You’re invited to the Twitter Party for Nobodies’ Premiere and Lopez’s Return on TVLand!

 

You’re invited to join me in a Twitter party Tomorrow night (Wednesday, March 29th) I’ll be at one of my favorite places, TV Land HQ for the series premiere of Nobodies and the return of Lopez! We all know Lopez stars THE George Lopez and he certainly brings the funny every week. Now, it is paired with a brand new comedy from Melissa McCarthy and her husband, Ben Falcone. From the teasers and the first episode (you can actually cheat and catch it on the TV Land app and online) I can tell you, there are going to be PLENTY of laughs.

Be sure to follow @TVLand @NobodiesTV @LopezOnTVLand and me @teeco71 plus use the hashtags #NobodiesTV and #LopezOnTVLand and tweet along with us starting at 10pm ET and then you can join us all season long as the laughs continue!

Nico Tortorella and the Heart of Hunter&Game

It’s not secret that I love all things TV Land and am a huge fan of their show, Younger. I have worked alongside my TV Land family, live tweeting the premiere and am an avid viewer from home. I don’t need a twitter party to motivate me to live tweet what I love (as you all know). I have enjoyed the entire first season but haven’t crossed paths with any of the stars, until now.

A mutual friend, Richard Hine alerted me to the fact that Nico Tortorella had done this amazing Indie film, Hunter&Game,  about the world of Indie music in my hometown of Brooklyn, NY. This was of major interest to me because Nico is a favorite actor of mine but also because I have many friends who are Indie musicians in NYC and was even a part of the scene for a few years myself. (promotions mostly, not performing).

When I was given the opportunity to speak to Nico about the film, I didn’t hesitate to say YES. I was not disappointed in any way. Nico Tortorella is as fun to talk to as you would imagine from seeing him on screen. He definitely shares many qualities with his character Josh on Younger in his spirit, authenticity, and ability to make others feel comfortable around him. He also shares the fun loving quality of his character in Hunter&Game, Carson. You can tell why he was drawn to the character and why the character is so endearing.

We spoke last Friday night about life, Younger, and of course Hunter&Game. I think you will enjoy Nico’s advice, humor, and insight as much as I did:

Q: Tell me a little about Hunter and Game. What drew you to the role?

Nico Tortorella: Ninety percent of the film was real life. I was supposed to read for Sasha but I knew I had to go in for Carson. Carson was obviously the role I was meant to play, he is the heart of the movie. So, I smoked a joint, put on a fur coat, and got the role.

Q: Are you a musician as well as an actor? 

NT: I taught myself to play the guitar and bass. I’ve also written some sappy love songs. When this film came around, it was perfect because I’ve always seen myself as more of a rock star than an actor.

Q: Did you or do you hang out with many Indie musicians?

NT: While filming, I did but I don’t have an abundance of musician friends. Musicians were around constantly during production.

Q: Hunter and Game is being called “Spinal Tap meets Bushwick”. How does that make you feel? 

NT: It feels EPIC, it’s everything we ever hoped for. We went into this with a first time filmmaker, low budget, like a bunch of friends hanging out. I think Hunter and Game has a reality Spinal Tap didn’t have, a relate-ability.

Q: Can we talk about Younger for a minute. The show will be returning for a second season this January after a phenomenal first season. What is that like for you? Have you settled into being a TV star and a leading man?

NT: You can’t really take any of that too seriously. I think I keep a sense of humility, it’s the first series I’m in that hasn’t been canceled early. The first time I’m coming back for a second season. Let’s face it, romantic comedy is a dying genre but we can turn that around.

Q: Do you like your character, Josh?

NT: I’d hang out with Josh, he shares my core values of life. He’s cool, wants to have fun, and wants everyone to live authentically.

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? From who?

NT: Scott Fellows (Big Time Rush) said something with me that really resonated early on. He said, “As an actor, if you’re starting off and there’s ANYTHING you think you can do other than act, go do it now”.

That hit me hard and I realized I truly belong in this industry.

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever given? Are you usually able to take or heed your own words of wisdom?

