From Beverly Hills to WeHo, Fox Day & Night at TCA

Live from Miami. It was the judging panel and executive producers of The X-Factor, one of the centerpieces of Fox’s programming presentation to the Television Critics Association for the annual rite known as Summer TCA.

 

The vast majority of the program panels are held live in the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton, and it seemed as if the distance made it a little bit easier for the panelists to avoid some direct questions.

 

The judges have been under a media microscope, particularly Britney Spears and Demi Lovato, the Disney-bred singer who appeared with a fishtail braid in hues of blue and green that went down to her waist.

 

Ringmaster Simon Cowell started off by joking that Britney was quite mean and “sweet as a lemon.” That, before admitting that no one has any job security on his show, but that the girls, as he called Spears and Lovato, seemed happy.

 

Spears, who appeared to be fighting off a cold, kept things close to the vest in her comments and didn’t answer a question about what side of her that audiences may not know might be revealed on the program. She stressed that the reason she was doing this was to give back and to help people achieve their dreams.

 

Lovato concurred, saying that participating on the reality competition show was not simply a way to sell more albums. She also talked of how struggling with personal issues before she achieved fame and how that enabled her to relate to the contestants.

 

Next, it was time for master chef Gordon Ramsay, who sits atop an empire of reality television shows, the latest of which will be called “Hotel Hell.” It will be an exposé of the lack of cleanliness in hotel rooms, bathrooms and kitchens– including those at high-priced establishments that you would think might do better, considering the exorbitant prices they charge.

 

” People need to complain more,” said Ramsay about the conditions that he and his crew discovered, which ranged from bedspreads not being washed to insect infestations and other disgusting things that you probably do not want to encounter anywhere.

 

To further make his point, portable black lights were given to audience members that can be used to check for bed bugs in pillowcases and mattresses, as well as branded amenity travel kits with shampoo, mouthwash, hand sanitizers and the like.

 

When asked if he can determine if union hotels – like the Beverly Hilton – had a better track record for cleanliness and customer service, he said they did.

Going into its fifth and final season, the cast of “Fringe” talked about how much love they had just received at Comic-Con. “It’s amazing to bear witness to the passion and dedication there,” said Joshua Jackson, who also reminisced about his last season on “Dawson’s Creek.” In both cases, he said it was good knowing that the show was going into its final episodes, rather than having it yanked abruptly with no preparation.

 

“Our focus is on the journey,” added Anna Torv. They both spoke glowingly of co-star John Noble, who wasn’t in attendance, and is reportedly dealing with a health issue.

 

Things also got emotional when Lance Reddick reflected on his role in the show. “This cast has been family,” he said, tearing up.

Going into its fifth and final season, the cast of “Fringe” talked about how much love they had just received at Comic-Con. “It’s amazing to bear witness to the passion and dedication there,” said Joshua Jackson, who also reminisced about his last season on “Dawson’s Creek.” In both cases, he said it was good knowing that the show was going into its final episodes, rather than having it yanked abruptly with no preparation.

 

“Our focus is on the journey,” added Anna Torv. They both spoke glowingly of co-star John Noble, who wasn’t in attendance, and is reportedly dealing with a health issue.

 

Things also got emotional when Lance Reddick reflected on his role in the show. “This cast has been family,” he said, tearing up.

 

But a few miles up the road, at WeHo’s Soho House, there was no sadness, only celebration as Fox put on its annual All-Star party at the exclusive venue, taking over the entire top floor with its jaw-dropping views of the LA basin. The past few years, the bash has been held by the beach, either at the Santa Monica Pier or last year, at Gladstone’s on PCH, so this was a welcome change.

 

Early arrivals had the run of the place until the premises were filled by Fox talent, executives, media and, um, Fox friends. Some of our favorites, Matthew Morrison, Zooey Deschanel, Seth McFarlane and Kiefer Sutherland either a) worked the crowd, b) staked out a spot, c) had handlers manage interview requests or d) schmoozed and boozed. We won’t say who did what, but one of those apparently kept his sobriety intact.