The Television Critics Association press tour is much like one of its omnipresent candy buffets: seemingly endless, and packed with so many different treats that just looking at it inspires a sugar rush/crash. As networks try to stand out and make their upcoming schedule seem the most attractive (especially in the ever-swollen age of Peak TV), they pull out all the stops and stars to make sure that the journalists in attendance will remember them come premiere time.
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One network, however, makes itself stand out in all the best ways by doing exactly none of that.
Sure, PBS offers fewer flashy stars and urgent breaking news. But every panel it presented over two days at this year’s summer tour was on brand, informative, and incisive. Befitting the public broadcasting network, many panels were for nonfiction programming across an astonishing range of topics.
In 45-minute spurts, we learned about