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.
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).
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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