PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA, THE: PALEYFEST 2009: 26TH ANNUAL WILLIAM S. PALEY TELEVISION FESTIVAL: THE MENTALIST {LONG VERSION}

Summary

One in a series of evenings and special screenings presented as part of The Paley Center for Media’s 26th William S. Paley Television Festival in Los Angeles. Held this year at the Cinerama Dome at the Arclight, Los Angeles, the festival celebrates the excellence and diversity of American television and is dedicated to television’s creative community. This evening honors "The Mentalist," a drama series about a private investigator with psychic skills who helps the police solve crimes. Craig Hitchcock (executive director at The Paley Center for Media in L.A.) opens the evening by welcoming the audience to the Paley Festival and introducing William C. Paley, son of the festival's namesake. Hitchcock then introduces Broadcasting & Cable editor-in-chief Ben Grossman, who serves as the evening's moderator. Grossman refers to "The Mentalist" as "the only breakout hit of the entire 2008-2009 season" before introducing the show's creator, Bruno Heller. Upon taking the stage, Heller introduces an episode of the series, "Bloodshot," which is screened in its entirety. (For synopsis and credits, see ACCNUM 100364.) Following the screening, Grossman introduces the panelists: executive producer Heller; producer/director Chris Long; and cast members Owain Yeoman (Wayne Rigsby); Amanda Righetti (Grace Van Pelt); Robin Tunney (Teresa Lisbon); and Simon Baker (Patrick Jane). Kimball Cho (Tim Chang) was scheduled to appear but was unable to attend.

Panelists touch on such topics as: how the title character originated; research that was conducted about the track record of psychics; how the show's unseen mega-villain, Red John, was conceived; how the scripts strike a balance between tragedy and comic relief; pranks pulled by cast members on the set; what the actors think might fill out the characters' private lives; how many of the panelists have gone to see a psychic; why all the characters give off sexual sparks that never lead to a relationship; if couplings between a show's major characters lead to a ratings decline, as with "Moonlighting"; Baker's reaction to being named "the sexiest man on television" by TV Guide; and why Baker left nursing school and decided to get into acting.

Questions from the audience then lead to a discussion of the following topics: why Baker's character wears the same outfit on every show; Baker's range as an actor; how the cast's British and Australian members mastered an American accent; how Baker's wife, Rebecca Rigg, became a guest star on the show; if Baker wishes for Hugh Jackman's big-screen career; when the troupe realized that they'd jelled as "an ensemble"; and whether the central agency on the show -- the California Bureau of Investigation -- actually exists.

Details

  • NETWORK:
  • DATE: April 17, 2009 7:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:46:24
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 100013
  • GENRE: Seminars
  • SUBJECT HEADING:
  • SERIES RUN:
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Craig Hitchcock … Host
    • Ben Grossman … Moderator
    • Bruno Heller … Panelist
    • Chris Long … Panelist
    • Owain Yeoman … Panelist
    • Amanda Righetti … Panelist
    • Robin Tunney … Panelist
    • Simon Baker … Panelist
    • Kimball Cho
    • Hugh Jackman
    • William C. Paley
    • Rebecca Rigg