CBS Wants Another Season of ‘Two and a Half Men’ With Angus T. Jones

Angus T Jones Two and a Half Men Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher and Angus T. Jones at CBS Upfront Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher and Angus T. Jones at CBS Upfront Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher and Angus T. Jones at CBS Upfront Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher and Angus T. Jones at CBS Upfront Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher and Angus T. Jones at CBS Upfront Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher and Angus T. Jones at CBS Upfront

While CBS hasn’t officially announced a renewal for Two and a Half Men, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler said they definitely want a Season 11.

She also said none of the castmembers have signed on for another season, including Sheen’s replacement, Ashton Kutcher.

And what about Angus T. Jones? He didn’t do himself any favors by saying on a video-gone-viral that he thought the hit series is “filth” and urged viewers not to watch it.

Well, CBS seems to feel that’s all water under the bridge. “We’d like him to be part of it next year,” Tassler told reporters at Saturday’s Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena.

“I think he would like to come back too, we would like him to… He made his public apology, and we’ve moved on,” she continued. “And we’d like the show back, and we’d like him to come back too.”

Jones, 19, who has been on the show for 10 seasons, issued the apology to Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre, CBS, Warner Bros. Television and the show’s stars shortly after the video leaked in November.

Earlier this week, Sheen, who was fired from the show last year after a public meltdown and feud with Lorre, said that he understands Jones.

“I get it, it’s a weird place and people tend to have a different perspective on life working over there,” Sheen, who has moved on to star on FX’s Anger Management, said at TCA.

“[Jones] is a good kid and maybe he’s just going through a phase, but it’s hard to comment on something if I’m not there . . . I don’t think he’s crazy, I just think he’s a little maybe over-influenced in some other beliefs.”

Since his character joined the military, Jones’ shooting schedule has been reduced. His girlfriend, Stalker Sarah, told Celebuzz that he’d like to free up his schedule to attend college.

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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Producers: Are You Really That Surprised About Toby?

The fan reaction to the reveal of Toby (Keegan Allen) as a member of the “A” team on the midseason finale of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars was so insane that executive producer Marlene King told reporters a Mom even called the EP’s offices asking to speak to the head of television. But, fellow executive producer Oliver Goldstick says fans shouldn’t have been that surprised by the character’s evil turn.

“His darkness isn’t coming out of nowhere,” Goldstick said during the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena Thursday morning. “This is not a betrayal of his character. It’s actually a reminder of where we started, coming fill circle.”

If you can recall, Toby was an outcast when the show first started after he returned from reform school. Even the Liars thought he killed Alison (Sasha Pieterse) at the time.

Goldstick and King, along with Allen and cast members Troian Bellisario (Spencer) and Shay Mitchell (Emily)  were all on hand at TCA to dish on what’s to come on Season 3B,  just how long the show can last and the “A” of it all.

Of course the biggest storyline fans will see on this half of the third season will be the reveal of Toby as an “A” team member to the Liars, specifically Spencer. King told reporters, “It’s a mind-blowing storyline that we had a lot of fun with.”

She remarked that in previous seasons, “A” has really gone after Emily but with this revelation the storyline really shifts to Spencer’s direction. Bellisario noted that her storyline this year, “was truly beyond anything that [she] ever imagined that you guys would allow me to have” calling it an “amazing” and “harrowing” experience.

As for the “A” storyline in the long term, King revealed, “We always know who ‘uber-A’ is. I don’t think we could be successful doing what we’re doing if we don’t have the final answer.”

Goldstick added, “But it’s very specific as far as season to season, because we really do begin the season knowing what the end of the season is and try to work backward from that as well. There are tentpoles that we create, that we mount and then just say, ‘OK, we have to get to this.’ But as far as knowing, yes, we have a plan. But if it were that direct and straightforward, there wouldn’t be a lot of twists, and a lot of fun along the way. There are a lot of detours.”

King remarked that they try to keep fans satisfied by “giving little bits and pieces of the puzzle” while targeting “mysteries within the big mystery” noting that “part of the fun of the show is everybody trying to figure out who ‘A’ is.”

