The cast of TNT's hot sophomore series Leverage was nearly on fire during the Turner Entertainment post-upfront press lunch in New York last Wednesday.
A bread-basket napkin placed too close to table candles briefly caught fire where Leverage cast members Timothy Hutton, Aldis Hodge, Christian Kane and Beth Riesgraf were sitting, along with The Wire and other representatives of the press.
A quick-thinking Kane extinguished the semi-charred napkin. That led Leverage co-producer Dean Devlin - who was also seated at the table - to proclaim table seven "the hottest spot in the restaurant."
The Turner post-upfront lunch featured a cornucopia of its on-air celebrity talent. Along with Hutton, bold-face names included Kyra Sedgwick, Holly Hunter, George Lopez, Gloria Rubens, Tyler Perry and Ray Romano.
Will Smith was in attendance, too, stopping in to lend support to wife Jada Pinkett Smith, there representing her new TNT drama series, Hawthorne. Classily, Smith mingled among the guests and warmly greeted all comers, including The Wire, while his missus chatted with various press and Turner executives.
The smarter way to stay on top of the multichannel video marketplace. Sign up below.
R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.