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Tuning in to TV

- - Sunday, February 26, 2012

PaleyFest TV celebration available to stream live

The annual PaleyFest TV celebration in Southern California is going live online.

When the stars and creators of "American Horror Story," "Modern Family" and other TV series gather from Friday through March 14 at a Beverly Hills theater, their discussions will be streamed live for the first time, the Paley Center for Media said Friday. All 13 of the PaleyFest panels will be carried by Livestream, the live-event service that's a partner in this year's festival.

The majority of panels will be available on-demand through another festival partner, Hulu. The sessions will be available through the free, ad-supported Hulu and Hulu Plus subscription services starting March 15, after the festival concludes.

"At its heart, PaleyFest is about the communal experience of television, and the unique relationship between TV audiences and their favorite series," said Paley Center President and CEO Pat Mitchell. The live broadcasts, on-demand access and a new website allow more fans to join in, she said.

The center also is touting a new app and an online auction set to include memorabilia from series featured in this year's and past festivals.

PaleyFest 2012 opens Friday at the Saban Theater with the "American Horror Story" panel and concludes with "Modern Family." Other shows in the lineup include "Community," "Once Upon a Time," "New Girl," "The Office," "Sons of Anarchy," "Bones," "Castle," "Vampire Diaries," "Revenge," "Two and a Half Men" and "Mad Men."

The "Community" and "Castle" panels will be shown live at the Paley Center in New York.

Deen ready to show lighter side of cooking

A month after being widely criticized for revealing she has diabetes — as well as a lucrative endorsement deal for a drug to treat it — Paula Deen said she's ready to show a lighter side to her famously fatty Southern-style cooking.

Just don't expect her to swear off butter.

"I am who I am. But what I will be doing is offering up lighter versions of my recipes," the longtime Food Network star told the Associated Press during an interview at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival on Friday.

"I will have a broader platform now, trying to do something for everybody," she said. "But you know, I'm Southern by roots. I was taught [to cook] by my grandmother and nothing I can do would change that."

Last month, Ms. Deen drew the ire of many in the health and culinary worlds when she announced she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes nearly three years ago. Roughly 23 million Americans are believed to have Type 2 diabetes, a condition blamed in part on obesity and unhealthy lifestyles.

During those years, she continued to promote her butter- and bacon-laden cooking on television and in books and magazines, and to profit from lucrative endorsement deals with companies such as Smithfield ham and Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

But the harshest criticism was triggered by her simultaneous announcement that she also would be a paid pitch person for drug maker Novo Nordisk's new online program, Diabetes in a New Light, and for its pricey drug, Victoza, which she takes.

Many wondered why she appeared to wait until she had a paying endorsement before revealing her diagnosis.

"Yes, I am being compensated," she said Friday. "It's the way of the world. It's the American way. But I am taking a portion of that compensation and giving it back to the [American] Diabetes Association."

Ms. Deen would not say how much she is being paid or what portion would be donated.

Ms. Deen, who is 65, shrugged off the criticism — including that of some fellow celebrity chefs — saying her fans have stood by her.

"I think a few people who have access to a TV camera and ink kind of wanted to hate on me for coming down with something," she said. "But I so don't worry about it."

Following her announcement last month, Ms. Deen said she wasn't planning to change her approach to cooking. But Friday, she said that when she begins shooting new episodes of her show this spring, the recipes will offer something for everyone, including people who want healthier recipes.

It may, however, be a while before viewers see the difference. Because filming and production schedules are set well in advance, it could take up to two years before those episodes are aired.

'Bizarre Foods' host may turn to politics

Andrew Zimmern already knows what he wants for the final course in a career built on a penchant for chowing unusual foods — a helping of politics.

"I'm going to run for public office in Minnesota," Mr. Zimmern, star of Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern," said during an interview with the Associated Press on Thursday at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. "What level? I don't know. But I don't want to be a celebrity governor or anything like that."

Minnesota has already had one of those — former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura, who took office in the late 1990s. And of course there's also Sen. Al Franken, a former star on "Saturday Night Live" who was sworn in as one of the state's U.S. senators in 2009.

Mr. Zimmern said that when his career in food is over, he might run for city council or some other local position. Whatever it is, he wants it to be a way for him to give back.

"I want to help people," he said. "You have to do something for other people while on this earth."

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.