As for the longevity of the show, King noted that Sara Shepard, who writes the books the show is based upon, is now 12 or  13 books into the series showing them that they can keep the mystery going.

Goldstick also noted that the show doesn’t play as real time and joked, “They’re going to be the Golden Girls’ Liars.”

Other highlights from the panel included:

  • King told reporters that Episode 16, which she directed, is “Misery-themed” whereas the “finale pays homage to [classic Hitchock film] North by Northwest.”
  • The show’s premiere on Tuesday accounted for 52 percent of all of Tuesday’s TV Twitter activity.
  • Mitchell says getting into her Converse sneakers to play Emily “really does help” noting that in real life she is “probably the girliest” of all the actresses.
  • The girls really want one of them to be on the “A” team. “I think we’ve all been kind of begging for that,” Bellisario said. “It’s so much fun to be the villain. And especially on our show because there’s so many crazy directions that they can think up.”

Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8PM on ABC Family.

What do you about the Toby and Spencer storyline? How are you hoping he will be revealed to the Liars? Give us your theories in the comments below!

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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Producers: Are You Really That Surprised About Toby?

The fan reaction to the reveal of Toby (Keegan Allen) as a member of the “A” team on the midseason finale of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars was so insane that executive producer Marlene King told reporters a Mom even called the EP’s offices asking to speak to the head of television. But, fellow executive producer Oliver Goldstick says fans shouldn’t have been that surprised by the character’s evil turn.

“His darkness isn’t coming out of nowhere,” Goldstick said during the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena Thursday morning. “This is not a betrayal of his character. It’s actually a reminder of where we started, coming fill circle.”

If you can recall, Toby was an outcast when the show first started after he returned from reform school. Even the Liars thought he killed Alison (Sasha Pieterse) at the time.

Goldstick and King, along with Allen and cast members Troian Bellisario (Spencer) and Shay Mitchell (Emily)  were all on hand at TCA to dish on what’s to come on Season 3B,  just how long the show can last and the “A” of it all.

Of course the biggest storyline fans will see on this half of the third season will be the reveal of Toby as an “A” team member to the Liars, specifically Spencer. King told reporters, “It’s a mind-blowing storyline that we had a lot of fun with.”

She remarked that in previous seasons, “A” has really gone after Emily but with this revelation the storyline really shifts to Spencer’s direction. Bellisario noted that her storyline this year, “was truly beyond anything that [she] ever imagined that you guys would allow me to have” calling it an “amazing” and “harrowing” experience.

As for the “A” storyline in the long term, King revealed, “We always know who ‘uber-A’ is. I don’t think we could be successful doing what we’re doing if we don’t have the final answer.”

Goldstick added, “But it’s very specific as far as season to season, because we really do begin the season knowing what the end of the season is and try to work backward from that as well. There are tentpoles that we create, that we mount and then just say, ‘OK, we have to get to this.’ But as far as knowing, yes, we have a plan. But if it were that direct and straightforward, there wouldn’t be a lot of twists, and a lot of fun along the way. There are a lot of detours.”

King remarked that they try to keep fans satisfied by “giving little bits and pieces of the puzzle” while targeting “mysteries within the big mystery” noting that “part of the fun of the show is everybody trying to figure out who ‘A’ is.”

As for the longevity of the show, King noted that Sara Shepard, who writes the books the show is based upon, is now 12 or  13 books into the series showing them that they can keep the mystery going.

Goldstick also noted that the show doesn’t play as real time and joked, “They’re going to be the Golden Girls’ Liars.”

Other highlights from the panel included:

  • King told reporters that Episode 16, which she directed, is “Misery-themed” whereas the “finale pays homage to [classic Hitchock film] North by Northwest.”
  • The show’s premiere on Tuesday accounted for 52 percent of all of Tuesday’s TV Twitter activity.
  • Mitchell says getting into her Converse sneakers to play Emily “really does help” noting that in real life she is “probably the girliest” of all the actresses.
  • The girls really want one of them to be on the “A” team. “I think we’ve all been kind of begging for that,” Bellisario said. “It’s so much fun to be the villain. And especially on our show because there’s so many crazy directions that they can think up.”

Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8PM on ABC Family.

