According to the Hollywood Reporter, the veteran actor, who's had a hand in several seminal TV series, including 'The O.C.' (as problem-plagued pop, Jimmy Copper) and 'Friends' (as real-life ex Jennifer Aniston's crush, Josh-u-a), has been tapped to star in an ABC pilot called 'No Ordinary Family.'
The show stars 'Shield' and 'Fantastic Four' vet Michael Chiklis as the head of a super-powered family. Benz will co-star as Chiklis' wife, a sexy scientist who develops super speed (the power, not the drug).
Despite the drab title, 'No Ordinary Family' is shaping up to be a must-see. Chiklis and Benz are two of TV's top actors, and the pilot is the brainchild of producer Greg Berlanti, a guy who knows a thing or two about creating compelling family drama (see 'Everwood', 'Dirty Sexy Money', 'Brothers & Sisters').
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Chiklis has been tapped to star in 'No Ordinary Family,' a drama pilot from Greg Berlanti that centers around an American family whose members all have special abilities. (Think a live-action version of 'The Incredibles.') Chiklis will play the family patriarch.
Aside from acquiring his superhero chops as The Thing in the 'Fantastic Four' franchise, Chiklis also gained recognition for his role as badass Detective Vic Mackey on the FX drama 'The Shield,' a role that won him an Emmy in 2002. He'll next co-star in the indie feature 'High School,' which premiered at this year's Sundance and stars Colin Hanks..
I'd like to think people didn't just automatically assume that this was a biopic about the Kennedys, though it certainly was playing with that notion intentionally by choosing that name. At its core, the show was simply another teen drama; the kind The WB had built a network around by the fall of 2004.
But it was also something more than that. It was an in-depth examination of the genesis of an American hero. How can someone go from being an ordinary person with ordinary problems into the most powerful man on the planet? While Jack and Bobby were typical all-American brothers, it was one of their destiny to rise to the seat of President of the United States by the mid-21st Century. That's the destination. Jack & Bobby was the journey.
I wish I could count on one hand the sheer number of times I have seen this situation in sci-fi. For classic examples, see The Day The Earth Stood Still. For more modern ones, there is the concept of Alien Nation and I can think of at least one episode of Doctor Who. I'm sure there are a multitude of others.
Echevarria has worked on other sci-fi series than Star Trek such as The 4400 and Dark Angel, so I'm trusting that the guy knows what he's doing to put a new spin on an old concept. However, I don't find the title, The Return, to be very exciting or imaginative. It doesn't make me want to tune in. Can you think of a better one?
I wanted to wait a bit before I posted about the ABC showrunner panel, because a) I already posted about the "news" from Shonda Rhimes about Katherine Heigl's statements, and b) I wanted to think about why these panels seem to be so much more informative than the individual show panels?
We'll get to that more later. On the panel were Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice), Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives), Silvio Horta (Ugly Betty), Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (Lost), and Greg Berlanti (seemingly the rest of ABC's schedule). As you'd expect, Rhimes got the Heigl questions, Lindelof and Cuse got the most esoteric questions, and Chery made the most jokes. The funniest line, though, came from Horta.
Anyway, the panels for the two sophomore Wednesday shows didn't reveal all that much in the way of new info. We found out a little about what both Berlanti and PP creator Shonda Rhimes have in store, and how they deal with returning from such a long break (ABC held back the two shows and Pushing Daisies after the strike, making plans to restart in the fall).
The Eli Stone panel featured the entire cast along with executive producers Greg Berlanti (who seems to be producing two-thirds of ABC's scripted dramas) and Marc Guggenheim. Surprisingly enough, there was only one question about the presence of Katie Holmes as a guest star this season. The reason why she's there is a shock -- they brought her in to get ratings! Will wonders never cease?
Holmes got her big break on TV, playing Joey Potter on the uber-popular teen soap Dawson's Creek. She also had a few impressive turns in movies, such as Pieces of April and Thank You for Smoking before meeting Tom Cruise and taking an extended hiatus from the business.
Holmes also gave up her role in the Batman franchise before dipping her toe back into acting waters with the critically panned Mad Money. She is set to film her episode later this month and then spread her wings further by traveling to New York to star in a revival of Arthur Miller's play, All My Sons.
It looks like Everwood is really, really, really, really not coming back. You want proof? Well, how about the creator of the series, Greg Berlanti, leaving Warner Brothers TV and relocating to ABC and its sister production company Touchstone TV. Still don't believe me? Gosh, you're stubborn.
Berlanti, the creator of the recently canceled WB drama as well as the critically acclaimed Jack & Bobby (also canceled), has two drama pilots in development for ABC. One of them, a drama entitled Eli Stone, has earned a pilot order from the network. The other untitled drama, about a wealthy family seen through the eyes of their lawyer, has a script order.
According to Zap2it, Eli Stone, will center on a a lawyer (not the same one who represents the wealthy family) who thinks he is becoming a prophet because of visions he is having. Berlanti hopes that the show will discuss the subject of spirituality with a heartfelt sense of humor. The script for the show was written by Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, who worked on Jack & Bobby as well as Law & Order and CSI:Miami.
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