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Press Tour Serialized Drama

Note to cast and producers of the many new serialized dramas who plan to participate in Q&A sessions at Summer TV Press Tour 2006:

Critics are going to ask how you plan to get viewers to commit to your show, given how many serialized dramas are already on the air, how many new ones are debuting this coming TV season, and the major time commitment required to keep up with a serialized drama because you can't, you know, miss an episode.

This is a reasonable question. Embrace it -- answer it, or find some pressing personal engagement to keep you from attending your show's session at press tour.

Participants in Q&A sessions for several serialized shows have already appeared at the tour and you'd be surprised how many panelists have seemed surprised and/or put out by the question.

Take Taye Diggs, for instance. Diggs stars in the new ABC drama series "Day Break" as a narcotics undercover police officer who is framed for the murder of an assistant D.A. By the end of the day, things aren't looking good for our hero, only when he wakes up, it's the same day and the whole thing starts all over again. Think "Groundhog Day" -- except in front of the cast or producers who got their knickers in a knot when one critic did just that.

Turns out, "Day Break" is totally different than "Groundhog Day" because, as an example, in "Groundhog Day" Bill Murray couldn't die. In "Day Break," Diggs' character could get killed -- only then "we're all out of work," exec producer Matthew Gross explained to critics. Which means, um, Taye Diggs' character does not die. Which brings us right back to "Groundhog Day."

Moving on to the question of Taye Diggs and how his show is going to stand out in a sea of serialized dramas, the cast and crew never really did provide much of an answer. After a while, Diggs finally told critics,

"You'll have to forgive us if we come off as a little sarcastic or maybe defensive. But we knew that we would be dealing with a lot of these questions. I just need to remind you that this is something very special to us."

Oh -- special to THEM. Well,then!

"We all know what we're doing," Diggs continued. "So when you ask us a question like, how do we get somebody to view in who hasn't been watching regularly -- you know, how do you get anybody to view in?....All these questions that you are asking, I could ask, how does someone do that for 'Desperate Housewives'?

"It's a TV show and we know what we're doing -- do you know what I'm saying?....We're not dumb. I'm Taye Diggs. I wouldn't sign on for that."

Oh yeah? Then explain "Kevin Hill."

By Lisa de Moraes  |  July 19, 2006; 8:36 AM ET
Categories:  Summer TV Press Tour 2006  
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