What do you about the Toby and Spencer storyline? How are you hoping he will be revealed to the Liars? Give us your theories in the comments below!

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‘Bunheads’ Cast and EP Talk Show’s Pacing, Dancing and Growing Up

Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell, Lucy Hale Tia Mowry Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell Julia Goldani, Bailey Buntain Bailey Buntain

If you’ve noticed anything about the the pacing on ABC Family’s ballerina drama Bunheads, you’ve probably thought the show is a lot like Amy Sherman Palladino’s previous hit, Gilmore Girls, in that there is a lot of talk and not much action.

But Palladino isn’t worried. To her, pushing too much plot could damage the longevity of the show.

“We are the nihilistic, weirdo, crazy show that, you know, is the hour of, ‘Well, they are just talking.’ If you burn through all of your plot points in one episode, how do you get five years out of a show?” Palladino told reporters at the Television Critics Association Press Tour panel in Pasadena on Thursday.

“You know, longevity is important for somebody with my Neiman’s bills,” she joked. “It’s important this show continues for a while.”

Of the difference between her pacing and other current shows, the executive producer and writer said, “Well, you know, television has changed. I’m an old, tired broad. I do my thing. I know what I am. But television has changed, and I think that storytelling on television has changed.”

“It’s a very similar pacing to Gilmore Girls,” she said. “But now television shows are cut up. And I’ve never written to act breaks. It’s just not my style. It’s not my thing because I want the story to, sort of, unfold the way I hear it, the 20 voices in my head. So I think that it’s a combination of the structure of TV has changed, and there is just more plot now pushed into shows.”

Palladino was on hand, along with her cast, including Sutton Foster (Michelle), Kaitlyn Jenkins (Boo), Bailey Buntain (Ginny), Julia Goldani Telles (Sasha) and Emma Dumont (Melanie)  at the event to talk casting, “boot camp,” dancing, and what’s to come on the back eight episodes of Season 1. Here are some more highlights from the panel:

  • On casting the Bunheads: “I had very four very specific kinds of girls in mind, and that always makes casting harder. Like Boo had to be very specific, and Sasha I mean, they’re all very specific,” said Palladino of her cast. “It was like these four girls were the four girls. There was only Sutton. There was only the four girls. So the picking process actually was relatively easy because it was sort of like it was just a lot of like, ‘Oh, God. We’re not going to find her. Oh, God we’re oh, she’s here. Okay. Great. We’re done.’
  • Palladino likened the first 10 episodes of the season to “boot camp” for the girls making sure that the dancing was to “snuff.” In the back eight, is “the first chance we had to really sort of now meet boyfriends, meet parents, open open the world of the girls up, and now I felt like we pounded into them enough, like, ‘Here’s how you talk. Here’s how you dance, kid. Now let’s see you act.’
  •  The second half of Season 1, which began airing Monday, will focus on breaking down Michelle’s walls and growing up.”Now that she’s [Michelle] sort of gotten the ‘I’m running away’ out of her system, it is sort of that hunkering down and figuring out what’s next, because it is the letting go of old goals and old dreams and refocusing on what is the road ahead,” said Palladino. “As we learn more about the girls, as we learn more about their lives, … and they bring all that into the world of the dance studio, it’s even more interconnected of Michelle’s, a person who has a lot of, you know, gates and walls up. She’s smack dab in the world where she’s going to have people constantly trying to connect with her, and those walls are gonna be slowly broken down. That is sort of what our first season is is getting her deeply connected and entrenched into this crazy madcap world.”
  • Jenkins said the increased dance numbers on Bunheads are nothing like those on FOX’s Glee and very realistic. “I think it’s also — it’s not just like Glee – where it’s like you expect to see a dance number every single five minutes. It works. It actually is realistic. It’s not like, ‘Oh, and now we do our dance number.’” Dumont added, “What’s great is that  we do have dances that are part of the plot that we learn in our class and we perform, but we also have dances that mirror storylines that happen in the show.”

Bunheads airs Mondays at 8PM on ABC Family.

