OREGONLIVE - Secrets from the sets of 'The Orville,' 'Black-ish,' 'The Goldbergs,' more (Photos)

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 18:27
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OREGONLIVE - Secrets from the sets of 'The Orville,' 'Black-ish,' 'The Goldbergs,' more (Photos)

Secrets from the sets of 'The Orville,' 'Black-ish,' 'The Goldbergs,' more (Photos)

By Kristi Turnquist

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA -- From the bridge of a spaceship that flies 400 years in the future, to a circa-1980s house with the tacky furniture to prove it, journalists spent a busy day Monday visiting the Los Angeles sets of "The Orville" (pictured), a new sci-fi show coming from Fox, and ABC's family comedies "Black-ish" and "The Goldbergs."

The behind-the-scenes look also included hearing from the casts of Netflix's "One Day at a Time" reboot (with TV legend Norman Lear), the Crackle series "Startup," and two new series coming from Showtime, "SMILF" and "White Famous."

The set visits were part of the Television Critics Association 2017 summer press tour, and gave attending journalists a chance to break free from the ballroom at the Beverly Hilton hotel, where most of the tour takes place.

Instead of planting ourselves in the ballroom and hearing from creators and stars of new and returning TV shows, we rode in shuttle buses that traversed the greater Los Angeles area, taking us to a total of four studios. Here's an overview of what we saw.

"The Orville"

The first stop for TCA Studio Day was to the elaborate set of "The Orville," a new sci-fi series from creator/star Seth MacFarlane ("Family Guy.") The show is set 400 years in the future, and is about the captain (MacFarlane) and crew of the Orville, described as a "mid-level exploratory spaceship."

With a tone that's perched in a galaxy somewhere between comedy, drama and "Star Trek" imitation, "The Orville" also stars Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Halston Sage, J Lee, Mark Jackson and Chad L. Coleman.

"The Orville" premieres Sept. 10 on Fox.

"The Goldbergs"

The assorted TV critics and journalists broke up laughing on a visit to the set of ABC's "The Goldbergs," thanks to star Jeff Garlin's (pictured) stand-up-worthy rants about when he does and doesn't want to be seen on the show in his underwear, and many more topics.

Wendi McLendon-Covey, who plays Beverly Goldberg on the ABC family favorite, was also on hand to chat with and even dispense hugs to reporters. Rocking her character's signature '80s hair and a rayon ensemble, McLendon-Covey sang the praises of Portland.

That's not a coincidence -- McLendon-Covey's sister, Shelley McLendon, lives in Portland, and has been a force in the local sketch comedy scene for years.

"The Goldbergs" returns Sept. 27 on ABC.


We also heard from creator Ben Ketai and cast members of "Startup," a thriller on the Crackle streaming service. The drama about the dark net, "cryptocurrency" and criminal schemes stars Adam Brody (who's also a producer), Edi Gathegi, Otmara Marrero, Addison Timlin. Martin Freeman will also return, and Ron Perlman will also join the cast for Season 2.

Season 2 of "Startup" streams on Crackle beginning Sept. 28.

"One Day at a Time"

The stars of the Netflix series, "One Day at a Time" talked about the upcoming second season. "One Day at a Time" is inspired by the 1974-1985 comedy about Ann Romano (Bonnie Franklin), a divorced mother and her two daughters (played by Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli.) The new "One Day at a Time" still focuses on a single mother, but this family is Latin.

Norman Lear, the trailblazing producer whose credits include "All in the Family," was an executive producer of the original, and is also an executive producer of the Netflix version. Lear was on hand for the panel discussion of the Netflix show, and at one point, everyone in the auditorium donned versions of Lear's signature hat to wish him a happy 95th birthday.

The Netflix "One Day at a Time" stars, from left, Rita Morena, Isabella Gomez, Justina Machado and Marcel Ruiz. Season 2 will premiere on 2018 on Netflix.


Frankie Shaw created and stars in "SMILF," a new comedy-drama about Bridgette, a single mother in her '20s from the "Southie" area of Boston, who's trying to juggle having relationships with the demands of being a young mother.

Rosie O'Donnell costars as Bridgette's mother, who has her own issues.

Shaw and O'Donnell were on hand to talk about the show, which premieres Nov. 5 on Showtime. O'Donnell drew laughs talking about the role, but was also serious when it came to talking about her own challenges, including being a mother to five children.

"White Famous"

"Saturday Night Live" veteran Jay Pharoah said a few words about his new comedy, "White Famous," which premieres on Showtime Oct. 5. In the show, Pharoah plays Floyd Mooney, an African-American comedian whose increasing success makes him "white famous," which leads to complications Mooney didn't see coming.

Loosely based on Jamie Foxx's career, "White Famous" executive producers include Foxx, who also plays a recurring role. The showrunner is Tom Kapinos ("Californication.")


On the set of ABC's "Black-ish," we saw the show's sets, including the bedroom (pictured) of the married couple played by stars Anthony Anderson (Andre), Tracee Ellis Ross (Rainbow.)

During the set visit, cast members including Anderson, Ross, Laurence Fishburne (Pops) and more dropped some hints about what's to come when the hit show returns Oct. 3 on its new night, Tuesday.

Dre and Bow are the parents of a new baby. And, true to the show's tradition of weaving serious subjects into its comedy, the Season 4 premiere takes some musical cues from "Hamilton" to take shots at the Columbus Day holiday while celebrating Juneteenth, the June 19 holiday marking the end of slavery in the U.S.