When TV critics attend one of the semi-annual press tours in Los Angeles, it's sort of de rigueur to maintain one's cool no matter how big the stars are.
No fawning. No drooling. No gushing over how marvelous they are. And, certainly, no autograph seeking. (That one's written right in the Television Critics Association code of conduct.)And, in most cases, it's not hard to maintain an air of professionalism. In far too many cases, the stars have a far higher opinion of themselves than do the critics.
Still, I'll admit to having stepped over the line just a teeny bit during the recently completed TCA summer press tour. At a function hosted by the Discovery Channel, I made a particular point of introducing myself to one star -- and even did a bit of fawning, telling him just how much I love his show.
The star? Christopher Lowell -- the host of Discovery's highest-rated daytime show, "Interior Motives."
And I love "Interior Motives." Occasionally, my family has seen me watch it two or even three times a day (which is possible since it runs twice a day on Discovery and three times a day on Discovery Home & Leisure over on digital cable).
My wife and I have picked up some great ideas for the house along the way -- some we've already used and some we've filed for future reference. Just this week (while taking a break from working on the downstairs family room), "Interior Motives" came up with a great idea for sort of a faux fireplace mantle that had me calling my wife from the other room so she could see it, too.
And not only is the show full of great tips on home decorating and design, but Lowell is a hoot. He's upbeat, positive and funny.
The New York Times described him as the Richard Simmons of home decorating, and it's a pretty accurate portrayal.
Lowell is as charming in person as he is on TV, and he's excited about his new venture.
" 'Interior Motives' is going away, but we're replacing it with 'The Christopher Lowell Show,' " he said. "It'll be like the old show, only we'll do even more great things. And we have this great house to do them in!"
Ah, that great house. Instead of using a studio, "The Christopher Lowell Show" is produced at a cute little house built just for the show on the Hollywood backlot of Universal Studios. It's right next to the "Psycho" house and around the corner from the "Leave It to Beaver" abode.
The house has moveable walls so Lowell can do makeovers in every room. As always, there are practical tips galore -- a preview episode about lighting talked about everything from how to buy lights and different types of lighting to building your own lamps out of lamp shades or colanders. (Really!)
Lowell will be joined by various experts in various home decorating and design fields.
The biggest differences between his new show and his old one -- besides the set -- is there's no studio audience to laugh at his jokes. (There's also no laugh track, thank goodness.) And Lowell is going to add entertaining (i.e. party-planning) and cooking to his repertoire.
But, like "Interior Motives," the new "Christopher Lowell Show" will be based on the host's upbeat motto -- "You can do it!"