Television Critics Association Cable Rundown: Cougars, Heroes and More!

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With the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour kicking off this past weekend, there has been a slew of news and scoop about your favorite returning shows and those new entries that will soon become your favorites.

Here are some of the highlights of the first few days, which were devoted to cable networks such as TBS, TNT, A&E and HBO...


Cougar Town/TBS: As reported earlier, Courteney Cox said her breasts will get a lot of exposure on the new TBS episodes, which premiere TONIGHT at 10/9c.

But how did Busy Phillipps and Dan Byrd prepare for Laurie and Travis finally hooking up?

“We knew it was coming,” said Byrd of the storyline, while Phillipps added that it helps there's a real-life camaraderie between the two actors: “I think that's where the chemistry started with us [and] our friendship offscreen. It was natural. And I like that it's a little weird that she's, like, his mom's friend.”

The Hero/TNT: Coming this summer, the network is bringing Dwayne Johnson back to the small screen via a testosterone-filled reality show. On The Hero, Johnson will mentor 10 ordinary people to test their brains, brawn and morality.

“We have we have some cops,” Johnson explained of the people he works with. “We have some SWAT members. We have some stay at home moms. We have some single dads. So there’s a lot of ordinary, if you will, people out there who are going to be put in positions to do extraordinary things and to find the hero within.”

Hero logo

Bates Motel/A&E: The new series (coming March 18) focuses on the origins of Psycho’s Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga) - and it's filled with many questions. One of the biggest, though, comes from the fact that one of the executive producers is Lost alum Carlton Cuse. Can we expect a Lost-like mythology too confusing to sometimes embrace and understand?

“I think there’s a story here that has a beginning, middle, and end,” Cuse said. “I can’t tell you exactly how long our story’s going to last just yet. I think that’s part of the discovery process of us developing the show, but I think eventually there is end point to this narrative, absolutely.”

Watch the Bates Motel trailer now.

Behind The Candelabra/HBO: The idea of Oscar-winning actors Michael Douglas and Matt Damon taking on the roles of Liberace and his lover Scott Thorson with Oscar-winning director Stephen Soderbergh at the helm is exciting to say the least.

But legendary producer Jerry Weintraub, who worked on the film (airing this spring) explained how the over-the-top pianist was fascinating audiences with spectacle way before contemporaries like Lady Gaga, Madonna and Elton John. 

“[Liberace] did these outlandish costumes and came on the stage and entertained people and so I think his piano playing became secondary to his audience, not to him necessarily,” adding that Douglas “really put it over the top with this because he captured it.”

Despite the campy nature often associated with Liberace, everyone on the panel confirmed the relationship in the film is portrayed seriously and realistically.

The TCA press tour will be ongoing for the next several days. Bookmark TV Fanatic and follow us on Twitter for the latest breaking news!

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of Follow him on Twitter.

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