Asked if they’d invite NBC personality Donald Trump — who’d threatened to run for president and was an outspoken critic of President Obama during the race — on the show, Lovett joked, “We don’t engage in hypotheticals.”
Elfman got asked which first lady — other than Michelle Obama — she most admires. “Anyone but her,” the critic said, noting that Dolley Madison, for instance, is said to have been the perfect hostess. (Elfman went with Eleanor Roosevelt for her gumption and Jackie Kennedy for her fashion sense.)
“I wonder if all of you could rank all 44 presidents,” asked another critic.
“Are there any issues that you worry about trivializing by reducing them to light family comedy?” asked yet another critic, noting that “Bill jokes, as President Obama has done in the real world, about using drones to take out his daughters’ romantic partners, even though the administration has actually killed teenage boys with drones overseas.”
“Well, this is heavy family comedy,” exec producer Jason Winer shot back.
Yet another critic seemed to have an issue with Elfman’s character being the president’s second wife and therefore stepmom to the first kids, wondering if there had ever been a president with a second wife.
“Ronald Reagan. Was that a trick question?” Gad asked, feigning innocence.
“You’ve got Google, right?” Elfman snapped at the critic.
When one critic wondered if they just wrote episodes up to a point, after which Gad takes off doing crazy stuff, Michael Royce said he’s read all of their reviews of the series.
“Some of you are d---s,” Gad weighed in.
One critic asked Gad why he took the role on this show.
“Money,” Gad said, adding, “I based my character on Malia, by the way.”
Ratings and violence
NBC Entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt came to Winter TV Press Tour 2013 to talk about his network’s remarkable ratings turnaround in the fall — from fourth place to first among the four English-language broadcast networks, the only one of the four that’s up compared with last season, and the only broadcast net with an audience median age younger than last year.
TV critics, on the other hand, wanted to talk to him about TV violence and its connection to the mass shootings at Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., and — paradoxically — why NBC was keeping its semiautomatics-vs.-swords drama “Revolution” off the air so long. They also wondered how Greenblatt expected ABC’s late-night host Jimmy Kimmel to fare when he moves to 11:35 p.m. on Tuesday, against NBC’s own Jay Leno, and how soon NBC planned to dump Leno.