The actress handled Kelley's sharp dialogue like a pro, and I'm guessing she'll bring the same confidence to her role as a "smart-ass, street-wise con woman" on the second season of Leverage. Ryan has signed on for a recurring role on the TNT heist drama. Her character will be a friend of Sophie's (Gina Bellman), Leverage's sexy grifter with a bag full of tricks and foreign accents.
I recently had the pleasure of talking with Timothy Hutton, star of Leverage, about the first season of the successful new drama. Oh yes, the charming Tim and I dished about his performance, his co-stars and what season two may bring.
One thing I learned is that the powers-that-be over at Leverage don't tell their actors a whole lot. After being enamored with season one, I was dying for a spoiler of what's to come next season, now that we know Leverage has been renewed (they start filming April 13, in fact). OK, I would have settled for a teaser, even a tidbit, but it seems they're still tossing most of that around in the writers' room. Here's what I did get:
Frakes directed tonight's episode of Leverage, TNT's hit heist drama starring Timothy Hutton. The episode is a Star Trek reunion of sorts with Frakes behind the camera and his former Star Trek co-stars Brent Spiner (Data from TNG) and Armin Shimerman (Quark from Deep Space Nine) guest starring.
I spoke to Frakes by phone for a few minutes this week and, somehow, I was able to hold back from asking him a million geeky Star Trek questions. (Now I'll never know if "Tom" Riker ever escaped from the Cardassians!) We discussed his love for Leverage, his friendships with his former cast mates, and the possible return of "Number One" Will Riker.
TNT's freshman drama centers on a group of criminals turned Robin Hoods who pull off elaborate schemes to take down the dirty dogs of corporate America. So far, Leverage has earned decent ratings and high praise from critics (Squadder Debra McDuffee called it "the best new show this season."), and TNT is rewarding it by green lighting a second season.
Have you seen TNT's new show, Leverage yet? It's been called a new age A-Team, but I see it more as a lighthearted combination of Ocean's 11, Alias, Burn Notice and even How I Met Your Mother.
In fact, I'm willing to go out on a limb and state in no uncertain terms that Leverage is the best new show to premiere this season. I would have given the title to The Mentalist previous to Leverage's premiere, but since then, it has continued to steal my heart a little more each week.
What makes Leverage the best new show this season? In no particular order ...
(S01E02) "The world doesn't work this way." --Dr. Laroque
"Then change the world." --Nathan Ford
Oh, I really do like this show. It looks like the fine folks behind Leverage are going to use this platform to "expose" the kinds of corporate corruption that we all know are there but may just not be able to prove. As established over the past several years, a lot of these bastards at the top of the corporate world are just as bad, if not worse, than the common street criminal. In fact, I'm going to go with worse. Tonight's target: Castleman, a company that provides a private "army" to the U.S. Government. You know, Blackwater.
In keeping with the Robin Hood concept, the idea behind this heist is to ensure that PFC Dwight Caplan can get the rehab he needs to get out and start working. The kid's not looking for a handout, just a fare shake in life. And since it was Castleman, and not insurgent fire, who took that away from him, he's looking for justice. Which is what Leverage is all about.
Leverage delivered TNT's best ratings for the 18-49 demo for an original series aired during a regular broadcast season. That means we'll probably see a lot more of Timothy Hutton and crew gracing our tubes in 2009. Fans of good TV everywhere should be celebrating.
I mostly tuned into Leverage to see Christian Kane, who I loved as the scheming Lindsey McDonald on Joss Whedon's Angel. Kane plays Eliot Spencer on Leverage, a dude who could make Jason Bourne cry "uncle!" with his amazing hand-to-hand combat skills. Kane was only one of the things I liked about this show. The entire cast was great, especially Hutton, and the whole A-Team meets Ocean's 11 thing really worked for me.
