All-star break for local talent

Ed Helms (left) and John Krasinski of “The Office’’ at the NBC Universal Press Tour All-Star Party. Ed Helms (left) and John Krasinski of “The Office’’ at the NBC Universal Press Tour All-Star Party. (Phil Mccarten/Reuters)
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / August 3, 2011

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Bostonians were in LA for the NBC Universal Press Tour All-Star Party at the SLS Hotel’s swanky Bazaar restaurant Monday night. Attendees, who mingled with reporters in town for the Television Critics Association Press Tour, included Newton-bred “Office’’ pals B.J. Novak and John Krasinski, chef Todd English, and “The Sing-Off’’ executive producer Sam Weisman. A cheerful English was coy about whether he was at the party because he has a show in the works (maybe something on NBC Universal’s network Bravo?), saying only “perhaps.’’ He mingled, along with a friend he met when he appeared on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.’’ Meanwhile, Newton’s own Weisman, who partied with “Sing-Off’’ judges Ben Folds and Sara Bareilles, wasn’t worried about the premiere of former “American Idol’’ judge Simon Cowell’s show “The X Factor,’’ which swiped “Sing-Off’’ judge Nicole Scherzinger and will premiere two nights after “The Sing-Off’’ starts in mid-September. “We have a niche, and we’re not attempting to compete,’’ said Weisman. “We’re just attempting to raise the fact that we have more than twice the hours that we had before so the show looks a little slicker, we have more money for certain things.’’ Unlike the first two seasons, which were condensed over multiple nights in December, the show will feature 16 groups and air weekly. Weisman was also pleased to report that “there’s a great shot of the Paramount Center at Emerson College in our opening montage.’’