NT: To young actors, I’d say if you have an audition, really think about what everyone else is going to do for theirs and do the opposite. Don’t be predictable or like everyone else going in.

As far as taking my own advice, yeah, I’d like to think I can and do.

Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?

NT: I absolutely cannot live without honey, I just love it. As far as something we could all live without, Jealousy. It’s a nasty mofo!

Q: What’s up next for Nico Tortorella?

NT: There’s a small rumor about a season three for Younger and I’m also reading scripts. I’d love to play a superhero and tackle the action genre. Other than that, I just want to do good work and work with good people.

Q: Do you have a preference between New York City and Los Angeles?

NT: I miss LA, my heart is there for sure.

Q: Since you are in New York City, any plans to do Broadway? 

NT: I’d love to! I just haven’t seen the right script. But it’ll happen at some point for sure!

I’d like to thank Nico for taking time out of his Friday night for me and for being such a delight! Be sure to catch him this January in Season two of Younger on TV Land and be sure to watch Hunter&Game for FREE here:

Saying Goodbye to Hot In Cleveland

At the Front Door on the Hot In Cleveland Set

Today, most TV shows are lucky to last one season so six definitely says something about the quality of the show and the talent involved. It also speaks volumes about the network that carries the show. It shows that the powers that be believe in you, respect you, and appreciate you.

Such is the case with a little show (that really isn’t so little when you look at it) called Hot In Cleveland. When Hot premiered, TV Land was known as the best place to go to see your favorite classic TV shows. It seemed appropriate that they be the ones to corner the market on television series which combined actors from those beloved classic TV shows and put them in the situations they were most familiar with, celebrated for, and damn good at!

This was also a risky venture because network and cable TV was becoming seemingly impossibly competitive. Thank goodness, the powers that be, including Larry W. Jones believed in the vision and took a chance on the show and the talents of Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick, and Jane Leeves.

Hot In Cleveland premiered to phenomenal ratings and kept that momentum going strong. It created a place for other shows with similar formats and formulas to be born like The Exes, Happily Divorced, The Soul Man, Kirstie and now Younger, Impastor, and The Jim Gaffigan Show.

Hot also created an environment where Social TV could flourish and opened up an opportunity for me to develop a relationship with the show, digital producers, and even Mr. TV Land Larry himself! Now, how lucky was I? Over the years I have been to numerous live tapings, many gatherings at TV Land HQ, and even red carpet events. It also opened up friendships and events outside the TV Land

Getting comfy in the Hot In Cleveland Living Room

space.

I have been literally given VIP treatment and been able to bring some of my friends along from time to time. The memories go beyond the television screen for me and I am so thrilled to see where this will go next!

It is also bittersweet because I know all shows must end their run, I know actors move on to other projects but part of me wants them to stay. As Dr Suess says, “Don’t cry because it’s over, be happy that it happened”. I am very HAPPY Hot In Cleveland happened.

This Wednesday, June 3rd, I will again be tweeting from TV Land HQ in NYC along with the amazing TV Land family and I hope you all join along! In addition to the one hour series finale of Hot, we will be treated to a special sneak peek of the Jim Gaffigan Show. Wednesday nights have become somewhat of a twitter party for me during the airings of the TV Land sitcoms where we all get to tweet our favorite lines and fan reactions to the situations our favorite characters get into. That has expanded to Tuesdays now with Younger and I truly hope it will continue with all of TV Land’s shows!

Please join us on Wednesday for all the fun. Follow me @teeco71, @TVLand, @hotncleveland, & @gaffiganshow as we send off our beloved Hot in Cleveland and be sure to tweet along using hashtags #HotInCleveland #ThanksForTheLaughs #TVLand and #GaffiganShow.

With some of the TV Land family Live Tweeting during Hot In Cleveland and The Soul Man

I would like to take this opportunity to send Betty, Valerie, Jane, and Wendie all of my gratitude and LOVE. Thank you for all the laughs and thank you for being there for us each Wednesday! And special Thanks to Larry W. Jones, Sean Hayes, Tod Milliner and the entire crew for all they’ve done to bring us our favorite TV shows!

