BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — A roundup of news from the Television Critics Association summer meeting, at which TV networks and streaming services are presenting details on upcoming programs.
GETTING REAL WITH MARIAH
Mariah Carey called on six half-naked muscle men, champagne and lots of attitude as she playfully promoted her upcoming docuseries, “Mariah’s World.”
Carey made her entrance for a roomful of TV critics after the shirtless gentlemen formed a chair for her to sit on. She then moved over to a rococo velvet-and-gold couch to field questions and toss a few wisecracks around.
“So this is perfectly normal,” she said, smiling. Carey’s daytime outfit: a sparkling, scanty black costume with a glittering microphone as accessory. A pair of hair and makeup artists came on stage to provide a touchup during the 30-minute news conference.
“I hope you don’t mind. This is part of my world,” she said, slyly. Carey asked if anyone else wanted a touchup, adding, “It’s very expensive.”
As a pop star, she was asked, could she share the names of up-and-coming female artists she admires?
“There’s a few. They would be lovely ladies — and it’s not their day,” she said. Her tone sometimes veered intriguingly into the realm of 1930s movie sexpot and quipster Mae West.
The eight-part E! series details the kick-off of her “Sweet Sweet Fantasy” concert tour and planning for her marriage to Australian billionaire James Packer.
“Mariah’s World” premieres in the United States and Canada on Sunday, Dec. 4, followed by airings on E!’s international channels in Europe, Asia, Latin America and elsewhere.
HAYSBERT CONFRONTS INTOLERANCE
On the series “24,” Dennis Haysbert played the much-respected first black president of the United States.
On his new Syfy series, he plays the much-feared head of security of a despotic futuristic corporation.
By now, Haysbert knows a little something about power, whether used for good or ill, and he’s worried about power he sees misapplied on the current real-life scene.
“From the things I’ve seen over the last six months to a year,” he said, “it seems that the intolerance of people against other people is growing and growing.”
But, speaking Wednesday to TV reporters at the Television Critics Association summer meeting, Haysbert added that this brand of intolerance — which he didn’t feel the need to specify or pin on anyone by name — is anything but new.
“This has been going on for years,” he declared. “What we’re doing now is pulling back the veil.
“Nothing has changed,” he continued as he called for the public to recognize “that we are all one. Our DNA is the same: We’re human beings.”
Haysbert’s series, “Incorporated,” premieres Nov. 30.
SUITING UP FOR A SEVENTH SEASON
The lawyers of “Suits” will be suiting up for another year at their troubled Manhattan corporate law firm.
USA Network said Wednesday the drama series has been renewed for its seventh season. Its stars include Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Rick Hoffman and Gina Torres.
In season six, Mike Ross (Adams) is dealing with prison after signing a plea deal admitting fraud to spare his colleagues. Meanwhile, Donna (Sarah Rafferty) is working to save the firm of Pearson Specter Litt and the friendships of those who work there.
Chris McCumber, the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment executive in charge of the USA channel, said “Suits” is averaging more than 3 million viewers since it returned July 13 for its sixth year. It airs at 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday.
WHEN HARRY MET DAYTIME TV
Harry Connick Jr. has recorded, toured, performed in movies and sitcoms, starred on Broadway and, in the process, charmed nearly everyone he meets.
Now he’s launching a syndicated daytime talk-variety show, appropriately titled, “Harry,” and his reason why is simple.
“I love to entertain and I’ve done so many things throughout my career that have fulfilled me, I felt like this would be an opportunity to do all the things I love to do under one roof,” Connick told TV writers Wednesday at the summer Television Critics Association meeting. “I’ll get to experience the entertainment business in a new way.”
One element of Connick’s persona that the show will highlight in particular, according to exec producer Eric Stangel: “He is a FUNNY (so-and-so)!”
“That,” Connick laughed, “should be our tagline: ‘Welcome to daytime, you funny (so-and-so)!'”
“Harry” premieres on Sept. 12 (check local listings for time and channel).
DIVERSITY, DREAMS CENTRAL TO ‘FALLING WATER;
For actor Will Yun Lee, his role in the USA Network’s new series “Falling Water” is a dream come true.
The Asian-American actor says the drama about peoples’ interconnected dreams represents a big change from the typecasting he’s encountered in his 18-year career.
“I think I’ve done every single Chinatown episode of every single show,” Lee told a TV critics’ meeting Wednesday. This time, the “Hawaii Five-O” and “Strike Back” cast member said, his character won’t be stuck doing martial-arts fight scenes. He said he welcomes not having “to do a roundhouse kick for some strange cinematic reason.”
As the series unfolds, three unrelated people come to understand that they’re dreaming parts of a common dream that “might hold the key to humanity’s fate,” said Chris McCumber, the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment executive who oversees channels including USA.
David Ajala, who co-stars in the show, shared one of his own dreams, one in which he received a call that “Falling Water” would be picked up to air. Two days later, he learned it was true.
“That was one of the sweetest dreams,” he said.
“Falling Water” will premiere at 10 p.m. EDT on Oct. 13.