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‘Bunheads’ Cast and EP Talk Show’s Pacing, Dancing and Growing Up

Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell, Lucy Hale Tia Mowry Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell Julia Goldani, Bailey Buntain Bailey Buntain

If you’ve noticed anything about the the pacing on ABC Family’s ballerina drama Bunheads, you’ve probably thought the show is a lot like Amy Sherman Palladino’s previous hit, Gilmore Girls, in that there is a lot of talk and not much action.

But Palladino isn’t worried. To her, pushing too much plot could damage the longevity of the show.

“We are the nihilistic, weirdo, crazy show that, you know, is the hour of, ‘Well, they are just talking.’ If you burn through all of your plot points in one episode, how do you get five years out of a show?” Palladino told reporters at the Television Critics Association Press Tour panel in Pasadena on Thursday.

“You know, longevity is important for somebody with my Neiman’s bills,” she joked. “It’s important this show continues for a while.”

Of the difference between her pacing and other current shows, the executive producer and writer said, “Well, you know, television has changed. I’m an old, tired broad. I do my thing. I know what I am. But television has changed, and I think that storytelling on television has changed.”

“It’s a very similar pacing to Gilmore Girls,” she said. “But now television shows are cut up. And I’ve never written to act breaks. It’s just not my style. It’s not my thing because I want the story to, sort of, unfold the way I hear it, the 20 voices in my head. So I think that it’s a combination of the structure of TV has changed, and there is just more plot now pushed into shows.”

Palladino was on hand, along with her cast, including Sutton Foster (Michelle), Kaitlyn Jenkins (Boo), Bailey Buntain (Ginny), Julia Goldani Telles (Sasha) and Emma Dumont (Melanie)  at the event to talk casting, “boot camp,” dancing, and what’s to come on the back eight episodes of Season 1. Here are some more highlights from the panel:

  • On casting the Bunheads: “I had very four very specific kinds of girls in mind, and that always makes casting harder. Like Boo had to be very specific, and Sasha I mean, they’re all very specific,” said Palladino of her cast. “It was like these four girls were the four girls. There was only Sutton. There was only the four girls. So the picking process actually was relatively easy because it was sort of like it was just a lot of like, ‘Oh, God. We’re not going to find her. Oh, God we’re oh, she’s here. Okay. Great. We’re done.’
  • Palladino likened the first 10 episodes of the season to “boot camp” for the girls making sure that the dancing was to “snuff.” In the back eight, is “the first chance we had to really sort of now meet boyfriends, meet parents, open open the world of the girls up, and now I felt like we pounded into them enough, like, ‘Here’s how you talk. Here’s how you dance, kid. Now let’s see you act.’
  •  The second half of Season 1, which began airing Monday, will focus on breaking down Michelle’s walls and growing up.”Now that she’s [Michelle] sort of gotten the ‘I’m running away’ out of her system, it is sort of that hunkering down and figuring out what’s next, because it is the letting go of old goals and old dreams and refocusing on what is the road ahead,” said Palladino. “As we learn more about the girls, as we learn more about their lives, … and they bring all that into the world of the dance studio, it’s even more interconnected of Michelle’s, a person who has a lot of, you know, gates and walls up. She’s smack dab in the world where she’s going to have people constantly trying to connect with her, and those walls are gonna be slowly broken down. That is sort of what our first season is is getting her deeply connected and entrenched into this crazy madcap world.”
  • Jenkins said the increased dance numbers on Bunheads are nothing like those on FOX’s Glee and very realistic. “I think it’s also — it’s not just like Glee – where it’s like you expect to see a dance number every single five minutes. It works. It actually is realistic. It’s not like, ‘Oh, and now we do our dance number.’” Dumont added, “What’s great is that  we do have dances that are part of the plot that we learn in our class and we perform, but we also have dances that mirror storylines that happen in the show.”

Bunheads airs Mondays at 8PM on ABC Family.

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Nicki Minaj Believes Rappers Don’t Belong on ‘American Idol’

Nicki Minaj

There’s an ongoing debate among viewers as to whether there’s a place for rappers on TV talent competitions — especially as they’re showing up on recent seasons of NBC’s The Voice and FOX’s The X Factor.

But, new American Idol judge Nicki Minaj doesn’t think there’s a place for them on her show.

