TCA Liveblog: Jennifer Beals’s “Chicago Code,” “Idol” after Ellen, Shelley Conn on “Terra Nova”, Odette Yustman in “Breaking In”

 
 

Dispatch from Fox’s TCA Day. Check back frequently for updates!

3 p.m. Breaking In

As the only female on Fox’s new hacker comedy, Breaking In, Odette Yustman actually sounds like the best part of the show.

“She’s a cool girl,” Odette said of her character, Melanie Green. “She’s a tough girl. She’s really an indepdent spirit — gotta put up with all of these guys. She hold her own. She’s the team lock picker, she rides a motorcycle, she wears leather jackets. I neeed to start bulking up fast!”

Bikes? Leather? I know what you’re thinking, but alas, Melanie Green has a boyfriend (played by Michael Rosenbaum) and also looks to be a love interest for one of her male co-stars/hacker co-workers (played by Bret Harrison). That doesn’t mean lesbians won’t love her, though, especially since Odette is currently in a new film with Amber Heard, And Soon the Darkness.

Since the show is all about a team of self-professed geeks who are hired to break into people’s security systems, Odette commented on her own natural geek appeal. “We’re all a little geeky. I’m the coolest geek on the show, riding motorcycles,” she said. Her castmates include Christian Slater and Alphonso McAuley.

And when a critic noted that she’s, well, attractive, she spoke about how she wants to prove herself in the half-hour comedy.

“Comedy has been something that I’ve really really wanted to do. It’s really a passion of mine and it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done,” Odette said. “Usually when something terrifies me, it’s something I should go after. I’ve been fortunate enough to not have been stereotyped. I’ve played different characters thusfar in my career. So I sat down with boys over here, and they broke down the character. … I’ve been itching to do TV — especially comedy. I’ll try to be funny. Let’s see what happens.”

Breaking In premieres April 6 on Fox.

2 p.m. Terra Nova

Fox’s new sci-fi series mixes Avatar with Lost with a little bit of Jurassic Park. It’s about a family who is part of an experiment to return Earth to a prehistoric time. So it’s time travel with dinosaurs and brilliant technology: sci-fi at its best.

You might recognize female lead Shelley Conn from two places: First, she starred as Nina in the Indian lesbian film Nina’s Heavenly Delights. Then she romanced Anna Torv as the bisexual one in a group of friends on Mistresses.

But in Terra Nova, Shelley plays Elisabeth Shannon, a wife, mother and trauma surgeon. “She’s recruited for her skills,” Shelley explained, and told us about having to perfect her miming skills when faking the holograms that appear out of someone’s body parts when she’s attempting to diagnose and operate.

Also on the show is Christine Adams, who played bisexual on the shortlived USA series To Live and Die, which was cancelled after the pilot episode aired. (So you pretty much would have no idea she was bisexual except for her initial character description.)

Christine plays Mira, a “renegade” that lives on Terra Nova. Unfortunately she stayed tight-lipped during the entire panel, so there’s not much else known about her character yet. The one thing she did have to say was that there is nothing false about their wonderment on set. “We’re not faking it,” she said, because the actors are always kept guessing about what’s next for them, and their surroundings in Australia is mystifying in itself.

Two smart and tough women and dinosaurs? This might just be worth watching.

11 a.m. Fox executive session

Fox Entertainment’s President Kevin Reilly and Chairman Peter Rice sat in the hotseats today to answer questions about their programming. Among other things, they discussed the plan for Fringe to move to Friday nights, which is otherwise known as “the death slot.”

“I beg you not write the eulogy prematurely,” Reilly said. “It’s a show we’re passionate about.” And they feel that the ratings the sci-fi show starring Anna Torv and Jasika Nicole already receive will make their Friday night programming better and more successful. They thanked the room for their support of the show, and are optimistic about its future.

With no announcements made yet on Bones and House, Reilly said they want both back but just have to finish with negotiations. So as long as everyone agrees on the amount of money coming in and out of pockets, things should be OK for two of our favorite series. However, this doesn’t guarantee a full-time return for Olivia Wilde‘s bisexual Thirteen on House.

And when it comes to Glee, both men laughed when someone asked how stupid it was of other networks to try and capitalize on the popularity of the show by doing their own version. “They’re stupid,” Reilly joked, and said he’d only name which networks, specifically, at tonight’s party, after he’d had a few drinks.

Maybe that’s when I’ll ask him why they cut down Olivia’s lesbian sex scene from a few seasons back.

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