To the TV Land digital crew that have truly become family to me, I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday and to all that the future holds in store! Thank you for including me and for all you do!

 

Why Social TV?

For me, TV has always been social. I have always shared my favorite shows with my friends and family, discussed the latest episodes, and speculated about future story lines. I have been the same way with books, film, and any form of entertainment I truly cherish. When reading a particular book, I have always been the type to run out and buy a copy for someone I think will enjoy it or who may need to read it.

As a young boy, I really did pretend I was a co-host on Entertainment Tonight. I would imagine I was interviewing my favorite celebrities, sharing some witty banter with Mary Hart, and even being interviewed myself. I would fall asleep thinking of attending parties, red carpets, premieres, and charity events. Yes, some thought I was strange but I have always been fascinated with all of it. There was a time, when I was pretty young, that I had envisioned being a talk show host, a writer, an actor, and a singer. I was just a tad obsessed with it all.

When I first got involved with social media I felt it was a great outlet for someone like me and I could be part of certain things I had dreamt of on a small scale. Back then, we weren’t calling it “Social TV” but I sure was participating in it. As far as I can remember, The Insider (and my good friend Bryan Moore) was the first show I heard using the term but I could be mistaken. I’m sure someone will correct me if I am wrong.

The thing I love about Social TV is that it allows me to express my deep appreciation for the world of television, the actors, the writers, and everyone involved. As I mentioned, I have had this odd kinship with it since I was pretty much able to understand what I liked. Even to this day, there are certain television shows that I can turn to for comfort and that make me feel good or safe.

How many of us have memories of watching a specific show with our parents, grandparents, or even friends? When we watch these shows now, they bring back all the good memories associated with them. When it comes to sitcoms, there are even shows that literally have me laughing out load even if I have seen the episodes multiple times and I am expecting the punch lines.  Shows like Will and Grace, Golden Girls, Friends, Designing Women are just a few I could name, plus probably quote a few lines from off the top of my head.

Social TV is a no-brainer to me. Award shows, dramas, reality TV, even a talk show are just so much better when you are interacting with like minded people expressing your views and sharing your favorite moments. I particularly love attending events where we have live tweet-ups or covering red carpet events. Of course, being at the actual events are a bit more exciting but even live tweeting an award show with a group of people in person is so much fun! Our banter and interaction makes it so interesting and I have learned so much from my fellow “power tweeters”.

Speaking of my fellow “power tweeters” they have become some of my best friends and people I always look forward to seeing or speaking to. This world of Social TV has opened up so much for me personally, and I am so very grateful for it.

I hope that those of you on Twitter check me out nightly. I pretty much tweet at least one or two shows each night. Sometimes even more! I truly adore the sitcoms on TV Land and the people who work there. I have enjoyed many visits to the sets of Hot In Cleveland, The Soul Man, Kirstie, and The Exes plus I have enjoyed many moments on the sets of the Insider and Entertainment Tonight for events. I was honored to be able to be on red carpets or the One Direction Movie, The Transformers Movie, The Golden Globes, and The Tony Awards. I have been to the offices of TV Land to live tweet shows and have live tweeted recently with the cast of Scorpion on CBS.

It does feel like I am living my childhood fantasies while all of this has come full circle for me. One of the best parts is being able to click with people over what we are watching. I have made so many friends, even many who I haven’t met yet by just conversing during our favorite shows. These conversations have gone way beyond the fandom and have become true friendships. Being able to attend events with other fans is particularly interesting to me. The true fandoms are made up of the kindest, most genuine people who gather to celebrate their favorite entertainers and shows.

If we haven’t met yet, I look forward to running into you someday. If you haven’t tweeted with me during shows, check me out on Twitter @teeco71 and on Instagram I usually post a video of what I am watching each night. Sometimes, I wish I had a few more hours each night to dedicate to television and tweeting. There are so many amazing shows that my poor DVR works overtime so I can keep up.

