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Emmys 2017
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Three winners and two losers at LA's Television Critics Press Tour

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Heading into the home stretch of the Television Critics Association press tour, it’s not too early to cite some winners and losers during the endless procession of network and cable press conferences. (Hint: Lost and Friends hold up well.)

WINNERS

Damon Lindelof At the TCA Awards ceremony, Lost co-producer Lindelof brought down the house simply by reading from his Twitter feed of messages sent soon after the Lost finale: “This is from Harriet: ‘My very first tweet. I started this account just to let you know how disappointed I was. You blew it big time.’ This is from Ryan: ‘Hey, Lindelof. Instead of back-packing in another country, give me six years of my life back.'”

Matt LeBlanc and the stars of Episodes The clips for this new show about Matt LeBlanc playing Matt LeBlanc were funny, the star was effortlessly charming and quick-witted. One of the show’s co-stars, Tamsin Greig, delivered my favorite phrase of the press tour, explaining the difference between the character she plays and her TV-husband (Stephen Mangan): “His character sees the glass as half-full; I see the glass as an idiot.”

American Idol By not addressing any of the questions the press is ravenous to have answered (who’s replacing Simon? is Kara staying?), Fox managed to get a good week of constant, non-stop publicity, endless blogging about who may be replacing Simon and why Kara may or may not be staying.

Good strategy, Fox! Maybe you should postpone the next season of AI and launch Who’s Judging American Idol?, and hold auditions around the country for those positions…

LOSERS

The cast of The Real L Word The women who ambled out to field questions for one of Showtime’s rare weak shows were, for the most part, rather inexpressive and occasionally seemed sullen because… well, who knows why? Grumpy because Showtime still hasn’t announced whether this show has been picked up for another season? I realize that reality-TV stars aren’t polished performers. But then maybe the network shouldn’t have placed them in front of the nation’s TV critics for questions.

Ahistorical TV critics at the Lights Out FX panel Based on the pilot, this looks like an exciting contemporary boxing drama, no mean accomplishment in itself. But I was surprised that co-star Stacy Keach was asked only one question during the entire session, and that was a request to explain his connection to show-biz boxing history. Keach starred in 1972’s Fat City, one of the finest modern boxing films; he patiently explained that it was based on an excellent Leonard Gardner novel and directed by John Huston. (It also has a terrific Jeff Bridges performance, and an Oscar-nominated one by Susan Tyrrell.) Keach deserved more attention this day.

Follow: @kentucker