Saturday, May 18, 2013

May 15, 2013: Turner Broadcasting Upfronts 2013

Date: May 15, 2013
Event: Turner Broadcasting Upfronts 2013
Cost: FREE
Summary: In short, SQUEE!!!  (also, best time you’ll have standing outside a methadone clinic. Ever.  No, really.)

Let me just start this off with OMG OMG OMG SQUEE!!!

*deep breath*





There, now that I got that out of the way, I can give you a run down on what the hell I’m squeeing about.

For those of you not ‘in the know’ (which was totally me a year ago) you are going, “What is an ‘upfronts’?” That is a legit question. An “Upfront” is an annual event that each television network holds to introduce their new schedule/lineup to potential advertisers and to schmooze those advertisers and convince them to buy advertising time on that network’s shows. During those upfronts the stars of that network’s shows attend to help with the schmoozing.

Upfronts (from what I understand) have historically been events that are not fan-friendly. The focus is to schmooze the advertisers, not the fans. But apparently in more recent years (maybe with the internet making it easier to know where they’re taking place, maybe with the advent of free publicity via the internet if more fans are there and tweeting/facebooking/tumbling/blogging/etc) these are more fan-friendly. Meaning, if you’re willing to stand behind a barricade, you can see the stars walking by, and if you’re really lucky, a few of them might come over and sign autographs.

And, if you know me, you know that’s something I’m totally willing to do!

This year’s target: the Turner Broadcasting Upfronts. I had attended the year before and it was LAME. No interaction with ‘the stars’, and they were super quick getting out of their cars and right into the building. For two hours of standing around I had 5 super blurry pictures. Not my most successful outing. And not something that left me particularly encouraged about this year.

But, try, try again. Also, I’m a huge fan of Rizzoli and Isles and I knew the stars of that show were going to be there so I had to try (and you might note there is a slight bias in terms of pictures in this write up towards them).

So my tactics changed slightly this year. In previous years I had only gone for “arrivals”. I had heard that “departures” were much better. So I’d, of course, stay for both.


I got there at 8:00 am, expecting to scout out the situation, go get some coffee and come back at 9:00 (the upfronts were scheduled to start at 10:00). But the woman I was meeting up with said that she was *certain* one of the old guys from The Closer had already arrived. What’s this? Arrivals were already starting? Well… okay then. So we took up our spot along the barricade and waited (we got a prime spot as we were the only ones there). And by ‘only ones there’ I mean the only ones there. And it really didn’t look like much was going on. I mean…this was what the drop off point looked like. Yeah, not much going on.

Misc: Not much happening

BUT, despite appearances, sure enough, not too much longer one by one the black town cars and black suburbans with tinted windows started arriving. Just a trickle at first but then more. But, as expected, the initial arrivals were just *outofthecarandintothebuilding* and there was no star gazing to be had. Half of them we couldn’t even tell *who* had just arrived. For instance, this was a typical photo of an arrival. Your guess is as good as mine, heh.

Misc: Typical Arrival.  What?

But, as more and more cars pulled up and more and more glimpses and waves the excitement started to build a bit.

Then it happened. One car pulls up and it’s… Noah Wyle! And someone yells, “Noah!” And he looks over at us…

Star: Noah Wyle

…and he hesitates… and then he heads over our way! Oh my god oh my god, get your camera ready! Chaos ensues, lol. There weren’t *a lot* of fans there yet but there were some and there were also a number of professional autograph seekers (people who get autographs to sell). And everyone wanted a moment with Mr. Wiley. I just asked for a picture and almost got squeezed out by an autograph seeker (you can see his sharpie in my picture, even) It was a little crazy thus the tight in picture but do you know what, I kinda love this picture for that very reason. And what a great smile that Noah has, eh? :D

Me and N Wyle

Alright, settling back down…more arrivals… more arrivals. Andy Richter! Hi Andy! Patrick Duffy! Ooooo, who is he? Whatever, everyone’s yelling his name, take a picture!

Star: Andy Richter

Star: Patrick Duffy

Sasha Alexander! No… false alarm… not her… ohhh. But then Conan O’Brien! OMG Conan! “Conan!!” He smiled and waved, at least.