I even think of some of my favorite shows from before social media and wonder what it would have been like to live tweet during those. Charmed, in particular, is one of those shows that always had this huge active fanbase who were all very active on message boards and websites but Twitter would have given us instant access to each other as well as our favorite cast! I think that would have been an experience to cherish. I really hope they do have a reunion movie so we all get a chance to test my theory soon!

Look for me on social media, say HI and let me know what your favorite shows are, which you love to live tweet, and who you like tweeting with most (show accounts, actors, personalities, friends, etc).

If you follow me on Twitter or we are friends on Facebook, you know my favorites already. Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Witches of East End, Once Upon A Time, Scorpion, Hot In Cleveland, The Exes, Scandal, Super Soul Sunday, and many other shows on OWN are just some of them. For reality TV, you really can’t beat BRAVO and that is actually where I first started interacting with people on twitter. Sometimes I feel like I was born to do this because it just comes so naturally to me.

If you ask me why I’m such a fan of Social TV, I’d say for all of the reasons above!

 

 

Happy Holidays and a Healthy New Year to All

It’s that time of year again where we are mid-holiday and fast approaching the end of one year while getting ready to begin a new one.  As always, I would like to take the time to wish everyone the very best holiday season and a prosperous, healthy New Year.  I would also like to thank all of you who have been a part of my life, who have become a part of my life this year, and who have continued to be a part of my life throughout the years.  2013 was a big year for many of us, and for me for sure.  I have so many things & people to be grateful for, so many things I am looking forward to in the coming year/years, and so many things that continue to surprise me.  I am humbled to be lucky enough to be a part of so many truly interesting and amazing things with some of the best people with hearts of gold.

2013 saw the birth of a new venture, Socially Devoted, with my very best friend in the world.  I was never one of those people who had a “best friend” because I didn’t really think anyone could be as close to you as family, care about you in that way, or work their way into your heart like that.  I stand corrected.  I have been blessed with so many friends who have come to be family to me, who have touched my heart, and who do care about me.  I have the luck, honor, and privilege of sharing Socially Devoted with my best friend (not because he is better than any of the others but because he and I do share a bond that really can’t be explained).
I haven’t really taken time to address Socially Devoted and I feel like it is time to do so. We did do a video upon launch, back in September (you can view that here), and I keep meaning to formally introduce it here but days turn to months as they say.  The name Socially Devoted came from a dream I had.  In it, I was running late for a meeting with Oprah (yeah, how cool is that?) and funny enough, my best friend Erick was there telling me he would handle what needed to be done so I could get to my meeting on time.  I remember saying that I had to finish one thing and I logged onto a website that was ours by typing in www.sociallydevoted.com.  I think I woke up right after that and wrote it on a piece of paper as I sometimes do, so I don’t forget things that “come to me” in dreams.  A few days later, when I was on the phone with Erick, I mentioned it to him and he suggested I check to see if the domain name was available.  He suggested that if it were, I should purchase it even if I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it at that point.
Fast forward a few months to a visit with my friend Carol who was visiting from LA.. Over dinner and some wine (Ok, more wine than dinner) we started discussing ideas for possible ventures and things I might be interested in doing.  I have always had an interest in entertainment, a dream to be involved in it, and a desire to bring us back to the good times (before so much reality TV).  I immediately saw that Socially Devoted could be put to use here and there indeed was a reason for me holding onto the domain.  At this point, I was not even sure how I was going to proceed and wasn’t even sure if Erick would be interested in being a part of it but I did know that we share a passion for entertainment and that he is the go-to person for all things film, from equipment to execution.
So, life got busy, as it tends to, but this idea kept popping up.  I LOVE my blog but I wanted something flashy, something that really popped, something that screamed entertainment.  I also knew I could not do it alone and then it hit me! Erick and I attend events, head out to LA often, have had some amazing times there and in NYC, so why not combine our shared interests and our amazing friendship to create something we could share with everyone?  Would he go for it? Would he have time? Would I have time? Oh, the hell with it, I had to ask.  That conversation actually went much better than I expected. Not much convincing on my part and it ignited this shared passion and creativity that I’m not sure is possible for me with anyone else.  You know that friend who can finish your sentences or the one that you know so well, you know what they are thinking just from a look? Yeah, that’s us!
Socially Devoted began to take shape, to take on a life of its own, and actually brought us something very satisfying to work on.  It was just as I had imagined, our shared interests & passions were coming together and we were creating a company based on this combined with things we already did together that we both enjoyed.  Bliss! Yay us!  We spent many long nights working on this over the phone, via Skype, and in person.  I can’t tell you how many times we fell asleep in front of our computers, even across from one another mid-conversation.  But I loved every minute (and I think, I hope, he did too).  As we went on, it was looking, feeling, and becoming what I thought from the beginning and it got easier to convey ideas even when I couldn’t find the right words to do so.
Now, the question was, how and when to launch?  It had to be perfect, it had to honor the work we put into it and our desire to be a part of something bigger than us.  Who knew that would coincide

