In a few hours (weather permitting) I will be flying out to Pasadena, Calif. for the start of the Television Critics Association winter press tour. As this is the first TCA tour since I launched the site, it seemed as good a time as any to explain what press tour is, and why I — and almost everyone else who writes about TV — will be talking (and tweeting, using the #TCA15 hashtag) about it nonstop for the next two weeks.
Twice a year, hundreds of TV critics and writers from all over the U.S. and Canada assemble at an L.A. hotel (the Beverly Hilton in summer; the Langham Huntington in winter) for press tour. Each day, a new network presents a variety of panels featuring talent and producers from their new (and sometimes returning) programs, as well as panel with their top executive. There is also a “scrum” after each panel — where smaller groups of reporters gather around certain panel members to ask additional questions — as well as one-on-one opportunities throughout the day and at receptions held during most evenings.
Between the news that breaks during the panels (and at least one panel per press tour goes completely off the rails — Girls, 2 Broke Girls and Stalker are recent examples of this) and the interviews I land outside of the panels, each TCA press tour yields dozens of stories for me, both during the event itself and in stories I bank for the weeks and months to come. If you look at the “popular tags” cloud in the column on your right, the TCA tag is by far the biggest one.
I first attended press tour, and became a TCA member, back when I was TV Editor at People. Now, I cover TCA for a variety of outlets — material I gathered from TCA summer tour ran in Quartz, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, Adweek and Today.com — but for winter tour, I’ll be writing about it primarily for Adweek. (As always, I’ll post all my stories here as well.)
And with that, I’m TCA-bound. Have more any questions? Check out Alan Sepinwall’s far more comprehensive TCA rundown here.