Last week the Paley Center for Media held their annual Fall TV Preview Parties, honoring a different network each night, hosting a screening of some of the network’s new shows and holding a panel discussion with some of the talent and creative minds behind those new shows.
In light of the CW getting an early start on the new fall TV season by airing some of their new dramas this week – namely debuting the new Sarah Michelle Gellar series Ringer tonight at 9 PM (and for some is airing right now) and the new series The Secret Circle premiering this Thursday at 9 PM – it only seemed right to focus on that night’s event first.
Among the panelists for the CW were the Executive Producers of Ringer Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder as well as cast members Nestor Carbonell and Mike Colter; The Secret Circle Executive Producer Andrew Miller and cast member Adam Harrington; and Hart of Dixie Executive Producer Leila Gerstein and cast members Cress Williams, Wilson Bethel, Jaime King and Scott Porter. The evening’s moderator was Denise Martin from TV Guide.
While there was a lot of joking going on within the panel, between poking some innocent fun at The Vampire Diaries by EP Andrew Miller stating that The Secret Circle is “a little bit more relatable than 150-year-old guys hitting on 16-year-old girls”; EP Nicole Snyder joking that it was “short days and lots of hot men” that enticed Sarah Michelle Gellar to return to TV on Ringer; and actor Scott Porter stating that “I look far too young to be a lawyer, (but) you put us together, (and) all of a sudden you start believing the whole thing” when quizzed about how young lead Rachel Bilson seems to be playing a doctor on Hart of Dixie, the group spoke warmly about working on their respective shows and seemed genuinely excited to be on the panel and for their shows to debut.
But it was probably EP Eric Charmelo who had the best line of the night when he explained in very captivating detail the genesis of the series Ringer, drawing the audience and the panelists into that world so seamlessly that a pin could be heard once he was finished.
Here is Eric’s explanation of the pilot of Ringer: “Sarah plays twin sisters Bridget Kelly and Siobhan Martin. They’ve been estranged for the past six years. Bridget finds herself between a rock and a hard place because the night before she is to testify in a murder trial where she’s the key witness to implicate a mob boss, she runs because she’s afraid for her life. She really has nowhere to go and the only place she can go is to her sister who lives in New York City. Siobhan lives in this very wealthy, privileged fairytale lifestyle and when Bridget gets to New York she finds out that something has happened to her sister and this may be a lucky happenstance [as] she decides to step into her sister’s shoes and figures out that the best place to hide is to hide in plain sight. Lo and behold rather than stepping into this cushy set of Manolo’s that she anticipated, she finds that her sister’s life is more complicated than her own and now she can’t go back to being Bridget”.
But, perhaps the funniest moment came when Scott Porter was asked about the alligator – yes, a real alligator – that is featured in the pilot episode of Hart Dixie. He joked, “when you rent an alligator, the trainer will tell you he will perform certain activities, such as going away when you ask it politely to go away. Then the trainer will get to the night that you’re shooting at 3 o’clock in the morning in 50-degree weather in the woods of Wilmington, N.C., and he will tell you, ‘Oh that gator ain’t gonna do nothing you want it to”.
NOTE: Trust me, once you see that portion of the pilot, you will totally understand why this comment was so very funny.
After the panel ended, the pilot episodes of Ringer, Hart of Dixie and The Secret Circle were all screened and were well-received by the audience members. To judge the shows for yourself, though, make sure to tune in tonight at 9 PM (or airing currently in some markets) for Ringer; tune in on Thursday night (September 15) at 9 PM for the debut of The Secret Circle and tune in on September 26 at 9 PM for the series premiere of Hart of Dixie.