“I definitely don’t think a rapper should be in this competition,” Minaj said at Tuesday’s Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif.

The platinum album-selling Minaj says it all comes down to authenticity for hip hop artists. “The hip hop community wants you to be credible,” she explained.

“They want to know that you really went through a certain thing in your life. This is different,” the 30-year-old rapper continued. “With singing, people really don’t care what you’ve necessarily gone through… But with rap, it’s different. So I would never go on a show like this as a rapper, and I wouldn’t encourage anyone else to come on as a rapper.”

For what it’s worth, Minaj’s fellow judge and sometime combatant, Mariah Carey, also says, “I personally would never have wanted to do this type of show.” But for the superstar diva, whose first album was released back in 1990, that decision would have been based on how ill-prepared she was for stardom as a young girl.

“I think I was a little bit shy and unpolished in the beginning in order to be on one of these shows, which, at that time, you would have had to be a little bit more showy and have your whole thing together,” Carey, 42, explains.

“Whereas, I just wanted people to hear me for my voice and for my songs that I was writing, and I didn’t have very many clothes or outfits or things,” she continued. “So that part of the competition would have been out the window. I had my one black dress, my one pink dress. That was it.”

American Idol returns to FOX on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 8PM.

Do you think Minaj is right in saying rappers don’t belong on Idol? Sound off in the comments below.

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Keith Urban Says ‘American Idol’ Didn’t Steal Him From ‘The Voice Australia’

Keith Urban Winter 2013 TCA Audi Arrivals At The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals Audi Arrivals At The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals Audi Arrivals At The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

A longtime fan of TV talent shows, Keith Urban jumped at the chance to be a judge on The Voice Australia when offered the job early last year. So, it came as a surprise to producers when the country music star announced he would not be returning for a second season.

“I couldn’t do that show again, because I was making the record, I’m literally making it right now, will be for the next couple of months,” he told reporters earlier this week about recording in the U.S., which kept him from returning to Australia. “Then Idol came along and it was perfect timing.”

A longtime Idol follower, he recalled watching the 2008 season finale with wife, Nicole Kidman when David Cook and David Archuletawere competing for top honors. Late for a dinner appointment, the celebrity couple decided to record the show and watch it afterward.

“I kid you not, the show must have run like 30 seconds over or something, and the TiVo cut out,” Urban recalled with dismay. “Ryan [Seacrest] is saying, ‘And the winner is, David…’ and it stopped. And we just sat there, gobsmacked going ‘Who won?’”

As for joining Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson on the Idol panel, Urban has few reservations about leveling harsh criticism at undeserving contestants.

“I’ve probably benefitted more from naysayers in my life,” he confessed. “It’s more so been the people who’ve said, ‘Terrible, you’ll never do any good at this. This is not your thing.’ Those people have actually been more beneficial to me than the people who’ve believed in me in the long run because I think they just gave fuel to my fire.”

But don’t expect to see him running roughshod over contestants on the show. Urban knows that most people realize when they’ve delivered a lackluster performance and while it’s important to be honest with them, there’s no need for piling on.

Although he claims to have learned the most from negative criticism, he confessed it still hurts when it’s leveled at him. “I don’t mind that it hurts me when people are negative or critical,” he revealed. “I’d like to think that my spirit is still pretty close to the surface. I wouldn’t like to think it’s so buried I can’t find it under my thick skin. Being immune to it, that starts to get into a dangerous place for any of us.”

Despite the well-publicized feud between judges Minaj and Carey, Urban enjoys the spirit of shows like The Voice and Idol.

“I’ve watched Idol for years, so it’s a bit surreal to move from the couch to the desk,” he marveled, joking, “Next up, X Factor! TV talent show whore, yes!”

American Idol premieres Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 8 PM on FOX.

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Mariah Carey: How My Children Influenced My Decision to Join ‘American Idol’

mariah carey nick cannon dem babies family kids mariah carey nick cannon dem babies family kids mariah carey nick cannon dem babies family kids mariah carey nick cannon dem babies family kids mariah carey nick cannon dem babies family kids mariah carey nick cannon dem babies family kids mariah carey nick cannon dem babies family kids

Music fans got a jolt last July when Mariah Carey signed on to become a judge on FOX’s American Idol. But after giving birth to twins in 2011, the pop diva felt like she needed to stop touring and settle down with husband, actor and America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon, and babies Moroccan and Monroe.

