NBC Universal Kicks off Emmy Season With An Emmy Lunch

NBC Universal hosted an Emmy lunch featuring their top players in the 2017 Emmy season. AwardsDaily TV’s Jazz Tangcay covered the event.

NBC Universal made a start with their Emmy campaign this week with a luncheon at Ysabel’s in Hollywood. In attendance was a who’s who of TV, Jennifer Lopez sat in on corner representing her NBC show, Shades of Blue. Ben Feldman and America Ferrera sat in another talking about their comedy Superstore. Derek Hough dazzled talking about Hairspray Live. Milo Ventimiglia, Justin Hartley, Chris Sullivan and Ron Cephas Jones from This is Us also attended.

This is Us emerged as the surprise breakout hit of the season and the number one show at NBC. It’s an emotional and compelling drama and a huge hit with viewers as well as critics. Sullivan and Ventimiglia didn’t divulge any spoilers about the show. Both praised fans on social media for keeping silent on the show when it airs, only expressing surprise or grief as reactions to what happens in an episode. Both actors also said they were enjoying their break during filming, joking about how they were looking forward to having tacos and discussed their favorite local taco spots. Ventimiglia’s arm was in a cast and will be back in action when the show starts filming Season 2 later this year.

I caught up with Tituss Burgess from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a favorite of the AwardsDaily TV gang. I also had a chat with Carol Kane who revealed her character will have a new boyfriend when Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt returns on May 19. She didn’t divulge much more than that, so we’ll just have to wait until the new season premieres.

Writer Michael Schur was at another table with the cast of The Good Place, Ted Danson and Kristen Bell. Schur and all were thrilled that the viewer never quite knows what’s going to happen from one episode to the next. That’s just how he likes it. If you haven’t seen the Season 1 finale, you’re in for quite the surprise with what happens. He is already back writing the next season, due to start shooting in April.

I sat down with Jennifer Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Jack Orman who were there representing Shades of Blue which premiered Season 2 on Sunday night. It won the time slot for NBC, and that was something everyone was delighted about. Goldsmith-Thomas discussed the tweet party Lopez held at her house on Sunday night to celebrate the new episode airing inviting cast, crew and friends for a viewing and tweeting party. Thomas pointed out how the crew, “Protects each other. They love each other. They shoot two episodes at once. It’s hard.”

Lopez added, “Everyone’s in it to win it. Me and them (Thomas and Orman) set the tone that we’re doing work that is important to us and that we’re proud of. Everybody takes a great sense of pride in the show that we’re making.”

Thomas mentioned that she came to TV because “the best writing is on TV and we’re making 13 little movies a year.”

The cast of Shades of Blue makes for phenomenal Sunday night viewing and includes Lopez, Ray Liotta, Drea De Matteo as the crooked NYPD cops all working on the anti-corruption Task Force. Warren Kole plays the FBI agent assigned to the task force and challenges their loyalty. I joked that after watching the premiere I wanted to punch him. Lopez replied, “He gets better and better every episode. I loved him from the beginning when he came in to audition and watching him create this character and get so comfortable in it, and really push the envelope, it’s so impressive.” Orman added jokingly, “My son said to me, “You found a new way to make him more creepy.”

Lopez and Thomas both said it’s an exciting time to be at NBC and on TV. “Jennifer is fearless and wanted to dive into it because it’s a great role.” Lopez has already started thinking about Season 3. Aside from Shades of Blue, Lopez is in the second year of her Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood. She’s also developing World of Dance, a dance competition series for NBC, and at the end of the year will star and produce the live TV production of Bye Bye Birdie. I asked if she was up for directing an episode of the show, she said, “We talk about it. Maybe. It might be time. It has to be at a time when I’m not doing anything else.”

I also had a brief sit down with my friends over at Gold Derby, Tom O’Neil and Marcus Dixon, who were with the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cast, joined by Jane Krakowski. O’Neil was explaining how the Oscar and Emmy voting systems work much to everyone’s fascination. Krakowski and Kane had no shortage of questions for O’ Neil.

As much as Clarence would have liked me to, sadly, I didn’t get the opportunity to talk to Kerry Ehrin who was there talking about Bates Motel. So, I couldn’t find anything out about the new and final season.

And so we move forth with Emmy campaigning.

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