TCA: That Ring On #AshtonKutcher 's Finger

The CBS portion of the Television Critics Association winter tour launced this morning with an executive session with CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler, a presser that almost didn’t happen.  Initially, CBS had declined to schedule Tassler, citing unhappiness with the nature of questions on the previous tour.

Jaws dropped and upset ensued on twitter and elsewhere.  Facing a possible pr debacle. the network hastily scheduled Tassler for 20 minutes early this morning.  Tassler bravely walked onto the stage at 8:30a and said, wryly: “Good Morning everyone.  I’m here.”

Laughter and applause followed, and she issued a mea culpa.  “You spoke, we listened,” Tassler said. “….and before I go into my very well prepared cards, I did want to say the reason why, and this makes me a nervous wreck, truth be told.  I know so many of you in this room, and we’ve had so many conversations over the eight, nine years we’ve been doing it. And it just, it’s a forum that is challenging…… I have tremendous respect for everybody and the job that they do.”

All was forgiven, apparently, and subsequent panels ran smoothly until the extraordinarily hostile 2BrokeGirls session.  Creator and executive producer Michael Patrick King was peppered with questions about racial stereotypes and crude humor in his show.  The seemingly oblivious King expressed dismay.  “We believe that the show is nothing but fun for the audience,” said King. “So. I’m surprised that the questions are not about fun.”

For more detail and a couple of assessments follow the links to Alan Sepinwall and Joe Adalian

But never mind the TCA tempest!  What was that ring on Ashton Kutcher’s hand?  Kutcher appeared on stage with his fellow Two and A Half Men cast members and producer Chuck Lorre. Kutcher fidgeted, jiggling one leg, and he toyed incessantly with the gold band on the ring finger of his left hand - removing it and turning it in his hands, and nervously sliding it on and off, on and off, in full view of the critics sitting in the front rows.

After multiple tweets on the matter, a publicist communicated this to @tvmojoe  (Joe Adalian):

Clarification: @aplusk was fiddling with a ring during his #tca12session but it was NOT a wedding ring, per WBTV rep….

um….okay.  Strains credulity and all that….