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Red Carpet

A Goodyear blimp hovers over the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, welcoming critics to the CBS Summer TV Press Tour Punt, Pass, and Kick party.

Another sports-themed CBS party -- another opportunity for CBS to serve hotdogs to critics.

Photographers are lined up outside the stadium at Gate A, next to a sad little strip of red carpet which has been laid down on the asphalt next to a chain-link fence, over which a white plastic backdrop plastered with the CBS "eye" logo has been hung.

It's 100 degrees in the shade and there is no shade, but stars of CBS sitcoms and dramas, getting out of their stretch limos, get into line, where they will wait in the heat for their turn to be photographed, faux-spontaneously arriving on the red carpet.

The celebs hug each other and chat while they wait in line. Some continue to hug, hang out and cut up on the red carpet. The cast of CBS's new sitcom "The Class" squeeze together on the red carpet so as to all be in the same shot.

"[Expletive] retards - they don't get it - do they want these published?" one photographer grumbles.

"They joke around and then the woman pushes them through," he says, referring to a female wrangler who appears to be employed by CBS and who shepards the on-air talent through like a border collie on sheep.

"We've got talent that will definitely publish, but they're not doing singles," the photographer complains to the wrangler after "The Class" cast have left.

"If it's a new show sometimes they want a group shot," the wrangler explains.

"But it will never run," the photographer snaps.

Jeri Ryan, who's starring with James Woods in CBS's new drama "Shark," arrives with her publicist, who insists on standing too close to her for the photographers, even when they shout at him to move away from her. They figure he's trying to get into the shot.

"I have never seen a publicist more in the way - and he's wearing a green shirt!" one photog complains.

Holland Taylor, who plays the mother of Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer on "Two and a Half Men," arrives; she's a real pro on the line.

"Is it Holland Taylor or Taylor Holland?" one photographer asks another. They have to identify each photo.

Melanie Lynskey, the stalker chick from "Two and a Half Men" arrives, wearing a sort of Grecian red dress with plunging neckline. She goes straight into arrivals-at-the-party pose: chest out, ankles crossed, pouty smile.

"We've got Charlie, guys!" one photographer shouts to his colleagues as Sheen gets out of a limo.

Sheen's playing it cool, standing a few feet away from the strip of carpet, making the photographers wait. After the carpet's been empty for a few minutes and he has their undivided attention, he steps on to the carpet, hands shoved into his jeans pockets. He stops, arches his right eyebrow and faces the cameras.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  July 17, 2006; 8:29 AM ET
Categories:  Summer TV Press Tour 2006  
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