BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Pittsburgh native Zachary Quinto ("Star Trek," "American Horror Story") has had a busy year, and it's about to get busier.
A 1995 graduate of Central Catholic High School and a 1999 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University who grew up in Green Tree, Mr. Quinto starred in the second season of FX's "American Horror Story," reprised his role as Spock in the summer movie "Star Trek: Into Darkness" and now he's prepping for a 17-week Broadway run in a revival of Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie."
That will keep him occupied -- previews begin Sept. 5 and the show runs through January -- and he's trying to figure out whether he can even attend the Sept. 22 Emmy Awards, where he's up for his first Emmy nomination for his supporting actor role in the second "AHS" miniseries.
"Hopefully I'll be able to come, be here one day and go back that night," Mr. Quinto said Thursday night at a Fox/FX party. "We're working out schedules now. I'd love to be here obviously to support the show and be here and have the experience."
So far he hasn't been tapped to return to "AHS" for its third installment, "Coven," which is now filming in New Orleans.
"I am not back right now, but who knows if that will change," said Mr. Quinto, who was back in Pittsburgh recently to visit family and friends. He plans another trip home in a few weeks. "The reality is I have one day off a week [from 'Glass Menagerie'] to do something either in New York or New Orleans or wherever I can pop down and work on something, but mostly my focus is going to be on committing to the play and living that life for a while. So I'm really happy about that."
Mr. Quinto said he's pleased with the way "AHS" executive producer Ryan Murphy has built a repertory company of actors for the show.
"The nature of our show is such that people can come and go," Mr. Quinto said. "Taissa Farmiga was an integral part of the first season, and she wasn't in 'Asylum,' and now she's back on 'Coven.' ... That's the nature of a repertory company: People rotate in and out. You take the limelight and then you step into the shadows. What Ryan has done is create a repertory company on television, which is innovative and bold, and I'm excited to be a part of it. So whether it's this season or next season, I still consider myself to be a part of the 'AHS' family, and if he were ever to call and say pop down to 'American Horror Story' in New Orleans to frolic around and play in the swamps, I'd be all for it."
It also sounds like he's ready to don pointy ears for a third round as Spock. Thursday night at the Fox party he chatted with "Star Trek: Into Darkness" writer Roberto Orci, an executive producer on Fox's fall cop drama with robots, "Almost Human."
"I think it's in the works," Mr. Quinto said. "I don't really have any specific information about when or where or any of that stuff, but my understanding is they are planning to do a third one."
FX's new spinoff network, FXX, will air the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sept. 21, the night before the main Emmy telecast on CBS.
FX's 10-episode limited series "Fargo" may share its name with the movie it's loosely based on, but it features none of the same characters. Billy Bob Thornton will star in FX's "Fargo," which will air next spring.
"It's hard to describe how remarkably true to the film it is," said FX CEO John Landgraf. "It has a female deputy in her early 20s, and she's not the character from the film. [TV series writer] Noah Hawley has just managed to invent a new version of 'Fargo' that's its own thing but is really true to the original."
'X Factor' changes, Cowell scandal
Simon Cowell's in hot water: Reports surfaced this week that he impregnated a friend's wife, who is now 10-weeks pregnant with his child.
This is much more interesting than whatever changes are in store for Fox's "The X Factor." (For the record, those changes include Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio joining Mr. Cowell and Demi Lovato on the judging panel.)
Mr. Cowell got questions about the scandal at Fox's "X Factor" press conference late Thursday.
One reporter asked the elephant-in-the-room question, beginning by congratulating Mr. Cowell on "the new addition to your family."
"You mean the girls?" Mr. Cowell replied, trying a dodge. "I haven't read the newspapers. Am I missing something?"
Ms. Lovato tried to throw Mr. Cowell a life preserver, saying, "Even if you did read the newspaper, I don't think you have to answer ..."
Mr. Cowell stepped up to respond.
"I appreciate the question," he said. "Unfortunately, I have to keep this, for the moment, private. It's just one of those things."
As for changes to "The X Factor," Mr. Cowell said it's a "girl moment in music," which is why he's the only guy on the judging panel.
"We thought the panel should reflect that," he said.
Mr. Cowell compared the need for changes to the judging lineup to a dinner party.
"You invite people for dinner and it's a fun night. Other times it's not as much fun as you thought it would be," Mr. Cowell said before gesturing to this year's co-stars. "This is a fun dinner party."
This season the show's cash prize has been reduced from $5 million to $1 million.
Fox gets 'Almost Human'
For actor Michael Ealy ("Sleeper Cell"), the prospect of playing an android cop on Fox's ambitious but flawed fall drama "Almost Human" (8 p.m. Nov. 4) was daunting.
"When I first read it, I was concerned because I wouldn't ever have a love interest," Ealy said. "That was a concern of mine. But I read the script and embraced the character and realized that's actually a good thing. Stretch yourself, don't go the same way you've gone before, play something different."
But couldn't Mr. Ealy's Dorian have a love interest, human or android? After all, Data on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" was "fully functional."
"I'm gonna go on record and say, that's not gonna happen," said executive producer J.H. Wyman about Dorian and the prospect of a love interest. "Maybe there are sex robots, but he's not one of them."
Mr. Wyman also said Dorian is more human than he can handle, rather than being a robot, like Data, who wants and longs to be more human.
Mr. Ealy stars alongside Karl Urban ("Star Trek: Into Darkness") who plays Dorian's human partner, Det. John Kennex. Mr. Urban said "Almost Human" won't present a dystopian vision of the future.
"This is a future that's immediately accessible, just in this slightly futuristic society that is dealing with elements and difficulties that are a little bit beyond the curve for us," Mr. Urban said. "We play characters who are at the front lines of protecting society from misapplications of genetics and robotics. And the wonderful thing this show does is it questions us. It makes us and the audience ask what does it mean to be human, and I think that makes us human and I think that is good."
Mr. Wyman said he and fellow executive producer Naren Shankar ("CSI") have been trading DVDs of the serialized "Fringe" and the procedural "CSI" in an effort to get an idea of how to create a blend in "Almost Human" that Mr. Wyman said should be closer in its mix to "NYPD Blue."
"The characters were serialized, and you invested in those characters," Mr. Wyman said of "NYPD Blue." "That's what we're angling for here. There's a mythology, and we'll have some elements of that week to week, but this is a cop drama."
Ellen DeGeneres returns to host the Academy Awards on March 2, 2014, on ABC. She previously hosted the Oscars in 2007. ... "Shark Week" starts Sunday on Discovery with a new wrinkle: "Shark After Dark," a nightly talk show at 11 p.m. beginning Sunday. ... Weather Channel is competing by airing "Hurricane Week" programming next week, which doesn't have quite the same ring to it, but the network is promoting it with a shark in a hurricane promo (a riff on "Sharknado," "Sharkicane"?) ... Bravo renewed "Million Dollar Listing New York" for a third season. ... Joy Behar's last day on ABC's "The View" (11 a.m. weekdays, WTAE) will be Friday. ... Season finales for online soaps scheduled: "One Life to Live" closes Aug. 19 and "All My Children" ends Sept. 2.
On the web
Read more coverage from the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Tuned In Journal at post-gazette.com/tv.
Post-Gazette TV writer Rob Owen is attending the Television Critics Association summer press tour. Follow RobOwenTV at Twitter or on Facebook. You can reach Rob at 412-263-2582 or firstname.lastname@example.org. First Published August 3, 2013 4:00 AM