Then, hey, it’s Malcolm McDowell! Hey, I got a relatively good picture when he got out of his car, how fun!! Oh, wait! What’s this? He’s coming over! OMG, prepare for chaos!

Star: Malcolm McDowell

Now, I have no idea what I’m doing with my hand in this picture. It’s like I’m presenting him. “Ladies and Gents, Malcolm McDowell.” And then, because I get stupid when I talk to celebs I said to him, “I loved you in Star Trek.” … Okay, while that’s a true statement, …um, Star Trek? Really, Jill? At least he was gracious enough to pat me on the shoulder and say “thanks.” (also, no idea what I’m doing with my hand…it’s like I’m presenting him: Ladies and Gentlemen, Malcolm McDowell!)

Me and M McDowell

Okay, more arrivals…more arrives…intermixed with high fiving with my picture taker friend and giggling about how much more awesome arrivals were this year than last year. Oooo, that woman from the Closer! I mean Major Crimes! You know, the woman from Battle Star Galactica! What’s her name? I don’t know! Take her picture! LOL (Author’s note: her name is Mary McDonnell)

Star: Mary McDonnell

Then, yes, yes, it’s Sasha Alexander, “Sasha!!” the assembled fangirls scream (I may or may not have been one of said assembled fangirls screaming). She smiled and waved and indicated she’d come by afterwards, then headed in. Bummer. But hopefully she really will come out afterwards!

Star: Sasha Alexander 4

Oh! Oh, someone else *is* coming over! Who is it? Jesse Metcalfe. Who is Jesse Metcalfe? He’s on Dallas. Oh, again. Okay. Take my picture with him!! (lolol, yes, yes I adore getting pictures even with people I don’t know. That’s how I roll.)

Me and J Metcalfe

More suburbans. More towncars. Then… seriously? A black porche? I mean, really? I actually said, “Who the hell is arriving here in a Porche?” And who was arriving? Angie Harmon. HA!! I was all, “Of course.” So, all 8 foot 2 of her (or however super tall she is) in her three inch heels gingerly steps out. Poor thing still has an injured foot and is wearing an ankle brace (now, me, I have a super injured ankle, there’s no WAY I’m wearing three inch heels but that’s just me, I guess). Anyway, she waves, and heads inside. No good pictures from that. So here’s her car, lol.

Misc: Angie's Porche

And then, the lull. *deep breath* Arrivals are done. *another deep breath* The waiting begins.

But, we’re all still a bit giddy and on a bit of a high from our encounters and as I’ve learned, these kinds of things are 1000% better if you learn to enjoy the wait and entertain yourself. And that’s what we did. Chatting with other fans and laughing at our complete inability to catch a decent picture of one of the stars as they walked from what we assumed was a holding room, down the sidewalk, and into where we assumed the actual ‘upfront’ was going on. We’d be chatting and then someone would go, “It’s so and so!!” And we’d all look up and scramble for our cameras and then they’d be gone. So we started taking pictures of where they had just been. For instance, here is where Conan O’Brien had been 5 seconds before this picture was taken.

Misc: The sidewalk.  Also exciting.

And here is the door Erik McCorrmack entered 10 seconds before this picture. LOL Also, when Conan O’Brien walked by, EVERYONE was yelling his name. Then Andy Richter follows 2 seconds behind and no one is calling for him. So this woman next to me screams super loud, “ANDY RICHTER!!!” Then goes, “Poor guy, no one was yelling for him so I did.” LOL ! Oh, yes, we thought we were soo funny. But, since there is zero guarantee of a payoff for your wait, you really really do need to enjoy that wait so, no matter what, you had fun. And we did.

Misc: A door.  Exciting, no?

Not to mention the built in ‘entertainment’ that comes with standing right outside a methadone clinic. Did I forget to mention that? That they had fans standing on the sidewalk right outside a methadone clinic? Yep. So, during this lull we also had several requests from clients of the clinic to have their picture taken because they were famous, too. And we were informed a couple of times that Jesus would be showing up in 30 minutes. (Author’s note: Jesus did not, in fact, show up in 30 minutes).