Visiting the set of omg Insider

with an invite to live tweet the Emmys at omg Insider’s studio on the CBS lot in LA? I couldn’t have predicted that one if I tried.  So, Socially Devoted was officially “born” and the fun began.

I (and I think I can speak for Erick) have always felt a connection with Hollywood.  There is a magic, an atmosphere, and a welcoming about it.  When we visited the omg Insider set in LA, attended a taping of Kirstie Alley’s new show Kirstie and Hot In Cleveland at the CBS lots, it really did feel like home.  It was like we were meant to be a part of it.  We both share a respect for actors, producers, directors, grips, cameramen, anyone who works to bring entertainment to the masses.  To us, no job or project is too small and we do share a desire to make sure the good stuff doesn’t go unnoticed.  I think as fans of movies/TV/music/etc, there is still this awe about it all and I hope we never lose that.
We are still in the beginning stages with SD, we still have lots of work to do and even more to bring you.  I hope we can continue to be a part of this world we both love so much and bring it all to you so you can experience it with us in some way.  I know there are many events coming up in 2014 that we hope to attend, many articles we hope to create, and on a personal level, many memories that will come out of all of it to add to the already existing ones!

Socially Devoted from dream to reality

On a personal level for me, I hope to continue to do all of the fun, exciting, and amazing things I have been doing. Please know that at no time do I take any of it for granted.  I pinch myself on a regular basis to be sure this is not all a dream.  I have been known to joke around but I am never anything but humble when it comes to opportunities and the ability to do all I have done and meet the people I have met from all walks of life.  To me, everyone who can enrich the lives of others in any way has value, we are all works in progress, and as long as we are striving to do better we are on the right track.  Of course we all know those stagnant people who exist simply to exist and we all know the dangers of allowing them into our lives so if I have to caution you on anything for 2014 it would be to avoid those entities at all costs.  I have learned that it is not our job to help people who are so stuck in ignorance because at the end of the day, it is their choice to be where they are. If they are making no effort to be better, do better, or even worse, if they will eventually hold us back knowingly or unknowingly, they are dangerous to our survival as well as our happiness.  Please be careful of these types.
I will continue to be better, do better, and to encourage the people whose light I see.  Not everyone sees their own light or potential but if it is there, we can encourage it to shine brighter than they ever imagined.  There is so much satisfaction in seeing someone “come into” themselves, especially if they didn’t see it previously.  My heart has grown so much over the past few years simply by seeing others do better and giving the world what they were meant to. I also look forward to working more with NOH8 Campaign and Friend Movement, people like Adam Bouska, Jeff Parshley, Ronnie Kroell, Elliot London, and those who work diligently to make changes in regards to human rights, bullying, and equality are setting a great example for the rest of us.
I hope to see you all here, on Twitter, on Facebook, over at Socially Devoted, at Conventions, Events, in LA, NY, Atlanta, Orlando, or wherever life brings me.  I am forever grateful for my friends all over and the opportunities to work with omg Insider, TV Land, EnchantaCon, friends I’ve made through EyeConTVD and all the others who have blessed my life. Please know you are in my heart and my prayers during the holidays and throughout the year.  Let’s make 2014 a year to remember and a year to talk about!