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TCA-Punt the Interview and Pass the Pizza

On entering the field of the Rose Bowl Saturday evening in Pasadena for the CBS Summer television press tour stars party, Julie Chen-a.k.a. Mrs. Leslie Moonves-was less than thrilled to run the gauntlet of the UCLA marching band blaring its fight song.

Chen's displeasure was understandable, according to her husband, the CEO of CBS Corp. The host of Big Brother and co-host of The Early Show on CBS is a graduate of UCLA's cross-town rival, USC. A disheartened Chen remarked that CBS made a valiant attempt to get the Trojan marching band, but it was booked.

She was among a parade of CBS talent appearing at the party, which was held in soaring temperatures approaching 90 degrees even as the sun set.

While a blimp hovered overhead welcoming CBS partygoers, including Shark star James Woods and Two and a Half Men's Charlie Sheen, a perspiring press corps tried to look cool as they paired off for mid-field interviews over the length of the gridiron–tough to do with sweat dripping down many a forehead, with the only cold thing in sight gelato being served far off in the end zone.

A few brave souls dared to take CBS up on its offer to act like football stars and show off their ability to punt, pass and kick.

But most chose for the more physically challenging feat of balancing a plate full of barbeque and pizza in one hand and a tape recorder and drink in the other.

By Jim Benson