(S01E01) Now that's what good television is all about. This slickly produced show managed to keep things light and fun in the world of high-stakes criminal espionage. It makes sense since executive producer Dean Devlin directed the pilot and slick and fancy is what he's all about. Certainly Independence Day got by on its look and feel rather than any great plotlines or dialogue. Devlin's production company has also been behind the very successful The Librarian series of films for TNT which are also very high on style.
I've said it before, I'm a sucker for a series that casts actors from my favorite shows. It's really all it takes to get me to watch something at least once. I suppose that means I'm going to have to give Leverage at least a three episode run. Look at that cast photo. Christian Kane from Angel, Gina Bellman from Coupling, and Aldis Hodge from Friday Night Lights. And as a bonus, Timothy Hutton. That's a pretty good start.
If that's not enough, one of the executive producers is John Rogers. TNT lists him as being from Cosby, but I remember him for writing and producing one of the best pilots that didn't go to series that I've ever seen, Global Frequency.
Well, here's a quirky little plot twist no one expected.
Even though NBC pulled the show - twice - the network started showing the eight unaired episodes of Kidnapped last night (or early this morning) at midnight! They'll run the show at this time each week this summer. Not sure if it can be seen at that time in all areas. I know it wasn't on at that time where I live, so it's probably on at different times overnight.
This is an interesting move by NBC, considering the episodes have been available on the web site and the complete series was released on DVD. Maybe the other networks can follow NBC's lead and show short-lived/canceled shows overnight.
Despite the show's quality, it never had a chance; saddled with a bad time slot (Wednesdays at 10), NBC showed four episodes, then told the producers to stop at 13, shuttled the show to the Saturday death slot, then canned it after one Saturday airing.
We've had a couple of stories here about the possibility of a Kidnapped DVD set in '07, and today Sony made it official. The Complete Series will be released on April 24. That's 13 episodes. No word on extras yet.
I actually liked this show, from the handful of episodes that NBC showed before dumping it on Saturday nights and then pulling it from the schedule altogether. But you know what? When the show went online only, I didn't even watch the remaining episodes. I'm not sure why. I was interested in the plot and what the outcome was going to be, but I just never took the time to watch the rest. Of course, I'm not sure I want to buy the show on DVD either, so maybe I'll watch them online after all (if they're still available, that is).
Well, this is interesting. I'm not a big fan of David Foster Wallace (1), but anyone who attempts to film something that he has written has my respect.
John Krasinski, Jim on The Office, is directing the movie version of DFW's (2) Brief Interviews With Hideous Men. Not really sure how the movie will be structured, since the book is a collection of short stories, but it's a daring choice for a first time effort. The movie stars Timothy Hutton (3), Rashida Jones (4), Josh Charles (5), Will Forte (6), and Bobby Cannavale (7).
1. He's a smart, interesting guy, but sometimes you just want to throw his books across the room.
2. I can't remember if you're supposed to call him "Foster Wallace" or just "Wallace."
3. From Kidnapped.
4. Karen on The Office.
5. From Sports Night.
6. From SNL.
7. From Will & Grace.
Kidnapped fans were upset when the show was canceled, but given 13 episodes to wrap up the plot. Then they were more upset when the show was taken off of Wednesday night and put on Saturday nights. And then they were absolutely ticked off when NBC pulled the show from Saturday nights because of low ratings (gee, low ratings on a Saturday night...what did they expect?). But now, fans can at least rejoice in the news that there might be a box DVD set of the show coming in 2007.
Anna told you earlier today about NBC pulling Kidnapped off of the Saturday schedule (wow, how bad do ratings have to be to have that happen twice in a matter of weeks?), and now comes word over at TV Guide that the remaining eight episodes of the drama will be shown on NBC's web site.
The show is being pulled and will not be seen again on the small screen after sweeps (we're at the start of the all-important sweeps period right now), but will be shown on your even smaller screen, your computer.
The show is filming its 13th episode even as you read this. Oh well. At least fans won't have to wait and see what's going to happen to the show and will be able to see the kidnapping plot reach its conclusion and not left hanging.
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