“I don’t know that I felt like this would ever be necessarily the right fit for me, but then it turned out really working well after I had the babies and everything,” Carey told reporters at the Television Critics Association Press Tour on Tuesday.

“You can kind of stay in one place and let them feel grounded and have fun and go to children’s museums and all that kind of stuff,” she continued.

With more than 200 million record sales, Carey is one of the biggest-selling artists in music history. So what does she sing to her babies to put them to sleep?

“We found this thing called Babies Love MC,” she said about a collection of songs on iTunes that carried lullaby versions of her songs, which were not approved by the Carey camp and later pulled down.

“They’ve even got the song ‘Obsessed’ on there,” she said about her tune featuring lyrics that read, “Why you so obsessed with me? Boy, I want to know, lyin’ that you’re sexin’ me.”

“I’m like, ‘You really want babies listening to ‘Obsessed’? But there’s no lyrics, they’re just hearing the melodies,” she assured reporters. “So I’ll go in there and sing along with them, into the nursery. Sometimes I’ll sing ‘Hero,’ it could be ‘We Belong Together,’ they even have ‘Shake It Off.’ So it’s great to sing to them, even just to sing one note and hear them be on pitch, that’s major.”

And what did Carey’s mom sing to her when she was a baby? When the New York native first heard Harry Nilsson’ssong, ‘Without You,’ playing as muzak in an Italian restaurant in Florida, she turned to her dining partner and said, “I think I should remake this.” She did, and the single became a huge hit. Little did Carey know her own mother used to sing her the very same song when she was just a baby.

“I don’t remember that happening but she said that and I believe her,” she confided about her first exposure to pop music.

“I grew up with a mom who was an opera singer in a family that’s biracial with a lot of R&B music playing, soul music,” she recalled. “I’ve had this sort of love of music that’s carried me through my life and gotten me through the deepest darkest times in my life.”

Carey’s white mother, Patricia Hickey, was ostracized from her family for eloping with Carey’s father, Alfred Roy, an African-American and Venezuelan. The strain was too much for their relationship and when Carey was three, her parents were divorced.

As a person of mixed race, she felt ostracized in the neighborhood where she grew up and took refuge in music, an experience that helped shape her career behind the mic as well as her new position as a judge on Idol.

“When I look at a lot of these contestants, I can kind of see something in some of them if they have that hurt, if they have that extra feeling,” she said. “If I have to say no, that means it’s going to be a better life experience for them. It happened to me. I was told no a lot of times. You just need that extra bit of time.”

American Idol returns Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 8PM on FOX.

What do you think of Mariah’s musical secret weapon in the nursery?

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Katharine McPhee Says Her ‘American Idol’ Stint ‘Did Exactly What It’s Supposed to Do’

katharine mcphee TCA Winter 2013 Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes

American Idol fans got a chuckle out of last year’s promos for the first season of NBC’s Smash, which featured the line, “Introducing Katharine McPhee.”

Of course, she wasn’t new to them. McPhee was the runner-up on the fifth season of Idol and went on to make three modestly selling albums. But, a recording career wasn’t really her aim.

“I just kind of wanted to be an actress,” McPhee admitted this week at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif.

“And I thought like, ‘Oh, OK, I need a better agent. So, I’m going to go on American Idol and see if I can get some good exposure,” she continued. “I had no idea I would do as well as I did. But with that came huge record contracts and all that stuff. I didn’t realize that I was going to suddenly have to have an identity as a musician, and I wasn’t ready for that.”

So, what’s McPhee’s advice for new Idol contenders? “You really should know who you are as a musician, because what was sort of a big challenge for me coming off of the show,” she advised.

Singing, of course, is still central to her role on NBC’s musical drama. She plays Karen Cartwright, a small town singer and actress who moves to New York City trying to become a Broadway musical star. So, while McPhee may not have wanted to be a musician, she told reporters that she would never tell an Idol contender not to take the competition seriously. “It’s something that could really change your life,” she said.

