Saturday has been a quiet day. The bulk of it is devoted to Television Critics Association business, with the organization's business meeting this morning (very smooth and peaceful) and the annual awards ceremony tonight. I will post the winners here later. In between, I had lunch with Yvette Nicole Brown, an actress from back home in Ohio, and one of the best people in the world. The lunch was about half interview, half just chatting, and a good way to spend the afternoon.
Given that today hasn't been an endless series of press conferences (that schedule resumes tomorrow, with NBC), I thought I'd catch up on some things I haven't mentioned before.
One is UPN's party on Thursday on the Paramount lot. Some odd scenes there, like actor Eric Balfour coming up behind E! Online's Kristin Veitch, grabbing her and kissing her cheek. She did not look happy when first grabbed. Opinions are divided about whether she was happy when she saw it was Balfour.
Chris Rock was in attendance also, to promote the series ''Everybody Hates Chris.'' He was a big attraction and wasn't even off the red carpet (which was actually purple) before reporters began to circle him. But UPN eventually got him off the carpet and to a spot where he could stand and talk to ever-changing clusters of reporters.
UPN deserves a lot of credit for organizing that situation, even going after writers who had tried unsuccesfully to get in the first Rock circle to make sure they got into a later one.
But UPN's publicists were not the only star wranglers attending, and here's where a problem arose.
Some stars bring their personal publicists along, and these personal publicists see their first priority as coddling and protecting the star who is paying them -- NOT seeing to the promotion of the show the star is in. More than once, reporters have tried to get to an actor or actress and been stiff-armed by a personal publicist.
That happened for a very long period with Kristen Bell, star of ''Veronica Mars.'' When I went over to her and asked if she could chat, she immediately turned to her publicist, who said Bell was about to take a break but would be available later.
I don't know why she needed a break. These events generally last two to three hours, and the whole point is to talk to reporters. But even assuming she needed a brief on, this break went on and on -- including Bell eating, shmoozing with other people -- with the publicist repeatedly stopping reporters from talking to her.
The roadblock finally broke when the omnipresent Veitch approached Bell, began a conversation and, as Bell talked, turned on her recorder. I don't know how the publicist missed that -- or if she simply deemed Veitch and E! more worthy than us print wretches. But if Veitch could start interviewing, then Bell was fair game, and others -- including me -- joined in.
As interviews go, it was all right but nothing overwhelming. Bell said she had not yet read the script of ''Veronica's'' second-season opener, so that limited the discussion some.
She WAS aware of the support she and ''Veronica'' had received from television critics, including her nomination for a TCA award for individual achievement in a drama. She was grateful for that support, too. Too bad Bell's publicist wasn't as aware.