially coming from a history of drug abuse and just making bad decisions all the way around. You just start to believe things about yourself – like you’re not good enough. Who is ever gonna want to listen to you. Who is ever going to want to touch you?

Rogers said he appreciates the premise of "The Voice".

“I like" The Voice" because it’s given me my voice,” says Rogers. “I was just living in the Bronx doing charity work. I wasn’t thinking about being in a swanky place like this. I used to serve in places like this. It’s given me a platform to let people know that their yesterday does not determine their future.”

Rogers, who has been sober for six years, has admitted to being a former drug addict.


Jermaine Paul, who is on Blake Shelton’s team is also surprised he is still in the competition. Paul, a married father of four, was a back-up singer for Alicia Keys and Mary J Blige.

“You know in this competition you have no choice but to be surprised,” said Paul. “Every step of the way, you never know what’s going to happen. We saw that on Monday. You never know what’s going to happen, what coaches are thinking or what their vision is for their team.”

When asked who they thought was the front-runner, Blake Shelton, who was the only one to address the question, said, “Team Blake.”

Shelton, who is married to country singer, Miranda Lambert, said a former contestant from earlier in the season, Gwen Sebastian, is currently touring with him as a backup singer.

Rumors are swirling that "The Voice" will have a fall season. Although he said he has yet to hear from the network, Carson Daly said he hoped the rumors were true.

“We’d be thrilled by that,” said Daly.


When asked whether he thought he would have done well on "The Voice" when he was first starting out, CeeLo Green said, “It would be interesting to say the least.”

Blake Shelton said he didn’t think he’d do well, calling himself a “one-trick pony”.

“I think I’d do well and then I’d suck,” he said.

When asked who he thought was the front-runner, Daly said he wasn’t sure.

“I don’t know,” said Daly. “It’s a much wider spread than it was last year. I think the moment Javier opened his mouth and sang ‘Time After Time’ last year, that everyone said, ‘ok, there’s your winner there.’ It’s tough. The competition is really strong.  CeeLo is going to be the one to watch.  It’s going to go down to Juliet Simms and Jamar Rogers, who are going to have to go against each other at some time. They are both on his team. That’s a moment to look for.”

This season The Voice added a new dimension, allowing judges to eliminate a player instantly.   Christina Aguilera caused a stir when she eliminated, Jesse Campbell, who was considered by many, including some of the judges, the singer to beat.

“It’s, I really didn’t think I was going to like it,” said Daly. “But now I like it. By bringing that element into the show, I think it upped the ante.”


Dressed chicly in an orange top and skirt, veteran actress Mariska Hargitay, the star of “Law & Order: SVU,” said she was both surprised and not surprised that the show has lasted for 13 years.

“The reason the show is so successful and done so well is because of the level of commitment and investment.,” said Hargitay. “After 10 years, I love it. It’s so much fun. When Dick Wolf puts on a television show, he raises the bar of quality.”

“Law & Order: SVU” airs 10-11 p.m. Wednesdays. The season finale is May 23.


Jenny McCarthy, the new host of the adventure show, “Love in the Wild,” said, ironically, she was the only one on the show that got hurt.

“I pulled a hamstring sleeping,” laughed McCarthy. “I came out on crutches.”

McCarthy, who said she wouldn’t do the show now because she is “interested in someone,” said she likes the premise of the show.

“In this show you are forced to see who the person is as soon as we put them in the adventure,” said McCarthy. “So you see who that person is. We’re saving them years, so to speak. “  She wouldn’t do the show now because “I’m interested in someone.”

Love in the Wild’s two-hour premiere is Thurs., June 7 (8-10 p.m.). Its regular schedule is Thursdays at 9 p.m.


Dina Eastwood, the wife of actor/producer Clint Eastwood, is the lead in the new reality show, “Mrs. Eastwood & Company,” set to premiere on E! Sun., May 20.

The show features Eastwood, her daughter, Morgan, her stepdaughter, Francesca, as well as a six-member boy band from South Africa called Overtone.  Eastwood, who will be seen in a couple of episodes, will not be featured on the show.

Dina Eastwood revealed the reason she wanted to do the reality show was to give the band a platform.  She stressed how the band, which lives with the family on and off, has literally become part of the clan.

Dina Eastwood first became aware of the band when she accompanied her husband, Clint, to South Africa when he was shooting Invictus, which starred Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela.

“I went to a ladies night out and saw these boys and when they opened their mouth and sang,” said Eastwood, a former television reporter who has been married to Eastwood for 16 years. I said they had to perform for Morgan, Matt and Clint. Since then I’ve become their manager and their momager for the last three years.”

When asked about the living arrangements in a home with two teenage daughters and six attractive men, Eastwood said there was never a problem.

“It was adorable,” We all got together, 15 and 12, no problem,” she said. “Too young. The youngest on of my guys at the time was 20. Big difference. Not so much now. Yes, ma’am, no ma’am. They eat tacos with a knife and fork. They carried my groceries. There was no sneaking around of any sort with my kids. Tey would stay in our house in the spare bedrooms.  Clint would put them in the houses on the lot. We have two houses on the lot. We have a manager’s unit. They would live in the manager’s unit. The living arrangements were never awkward, never weird. It’s always been a sister/mom relationship.”


Russell Hornsby, who stars on the drama, “Grimm,” said he loves working on the show because he loves procedurals.

“I also liked the script,” said Hornsby, who is also an accomplished theater actor. “I like traversing both worlds he said regarding going from theater to television.”

When asked if he has any plans to do theater soon, Hornsby, who said he’s never had a connection with anything paranormal and that he’s not afraid said, “I hope not. This is a great family.”

Grimm airs Fridays 9-10 p.m. ET

However, he wanted to make it clear that he still loves the theater.

“Oh, I’d love to do more theater,” he said. “It’s just that I don’t want Grimm to end. Theater requires a time commitment that I don’t have right now.”

Yvette Nicole Brown, who stars as Shirley on the show, "Community," said she would like her character to succeed in her independence and pursue her dreams of opening a sandwich shop of bakery business when the show closes out.

star in "COMMUNITY"

Community airs Thursdays 8-8:30 p.m. ET

She would also like to work more with Joel McHale and Donald Glover.  She  would never go on Dancing With The Stars. If you see me on that show, something has gone terribly wrong. I don’t dance in public.

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