By Susan JAMES
The Paley Center in Beverly Hills is offering a series of all-star panels focusing on popular television shows. Several, like “Bones” and “Fringe” (Fox) are just completing their seasons and are scheduled to return in the fall. Others like “Southland” (TNT) are currently on hiatus. The panels are open to the public and tickets are $20.
“An Evening With Bones” launched the series on May 9 with a panel on the forensic dramady. Fans from as far away as Belgium, Brazil and Canada flew in especially for the event. Featured cast members David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, T.J. Thyne and show runners Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan offered insider teases about this year’s finale and where the show might go next season. The sold out house was treated to a screening of the penultimate episode of the sixth season, “The Hole in the Heart,” written by Nathan and Carla Kettner. An adrenalin-charged thriller, it has Boreanaz’s FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth in a cat-and-mouse hunt to take down a psychotic ex-army sniper played by “The Mummy’s” Arnold Vosloo.
At the end of the screening, cast and show runners were introduced to loud applause by Michael Ausiello, founder and editor-in-chief of TVLine.com, who moderated. First up question was (as it always is) are Booth and Dr. Temperance Brennan, world famous forensic anthropologist played by Emily Deschanel, really going to get together this season. Helmmeister Hanson was blunt when he answered, ‘That’s something that has to be dealt with pretty damn quickly.”
David Boreanaz kept the audience laughing with improvisations of possible plot twists – Booth and Brennan under cover at a tennis competition, a film noir spin, a one-off musical – and Hanson remarked that he had a special bin on his computer labeled “David’s Ideas.”
“Sometimes we even use one,” added Nathan.
Other questions concerned how Deschanel’s pregnancy and impending maternity leave will be handled on-screen and Hanson and Nathan agreed that there is such a deep bench of talent connected to the show that storylines will not be lacking. ‘
“We’re planning to add one or two new characters next season,” said Hanson, and Tina Marjorino (“Big Love” and “Veronica Mars”), who appears as a rookie FBI agent in “The Hole in the Heart,” may return as well.
Given the pressures involved in creating a show, “Writing for television is not how good you are at your best but how good you are at your worst,” said Hanson.
The evening ended with the panel signing autographs and posing for photographs with members of the audience.
Next up for the Paley Center series will be “An Evening With ‘Fringe’” on May 19, a panel on Fox’s science fiction, alternate universe show that will return with its fourth season in the fall. Cast members Anna Torv and John Noble are scheduled to appear.
Then on May 31 cast members of “Southland,” Ben McKenzie, Regina King, Michael Cudlitz and Shawn Hatosy and executive producers John Wells and Christopher Chulack will take the stage for an in-depth discussion of their hard-hitting police procedural.
On Stage at the Paley Center provides a forum for fans to get up close and personal with actors, writers and producers as well as grabbing a coveted sneak peak at an up-coming episode.
For further information go to http://www.paleycenter.org/los-angeles-series-spring-2011.