When a television show achieves the magic of say, a “Lost” or a “Battlestar Galactica,” the tendency is to want to keep duplicating the formula to create other successful shows. Dumb as today’s audiences are, some of those television executives are even more idiotic—just repeating the same thing over and over doesn’t guarantee people will watch (as evidenced by “Caprica” or muddled shows like “The Nine” and “The Event”). But what if you take a couple of the cast members that worked together and were an important puzzle piece? Or put a particular showrunner and actor together? Will that draw in viewers? There are definitely actors who can migrate from show to show and take audiences with them; people will watch Michael Emerson do almost anything. Sometimes collaborations can be taken to an extreme, to the point that we all just sigh in frustration (Tim Burton and Johnny Depp)—but on television, I don’t think that over-saturation has yet been achieved.
A while back, I was thrilled to share news that Michael Emerson and Terry O’Quinn were joining “Odd Jobs,” a new buddy cop show pitched by J. J. Abrams. And because the two actors were glorious every time they were onscreen together, plenty of “Lost” fans were excited by the idea of their reunion. But now it is being reported that Emerson is attached to a different Abrams pilot for CBS, a crime drama called “Person of Interest.” Emerson will star as an “eccentric billionaire” who joins forces with James Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ, “The Prisoner”), a “presumed dead paramilitary CIA officer,” to hunt down violent criminals. Though “Person of Interest” boasts this caliber of actors, along with Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, “Boston Legal”) and writer Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight, The Prestige, Memento), what little can be found about the premise doesn’t really draw me in.
Meanwhile, I can hardly hold back my excitement for Ronald D. Moore’s upcoming NBC pilot, “17th Precinct,” which had already nabbed “Battlestar Galactica” alumnus Jamie BAM!ber. Now word is out that his new co-star is none other than the phenomenal James Callis (Bridget Jones’s Diary, “Eureka”) who starred alongside the BAM!ber as a delightfully over-the-top, Six-envisioning, Gaius Baltar. Callis will join “17th Precinct” as another of the detectives who patrol a magical town, prosecuting supernatural beings who use their powers to bad ends. And in the latest bit of news that puts the whole thing over the top, it has just been announced that Six herself, Tricia Helfer:
has come aboard to play Morgana, “a necromancer coroner who has expertise in black magic, spell casting, and potions.” Be still my black heart. Whereas news of “Person of Interest” leaves me feeling narcoleptic, the regrouping of Ron Moore and pals for “17th Precinct” has me practically foaming at the mouth.
So what say you Pajibans? Will you watch either or both of these and is it wise or foolish to try to recreate the magic?