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

10 a.m. American Idol

With Ellen DeGeneres no longer on the show as a judge, the panel (including American Idol producers and new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler) looked a little less gay. Hopefully it’s no indication the new season will be, too, as we’d surely love to see some lesbian contestants this year. Seriously — 10 years of the singing competition and no gay women that can sing? Come on.

Ryan Seacrest said fond things about last season’s out judge. “Ellen was very funny a dear friend to us,” he said. “Jennifer’s heel is higher than Ellen’s.”

But Simon Cowell‘s departure was of more interest to the room, and in a predictable fashion, the panel maintained they were creating an even better show this time around. So will it be a female winner for the first time in four years? Of course it’s up to the voting public, but the judges always have opinions, even this early on.

“It’s androgynous,” Steven Tyler said. “We have a whole category of cross dressers,” Randy joked. “Sponsored by Ryan.”

Ryan rolled his eyes, and so did I. I’m still not sure if I’ll give the show another chance, but if there’s the female version of Adam Lambert, or America’s own Hayley Teal, I’ll watch.

9 a.m. Chicago Code

The first panel at this morning’s Fox TCA was about the new cop drama starring Jennifer Beals. Beals plays Teresa Colvin, the head of the Chicago Police Department, a tough job for anyone in the Windy City that tends to have a reputation of being corrupt. But Jennifer, clad in suits that are, perhaps, a little more simpler than Bette’s, she’s prepared for the job.

“For me, what was so interesting about her was not only her strength but her fragility in position,” Jennifer said. “It’s very tenuous to be a woman with that kind of responsibility and especially to have been in the police force for a short comparatively amount of time to the riders.It was interesting for me in this first season to try to play the balance between what it takes to lead 10,000 men primarily, because I think in the Chicago Police Department 25 percent women.”

“I think you have to strike that balance between what is feminine leadership, what is masculine leadership,” she continued. “How do you get 10,000 men to follow you? What does that leadership looks like, and I think we’re constantly playing with that. Is she a transformational leader? Is she more of a — I don’t know, I don’t want to say ballbuster but I’m going to say ballbuster. What kind of leader was she? What kind of leader does she have to be in order to have these men trust her and be willing to follow her.”


Besides Jennifer, the only other major female character is rookie beat cop Vonda Wysocki (Devin Kelley), and Jennifer said that she doesn’t have a lot of screen time with her or any other of those 25 percent that are women on the CPD.

“You know I don’t have much interaction with them, other than with Devin’s character which is just fleeting,” Jennifer said. “Maybe that’s something that we develop in the future.”

Let’s hope so. In the meantime, you can watch Jennifer busting balls, Mondays at 9 p.m., beginning Feb. 7.

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