“[I’m] grateful that it’s done what it was supposed to do, which was get you that platform and get you to that next thing,” the 28-year-old said. “So, I’m very grateful for it, but it’s not something that I feel like I have a life identity where I wake up every morning and say, ‘I was on ‘American Idol.’”

That doesn’t mean McPhee isn’t keeping up on the show. She is up on the news of the new judges, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. But, not only does the actress believe she “was a different person” back then, but so was the FOX talent competition.

“For me, it’s such a different show now than when I was on the show,” she said. “I mean, they get so many more things than we ever just in terms of earpieces and things like that, the rehearsal time that they get that we didn’t have when we on the show. It’s just a very different show.”

Smash returns to NBC on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 9PM. And American Idol is back on FOX on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 8PM.

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Katharine McPhee Says Her ‘American Idol’ Stint ‘Did Exactly What It’s Supposed to Do’

katharine mcphee TCA Winter 2013 Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes Katharine McPhee at 2012 Golden Globes

American Idol fans got a chuckle out of last year’s promos for the first season of NBC’s Smash, which featured the line, “Introducing Katharine McPhee.”

Of course, she wasn’t new to them. McPhee was the runner-up on the fifth season of Idol and went on to make three modestly selling albums. But, a recording career wasn’t really her aim.

“I just kind of wanted to be an actress,” McPhee admitted this week at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif.

“And I thought like, ‘Oh, OK, I need a better agent. So, I’m going to go on American Idol and see if I can get some good exposure,” she continued. “I had no idea I would do as well as I did. But with that came huge record contracts and all that stuff. I didn’t realize that I was going to suddenly have to have an identity as a musician, and I wasn’t ready for that.”

So, what’s McPhee’s advice for new Idol contenders? “You really should know who you are as a musician, because what was sort of a big challenge for me coming off of the show,” she advised.

Singing, of course, is still central to her role on NBC’s musical drama. She plays Karen Cartwright, a small town singer and actress who moves to New York City trying to become a Broadway musical star. So, while McPhee may not have wanted to be a musician, she told reporters that she would never tell an Idol contender not to take the competition seriously. “It’s something that could really change your life,” she said.

“[I’m] grateful that it’s done what it was supposed to do, which was get you that platform and get you to that next thing,” the 28-year-old said. “So, I’m very grateful for it, but it’s not something that I feel like I have a life identity where I wake up every morning and say, ‘I was on ‘American Idol.’”

That doesn’t mean McPhee isn’t keeping up on the show. She is up on the news of the new judges, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. But, not only does the actress believe she “was a different person” back then, but so was the FOX talent competition.

“For me, it’s such a different show now than when I was on the show,” she said. “I mean, they get so many more things than we ever just in terms of earpieces and things like that, the rehearsal time that they get that we didn’t have when we on the show. It’s just a very different show.”

Smash returns to NBC on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 9PM. And American Idol is back on FOX on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 8PM.

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Mariah Carey: Nicki Minaj Feud Was ‘One-Sided’

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Reporters got a little taste of what it’s like to see a disagreement between American Idol judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj go down.

FOX gathered the reality competition’s judges and producers in Pasadena for the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. on Tuesday. And, naturally, questions arose about the much-reported feud between Carey and Minaj, which reached a fever pitch when the two sparred in a leaked video during auditions.

“The whole thing was convoluted,” Carey, 42, said. “You know what it is? It’s a distraction from the show and it’s a distraction from the contestants. And I think it’s unfair to them, really. It shouldn’t be about any of us sitting up here, it should be about the contestants.”

But, of course, the public still wants to know. The entire panel seemed to have their talking points on the feud: That sometimes things get heated when the judges disagree and that they actually want them to be passionate about the contestants.

But, there was a moment when Carey may have gone rogue. A reporter asked how the two of them got past that very angry fight caught on tape.

Carey replied, “I did nothing and here we are.” Then, she added, “It was all one-sided.”

To which Minaj scowled, “No, it wasn’t.”

American Idol returns Jan. 16 at 8 PM on FOX.

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