But, anyway, back to my story. As time hour rolled around to 11:00, we knew they were getting close to finishing up inside because every single suburban and towncar that had driven past and dropped someone off earlier was now packing the street, lining both sides, barely enough room for traffic to get down the center (including Patrick Duffy’s car parked right in front of us). Heck, even the cops came through asking when they were going to get all these cars moved (which security assured them would not be much long) Not to mention we had a member of the paparazzi join us. You know when they’re joining us, it’s about to get real! ;)

Misc: Lots and lots of big black cars

Misc: Hey it's Patrick Duffy's car

Misc: Cops and Security

Misc: Hello Mr. Cameraman

The excitement along the barricade rose…. What would departures give us? What oh what oh what?!

We’d soon find out as the door (the one that Eric McCormack (and everyone else) had entered) cracked open and people started coming out. Conan! Conan!! No, Conan denied us. He gave a thumbs up and a smile but sadly did not come and take pictures with us or let us feel his hair. So sad. Still love him, though.

Star: Conan O'Brien

Next up, Angie Harmon exits. Everyone is yelling her name again and she waves but she’s walking super gingerly. Here is a short sequence of photos: the adventure of Angie Harmon getting to her car. There was some disappointment among the barrier dwellers but the woman could barely walk!

Star: Angie Harmon 1
Star: Angie Harmon 2
Star: Angie Harmon 3
Star: Angie Harmon 4
Then, hey, it’s Donnie Wahlberg! I know him! Rizzoli’s boss! Blue Bloods! Yeah! Him! And oh! Oh! He’s coming over! OMG Can I have a picture? Awww, thanks. (HAHAHAH – he looks a little less thrilled than me, but he was a good sport so I’m NOT complaining!). Then the poor man just looked befuddled as he looked for his towncar.

Star: Donnie Wahlberg 2

Me and D Wahlberg

Star: Donnie Wahlberg 1

More and more people exited the building and spilled out onto the sidewalk opposite us. Oh, hey it’s a blurry Vince Vaughn! And hey hey, a not quite as blurry Sean Bean. I took a few pictures of Sean Bean (or tried to as a friend of mine is a big fan).

Star: Vince Vaughn

Star: Sean Bean 1

Star: Sean Bean 2

Then, let the screaming begin again because…. It’s Sasha Alexander! “Sasha!!” Even better, as promised, she heads right on over. Awwwwww, yeah!! When she got to us (after working the entire line of the barrier) we thanked her profusely for coming over and she goes, “Of course! You guys have been waiting so long!” Awwww, so sweet. :) She happily signs and poses and asks for sharpies and interacts and answers all requests with a smile and an “of course!” and is generally awesome and sweet (as her security looked nervously on, lol). And, yes, I got a picture. OF COURSE I GOT A PICTURE!!

Star: Sasha Alexander 1

Star: Sasha Alexander 2

Star: Sasha Alexander 3

Me and S Alexander

Then she’s leaving. Off to her lunch. We’re all in a little group looking at our pictures and being giddy and excited and all and I look up and who is now walking the barrier headed in the opposite direction of me? Sean Bean! I literally grab the person I was with by the arm and start dragging her to the other end of the barriers. She goes, “Where are we going? Where are we going?” And I just yell back, “Sean Bean!” LOL But I got there! And got a pic! And I love his smile!!!

Me and S Bean

Then, running on a super adrenaline high, I had to leave immediately after that. I had 25 minutes before I had to be at work for a meeting and 20 blocks to cover. I half speed-walked and half ran to the office. I was barely able to concentrate for my meeting as I smiled and looked through pictures all the way through.

So that was that. TNT Upfronts 2013. Not the most friendly fan event but O-M-G we had such a blast (in case you couldn’t have guessed from my stream-of-consciousness verbal and photo dump here. :D

And I want to thank ALLL of the actors and actresses that gave of their time to us. They were there to work – to go to the upfront. They didn’t have to come over and greet us but they did. Heck they didn’t even have to smile and wave but they did. And all of them were super gracious and super wonderful and I want to make sure I say thank you, thank you. No, really, thank you. You made this a fun time for us fans. :)

I have some other pictures, though not many good ones. If you’re wondering about anyone specifically, feel free to email me and I’ll see what I’ve got (

As for the rest of the photos (you can find them all here: UPFRONT SET ) I do ask you not to repost them anywhere else without permission. Thanks!

No comments:

Post a Comment