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Showing posts with the label Bionic Woman

StrikeWatch: And... It's Over

It's official: the WGA strike, which began November 5th, has finally come to a close, following a member vote overwhelmingly in favor of ending the strike (92.5% to be precise) and getting back to work during the official ten-day ratification process. You can literally hear the sound of relief echoing through Hollywood today as writers return to their keyboards to try to pound out as many scripts as possible in time to salvage the 2007-08 season. "Our membership has voted, and writers can go back to work," said WGA West President Patric Verrone in a statement. "This was not a strike we wanted, but one we had to conduct in order to win jurisdiction and establish appropriate residuals for writing in new media and on the Internet. Those advances now give us a foothold in the digital age. Rather than being shut out of the future of content creation and delivery, writers will lead the way as TV migrates to the Internet and platforms for new media are developed." S

"Bionic Woman" Still Kicking?

Is there still life left in that bionic body? TV Guide claims that NBC hasn't canceled freshman drama Bionic Woman , despite all signs to the contrary. Series, which hasn't completed its 13-episode initial order, was scheduled to relaunch in January with a two-parter that would rejigger the creaky series, plagued by creative problems and behind-the-scenes departures of several executive producers, including James Morgan and pilot director Michael Dinner. However, production on the beleaguered drama--which stars Michelle Ryan as bionically enhanced Jaime Sommers--was curtailed in the wake of the WGA Strike and currently has no completed scripts to produce. An unnamed NBC Universal spokesperson was quick with a statement to the effect that Bionic Woman hasn't been canned: " Bionic Woman has not been canceled. Production was shut down due to the WGA strike. In addition, we have not completed the initial 13-episode order, which will be the first order of business w

"Bionic Woman" Gets New Boss Man; Sci Fi Peaks into "Warehouse"

Let's be honest: we've all heard the drama behind the scenes on the new incarnation of Bionic Woman this season, what with the unexpected departure of Glen Morgan (along with director/executive producer Michael Dinner) and the hiring last month of Friday Night Lights showrunner Jason Katims as a consultant. The Hollywood Reporter is now indicating that Universal Media Studios has now brought in Jason Cahill to serve as showrunner on Bionic Woman . The move could help to create some stability in the writers' room as Katims had been pulling twice his normal workload, overseeing showrunning duties on both Bionic and Friday Night Lights . Recently, Cahill was a co-executive producer on CBS' primetime soap Cane and won a WGA Award for his work on The Sopranos . Bionic Woman , which airs Wednesdays at 9 pm, has not yet been picked up for a full season run. * * * In other science fiction TV news, Sci Fi has given the greenligh

Peacock Spreads Wings (And Script Orders)

A few freshman series got a slight vote of confidence from their respective networks. NBC has ordered three additional scripts for each of its new dramas, including Chuck , Journeyman , Bionic Woman , and Life . While it's not quite the back nine order that I've been hoping for (especially in the case of Chuck ), it's definitely a step in the right direction. CBS, meanwhile, extended the order for four additional scripts from its primetime soap Cane . So far the CW's Gossip Girl has been the only freshman drama to receive a full season pickup, despite a staggering 30 percent drop in viewership between the series opener and second episode. Given the immediacy of the strike situation (nearly everyone--myself included--now believes that the strike is definitely happening), I am surprised that the networks aren't handing out additional script orders--even as many as nine--left and right. There's no guarantee that these scripts will ever be shot but, given the l

Talk Back: NBC's "Bionic Woman" and ABC's "Dirty Sexy Money" and "Private Practice"

Several of new fall series launched last night, including dramas Bionic Woman , Dirty Sexy Money , and Private Practice . Now that you've seen the pilot episodes of all three series, what were your reactions to these new series? I'll admit that Dirty Sexy Money 's pilot was a full head and shoulders above the original network cut I saw in early May and lived up to the promise of the original script. As for my full feelings about the campy series, you'll have to wait until next week when I discuss the pilot episode and the series' third installment. But one note to producers: no more transsexual hooker storylines; it's been done to death already. As for Private Practice , I'm not a Grey's Anatomy fan, so this isn't normally my cup of medicine-laced tea. That said, I thought that Kate Walsh was as adorable as ever and Tim Daly very charismatic; still, I'm hoping that Addison and Taye Diggs' Sam Bennett hook up (not that I'll be watching

Katims Lights Up "Bionic Woman"

