Live from L.A.: NBC looks back

Monday was NBC day at TCA, better known as the TV critics’ fall preview tour in Los Angeles.

(TCA, BTW, stands for the Television Critics Association.)

It’s the start of eight straight days of interviews and intel gathering, as I join dozens of my colleagues on the television beat who were also sent by their newspapers or — as is increasingly the case — their online employers.

“The Playboy Club” kicks things off. It’s the first but by no means only drama series on TV this season that looks back at the 1960s through the lens of the counter-counter-culture: that is, the conforming and consuming generation, the men and women who drank booze rather than smoked pot, the ones who went out in style to enjoy the finer things that had been denied their parents, things like transcontinental flights and nightclubs where women in bunny suits served drinks.

Then comes the most anticipated TV show of the fall: "Sunday Night Football.”

Judging from the inescapable amount of NFL coverage that was unleashed last week following the announcement of labor peace, it seems as though NBC will enjoy a huge ratings spike once the new season kicks off. Given the rest of NBC’s prime-time schedule, they’ll need it. Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and all the gang will be on hand to take our questions and offer prognostications.

Other NBC shows will present throughout the day, though the only one I’m really jazzed about is the American version of “Prime Suspect.” I expect several questions will be about why this show, of all the imports available, was picked for a remake, and what producer Peter Berg (of “Friday Night Lights” fame) has in mind to make people forget that the British version starred Helen Mirren.

The evening concludes with the usual network all-star party featuring both NBC network and cable stars (NBCUniversal includes Bravo, USA, SyFy, Weather, Telemundo, Oxygen and doubtless other channels I’m forgetting).

You have a couple of painless options for keeping up with me during my time at TCA:

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