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After Fox Cancellations, Suggestions for What Jackie Earle Haley, Shawn Ryan and Mark Valley Should Do Next

by Maureen Ryan, posted May 11th 2011 12:20PM
News broke Tuesday that several Fox shows have been cancelled, but aside from lamenting the potential that each of the Fox dramas had, let's not dwell on the fact that 'Breaking In,' 'Lie to Me,' 'The Chicago Code,' 'Traffic Light' and 'Human Target' are no longer among us.

Let's focus instead on what the actors and producers from that show should do next. Here are a few of our suggestions; feel free to offer your own in the comment area.

Jackie Earle Haley, late of 'Human Target'
JEH on season 3 of 'Justified.' How incredible would it be to see Haley in Harlan? Dear television industry (specifically 'Justified' creator Graham Yost and FX): Make this happen. Please. Pretty please.

Shawn Ryan, late of 'The Chicago Code'
Ryan's had a tough go of it in recent months. The late, great 'Terriers' was canceled by FX in December, and now 'Code' is gone too.

So what should Ryan do next? If he wants to keep working for Fox, I'd be happy to see him take the reins of 'Terra Nova,' which has hit more than its share of obstacles on its way to the small screen. Ryan was able to kick 'Lie to Me' up several notches when he took over as showrunner for a while, but who knows if he'd want to get involved in what sounds like a too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen scenario at 'Terra Nova.' But the dinosaur drama has a lot riding on it, and if anyone could give it a boost in the suspense-and-stakes department, Ryan could.

Then again, if Ryan's Plan B involves developing another cable drama with FX, AMC, HBO or a network of that ilk, that sounds just fine to me. 'The Chicago Code' made a valiant attempt to meld the sensibilities of cable and broadcast networks but perhaps ('The Good Wife' aside) it's just too hard to bridge the distance between character-based cable dramas and network shows, which are typically more plot- and story-based. Though its characters never won me over the way that 'Terriers'' lead duo did (by the midpoint of that show's glorious first and only season, I would have taken a bullet for Hank Dolworth), 'Code' had much more ambition than the typical cop drama, and it certainly gets points for that. (One last thought about 'The Chicago Code' -- its directors and cinematographers made the Windy City look fabulous. Kudos to all involved for not shooting the same three Chicago landmarks and leaving it at that.)

Michael Rosenbaum, late of 'Breaking In'
Comedy showrunners, you're on notice: You need to hire this guy ASAP. Rosenbaum was long the best thing about 'Smallville,' but he demonstrated some serious comedy chops as a sweetly obnoxious douchenozzle in this slight comedy. He killed in every scene he was in, so much so that I'd watch a show that was just about that fauxhawked doofus. But seriously, someone needs to take full advantage of Rosenbaum's comedic and dramatic skills. Now.

Mark Valley, late of 'Human Target'
Perhaps 'Fringe' could somehow revive an alterna-version of John Scott, the FBI agent Valley played on that show? If not, let's hope he lands a project that takes advantage of both his square-jawed good looks and his deft way with adventure comedy. My colleague Maggie Furlong points out that he'd make a good love interest for Leslie Bibb's character on the new ABC show that was formerly titled 'Good Christian B*******." And if 'Chuck' miraculously gets another season, Valley has to stop by as the most intimidatingly perfect secret agent Charles Bartowski ever encountered.

Bret Harrison, late of 'Breaking In'
A likable actor, Harrison has never really found his niche -- not in a show with staying power, that is. What the former 'Reaper' star really needs is a show that doesn't make him the blandest character on it -- he's talented and winning, but at this point, he's in danger of being typecast as a rather boring Everyman. He needs to mix things up by trying to land a weird-ish cable comedy or a role on a non-formulaic drama.

Tim Roth, late of 'Lie to Me'
How about Roth as a British intelligence agent in 'Homeland,' the new Claire Danes-Damian Lewis drama that Showtime has commissioned? Failing that, a recurring role on 'Alcatraz,' the J.J. Abrams prison drama that Fox picked up for fall, sounds about right. (There's more on the pilots that Fox picked up here.)

Christian Slater, late of 'Breaking In'
Slater's last few shows, 'The Forgotten,' 'My Own Worst Enemy' and now 'Breaking In' have all failed to win a place for themselves on the TV landscape, but I still think that, with the right vehicle, Slater's raspy charm could work well on the small screen. Trying to cram his personality into the typical network procedural appears to be a mistake, however, and though 'Breaking In' was mildly entertaining, the rest of the cast (aside from Michael Rosenbaum) wasn't as lively as Slater. I think the answer here is obvious: Put Slater and Rosenbaum on a well-written, sarcasm-laced comedy, and you could hit pay dirt.

Brendan Hines, Monica Raymund, Kelli Williams, Mekhi Phifer, late of 'Lie to Me'
Just pick up the whole bunch and cast them as members of a rival law firm on 'The Good Wife.'

Chi McBride, late of 'Human Target'
His Chi-ness and his versatile baritone are welcome to guest on any scripted show on television, any time. Except shows about vampires. I get the sense he would not approve of shenanigans involving werewolves, vampires or any other fantastical creatures.

So what are your suggestions for the writers and actors from those shows? Where should they head next? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

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I am so upset about Lie To Me being cancelled. I loved that show. It was just on at the wrong time and on the wrong day. I think they could have changed the publicity on it as well. Finally a good show without some much sex but with much potential, yet it has to be cancelled.

July 10 2011 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Christopher Chance was made for Mark Valley......that character was perfect for him!!!! Those three guys together...you'll never see another three work so great together again, ever!!!

Big mistake cancelling that show. Mark Valley is a great actor, but no matter what he does, Christopher Chance was just him.....perfect fit....perfect character....perfectly acted!!!!

Shame on Fox

May 23 2011 at 11:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Is it to late to cast Jackie Earle Haley as the Hound on Game of Thrones?

May 17 2011 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

BIG mistake to cancel Human Target. This is one of the BEST shows next to Burn Notice.

May 16 2011 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about Christian Slater as a Malcolm Tucker styled Press Secretary in HBO's upcoming Veep?

May 14 2011 at 2:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about Tim Roth as the final villain in the 5th(hopefully) season of Chuck? Maybe he could even have a female companion he calls Bunny or Honey.

May 13 2011 at 10:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Frank or Marty

why do you take off the shows that we like instead of those stupid sitcoms. lie to me great,human target, rea.ly love these shows also chiago code. leave them alone.

May 13 2011 at 10:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lets show FOX what we think about cancelling The Chicago Code! Help get everyone you know to watch the final episodes. http://on.fb.me/jsyZwS

May 12 2011 at 10:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

KEEP HUMAN TARGET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 12 2011 at 9:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Since Anna Tov and Mark Valley use to be married in real life I *really* don't think either one of them wants him returning to "Finge." I mean, would you want you ex-husband at your job?

May 12 2011 at 7:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to EuropaE's comment
Craig Ranapia

If it was how I'd be eating, paying the bills and keeping a roof over my head? Yeah, I think I could deal with working with my ex- for a week or two.

May 15 2011 at 5:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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