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One For the Rose (Expanded)

By RD Heldenfels Published: July 16, 2006

Tonight's activities -- well, mine, anyway -- ended at the Rose Bowl, where CBS had its party for press tour reporters and the stars of its shows. There was a greeting to us on one of the big screens, and another on a Goodyear blimp flying overhead. Members of the UCLA marching band played as we walked in -- the ''Jeffersons'' theme for the group I was with. (Former Clevelander Robert Patrick, now co-starring on ''The Unit,'' said he tried to get the band to pay the Ohio State fight song, and the band refused.) It was a cool-job moment -- hey, I was standing on the field at the Rose Bowl!

I had chats -- with ''Two and a Half Men's'' Conchata Ferrell, about working with Paddy Chayefsky on ''Network,'' for example, and with Jason Ritter about when the second season of ''Joan of Arcadia'' will be on DVD. (All he knows is that he hasn't been asked yet to do any commentary; I'm trying to get an answer through another avenue.) I did interviews: Robert Patrick, for one, and  Skeet Ulrich of ''Jericho.''''

I chatted up Thom Barry of ''Cold Case,'' at first because his CBS bio says he's from Cleveland, so he was a local connection. Only he told me he isn't from Cleveland. He's from Cincinnati.

Asked why the confusion, he said, ''I can only figure it started with the IMDB'' -- the much used, much cited Internet Movie Database, which listed him as Cleveland, with other people picking that up. ''You know what? Especially out here in the West, most people know Cleveland, Ohio. If they do know Cincinnati, they probably try to block it out because of the rivalry between the Reds and the Dodgers.''

He's not the only one to see geography scrambled. Earlier in the tour, a producer of the Oxygen movie ''Fight Girls'' referred to finding one of the fighters in Ohio. She's from Indiana.

As Barry summed up the view for Californians: ''It's back there somewhere.''

All that was at the end of a day that had also included CBS executive Nina Tassler, James Woods and the rest of the people from ''Shark,'' Ulrich and the rest of ''Jericho,'' Ray Liotta and the other stars of ''Smith.'' I had one-on-one conversations with Carter Bays, the former Shaker Heights resident now producting and writing for ''How I Met Your Mother,'' and Brian Bedol, another old Buckeye who now runs CSTV.

It's Sunday morning now as I write, and I've been transcribing some of the material that has filled up my audio recorder, to make room for more. The morning's marquee event is Katie Couric, the afternoon has the cast of ''CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.'' And late this afternoon I'll be on the set of ''Rock Star: Supernova'' for a taping of the show.

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