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PaleyFest to honor TV shows that are 'worthy'.

Byline: David Kronke, TV Writer

Canceled, or soon to be? That doesn't mean you don't rate a spot in the PaleyFest.

PaleyFest, the latest and most chipper-sounding name for the annual series sponsored by the Paley Center (formerly the Museum of TV and Radio) honoring worthy-ish TV shows, runs April 10-23 at the Cinerama Dome at the ArcLight Cinema on Sunset, followed by a concluding program at the museum's Beverly Hills location on April 24.

There are no retrospectives of classic shows this time around, just a bunch of current programs - except for the ones that have already been canceled, or won't likely be around come the fall. There's even an evening centered around a one-off Internet sensation.

Here's the drill: For each event, they show an episode or two of the series being honored, then the cast and creators come out and take some questions from a moderator (some of the moderators are pretty decent; others are so bad you wonder how they got the gig) and then finally questions from You, The People. The questions from You, The People tend to go like this: "Hi, I just really love your show and I wanted to say 'Hi."' Which isn't a question.

Herewith, the schedule (all programs begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise specified):

APRIL 10: "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" - FX's sitcom starring Danny DeVito, Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day and Kaitlin Olson as a hive of conniving weasels can be pretty hilarious, and they're all funny extemporaneously, as well. I'd consider going to this one.

APRIL 11: "90210" - This sure had a buzz about it when The CW announced it last May. That buzz built and built and built - and then it premiered. Still, I'm sure someone likes it.

APRIL 13: "True Blood" - People tend to love or hate Alan Ball's HBO vampire gothic drama. I think Anna Paquin's a little miscast, but then, the Hollywood Foreign Press gave her a Golden Globe. Those in attendance won't be of the hate-it variety, though.

APRIL 14: "Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog" - This amusing oddity from geek god Joss Whedon stars Neil Patrick Harris as an aspiring supervillain in love and his plot to thwart the heroic Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion) and was a hit online. Harris isn't yet scheduled to appear, but I can't imagine having a discussion of the project without him.

APRIL 15: "Dollhouse" - Whedon returns with his latest effort, which we'll beneficently call a cult show starring Eliza Dushku.

APRIL 16: "The Big Bang Theory" - Nerds are becoming a theme this week: This sitcom, which has seen a spike in its ratings in recent weeks, stars Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons as geniuses at everything, it seems, except getting the girl (Kaley Cuoko).

APRIL 17: "The Mentalist" - The only new big hit of the season stars Simon Baker as a former fake psychic who now works for the California Bureau of Investigation, where he pesters Robin Tunney. But Baker can pick up on your body language, so he'll probably know what question you're going to ask before you ask it (mainly because it'll probably be, "Hi, I really love your show and just wanted to say 'Hi"').

APRIL 18: "Desperate Housewives" - They've done this show before. All I can remember of the previous session was that moderator Carrie Fisher talked about herself quite a bit. So maybe this time they'll talk about the show and defend that jumping-five-years-into-

the-future thing.

APRIL 19 at 1 p.m.: "Pushing Daisies" - For you absolute die-hards out there, series creator Bryan Fuller will introduce the episodes of his too-eccentric-for-broadcast-TV pastiche that were produced but never aired on ABC.

APRIL 20: "Battlestar Galactica"/"Caprica" - The soon-to-depart sci-fi cult classic and the soon-to-debut impending sci-fi cult classic are squashed together in one big night of fan ecstasy.

APRIL 21: "The Hills" - MTV's reality program focusing on professionally loathsome 20-somethings boasts a lot of fans who watch it only out of a sense of Schadenfreude, so it might be interesting to watch the give-and-take here. On the other hand, attending means that you would actually have to be in the presence of people who like the show unironically, and that's just a fate too grim to consider.

APRIL 22: "Big Love" - Bring all your wives to the panel discussion of HBO's polygamy series.

APRIL 23: "Fringe" - The jury's still out on whether J.J. Abrams' latest convoluted thriller has what it takes to go the distance or is simply an interesting, well-intentioned shrug. Perhaps the cast will be able to make a convincing case one way or the other.

APRIL 24 at 6 p.m.: "Swingtown" - CBS's quixotic summer series about 1970s swingers may not have made the splash the network hoped for, but at least it merited one of these PaleyFest events, even if it will take place in the more intimate environs of the Paley Center rather than the sprawling Cinerama Dome. They haven't scrounged up any actors yet, just the show's creators.

Tickets go on sale for Paley Center members Feb. 26 and for the rest of the planet Sunday, March 1. They've really jacked up the prices - tickets are $50/$35 for members, $60/$45 for the rest of us (except the "Pushing Daisies" screening, which is $12 for members, $15 for everyone else) - and will be available at or at (866) 468-3399.

David Kronke, (818) 713-3638




HBO's "Big Love," at left, and "Dollhouse," above, which stars Eliza Dushku, are just two of the television series that will be featured in the upcoming PaleyFest.
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Title Annotation:L.A. Life
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 21, 2009
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