Dish Of Salt: Back From Maternity Leave & Tackling The TCAs!

Last week was my first week back from maternity leave… and what a week it was! After four months off, I returned just in time for the annual Television Critics Association press week.

Dropping my little boy off at daycare was the hardest thing I have ever had to do but this week is where all the big TV networks present their new shows to the critics. So, I had to be there for it. The stars of each show spend the entire day doing interviews talking up their projects to media from all over the country. It’s a tough week for reporters because you are doing probably 100 interviews over the course of the week. Wouldn’t you know it my first day back I had laryngitis? So, I had 20 interviews to do with various stars from NBC’s new fall shows including “The Playboy Club,” “Free Agents” and “Whitney,” all of which I could barely talk through. However, I put my best smile on and choked my way through it the best I could.

Halfway through the first day, I was really missing my son but seeing Christina Applegate, herself a new mom to 6-month-old Sadie, instantly made me feel better. We bonded over our shared experiences of new motherhood. Her new show, “Up All Night,” is a perfect vehicle for her. She stars as a new mom! Check out the interview HERE.

On Tuesday, with my voice still shaky I chatted up all the stars of NBC’s cable properties including Bravo’s “Millionaire Matchmaker” Patti Stanger (who is partially responsible for me even having a baby, but that’s another story for another day!) and USA Network’s “Psych” and “Necessary Roughness.” It’s season six of “Psych” and the boys are getting a visit this season from the legendary William Shatner. Check out what Dule Hill and James Roday had to say about Shat’s role on the show HERE.

Wednesday, I decided to rest my voice for the day and took in an advanced screening of the movie “The Help.” I’m a huge fan of the book by Kathryn Stockett and have been looking forward to seeing the film version since last year’s TCA’s when Allison Janney told me she had recently been cast. Typically movie versions always pale in comparison to the book but I think this one does a surprisingly good job.

Thursday, I hit up the set of ABC Family’s hit drama “Pretty Little Liars.” The fabulous foursome of Emily, Hannah, Aria and Spencer were filming a scene for a big Halloween episode which will show them in a flashback to 2008 when Alison was still alive. I won’t give away their costumes but needless to say they were very fitting of each of their characters. The show films on the Warner Bros. lot and it just happens to be right next to the set of “Two and a Half Men.” So, being the sleuth reporter that I am, I decided to do a little stalking around the set. I was looking for Ashton Kutcher of course. I never spotted him but I did spot his massive trailer and snuck a photo of it. It had been reported that the first episode would involve Charlie Sheen’s character’s funeral where all of his former “girlfriends” (aka all the women he had sex with on the show) would be coming back to pay tribute to him. I’m thinking this is accurate as I spotted a group of about six actresses in dresses loading out of a van and onto the set. One of the actresses I spotted was Jeri Ryan (“Body of “Proof) who after a quick Google search I discovered appeared in two episodes. Last night at ABC’s TCA party, I cornered the actress to see if I could get any info out of her. Check out that interview HERE!

Friday was all about FOX and their new shows including “The X-Factor.” This was the first time I had seen Paula Abdul since the announcement she was joining the show. Of course, I wanted to know what it would be like reuniting with Simon but I also wanted to know what she thought of the shirtless photo of him that paparazzi snapped on Thursday while he was on vacation. We had fun making fun of him! Check out the interview HERE.

I wrapped my TCA week last night with ABC’s party where the big news was that “Desperate Housewives” would be ending their show at the end of this season. I chatted with Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman and James Denton about this sad news. Check out the interviews HERE.

The other big story was the premiere of “Bachelor Pad” tonight. It’s a three-hour episode which is 75 percent about the feud between exes Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi. They were both at the party last night but they avoided a run-in with Vienna arriving two hours before Jake ever hit the red carpet. Vienna and her boyfriend Kasey Kahl had nothing but negative things to say about Jake. That interview comign soon! Jake on the other hand tried to keep it clean. Check out his reaction HERE.

For all my interviews from TCA head to my Dish of Salt page HERE.

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