Following the departure of showrunner Glen Morgan last week (due to "creative differences"), NBC has secured the help of a certain in-demand writer on freshman drama Bionic Woman . Friday Night Lights showrunner Jason Katims has joined the staff of Bionic Woman as a consultant; his task will be to break stories and write episodic scripts on the drama, which stars Michelle Ryan as a bionically enhanced barmaid/secret agent . NBC's decision to bring Katim on board is a direct reaction to Morgan's departure; previous reports indicated that executive producer David Eick ( Battlestar Galactica ) would take over Morgan's responsibilities, along with Jason Smilovic. Katim is himself no stranger to science fiction: he created and executive produced the shortlived WB (and UPN) series Roswell . As for Friday Night Lights , fans should hope that Katim's willingness to lend a hand on the struggling Bionic Woman would earn him some points regarding FNL down the r

Hell Hath No Fury Like a "Bionic" Woman: Glen Morgan Exits NBC Drama

With just a few weeks to go before launching its freshman series, sci fi drama Bionic Woman , starring Michelle Ryan as the bionically-enhanced barmaid/superagent Jamie Sommers , has lost one of its showrunners. Following a rumor I heard yesterday afternoon, NBC has confirmed that Glen Morgan ( The X-Files ) has left the series, effective immediately. The excuse being given for his sudden and unexpected departure? The typical "creative differences." "Glen Morgan has helped create a great template for Bionic Woman but has decided to pursue other endeavors now," said studio NBC Universal in a prepared statement. "We wish him the best." Following Morgan's departure, fellow executive producer/showrunner David Eick ( Battlestar Galactica ) will assume all oversight for the day-to-day running of the series, working in coordination with Jason Smilovic ( Kidnapped ). There was talk yesterday that Morgan's decision to leave Bionic Woman would cause a

Bionic Beauty: Why Is NBC Downplaying Michelle Ryan's Looks?

I might be the only one out there but I really, really enjoyed Jekyll , Steven Moffat 's take on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which wrapped up its six-hour storyline this past weekend. (Shame on you for missing it!) While I've been fairly effusive in my praise of the BBC's limited series , I was struck by something in watching the taut thriller these past few weeks: why is it that Michelle Ryan--who plays Dr. Jackman's lovelorn psychiatric nurse/companion Katherine--looks so absolutely smoking in this production and so... dowdy in her new NBC series, Bionic Woman ? Sure, her Bionic Woman character, Jamie Sommers, is meant to be painfully average, a true sign of her role as an Everywoman, but does she have to be quite so average ? Our girl Jamie may have just had a significant portion of her body upgraded to bionics following the whole attempted murder/car accident incident, but I am sure she can find the time, between leaping t

Sarah (Not So) Plain and Tall: Katee Sackhoff Rejoins "Bionic Woman"

Starbuck fans, take note. Jamie Sommers shouldn't get too comfortable; her nemesis Sarah Corvus will be returning... more often that we originally thought. Battlestar Galactica 's Katee Sackhoff has signed a deal to return to sci fi drama Bionic Woman as a recurring player. The Hollywood Reporter has indicated that the deal nearly didn't come together and was only signed in the eleventh hour. While Sackhoff has appeared prominently in NBC's promos for Bionic Woman , there was no deal in place to keep Sackhoff with the series, except for a handful of episodes, and she and studio Universal Media Studios (nee NBC Universal Television Studio) were said to be "far apart on terms." Whatever the differences of those terms, a deal was signed yesterday that will return the scene-stealing Sackhoff to the series. Sackhoff, who was due to appear at NBC's Bionic Woman panel of the TCA yesterday, failed to turn up due to a "scheduling conflict." Specul

Casting Couch: Lucy Hale Takes Over for Mae Whitman on "Bionic Woman"

The guessing game to see who would replace poor Mae Whitman in Bionic Woman is over. Lucy Hale ( The Apostles ) has been cast in Bionic Woman , where she'll play Jamie's troubled younger sister, a role originated by Mae Whitman ( Arrested Development ). It was widely known that Whitman would be replaced but many thought the role would be rewritten to make Jamie's sister a hearing role. Not so, according to the Hollywood Reporter , who reports that the role will still be that of "Sommers' deaf younger sister." Whether that's true or not remains to be seen, especially as I don't believe the producers would cast another hearing actress in a deaf role. UPDATE: Hale's character, Becca, will not be hearing impaired and the character will now have a proficiency for computer hacking. (Hmm, Veronica Mars ' Mac was too busy?) Hale, who will be a regular on the series, joins fired Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washington, who will board Bionic Wo

Casting Couch: McDonald In, Dungey Out for "Private Practice"

The recasting couch is getting a lot of usage this development season as the networks continue to retool newly ordered series before their fall launches. The latest has Audra McDonald ( Bedford Diaries ) scrubbing in for ABC's new drama series Private Practice , the Grey's Anatomy spin-off focusing on Kate Walsh's Addison Montgomery, who leaves Seattle Grace for sunny Santa Monica and the dubious charms of a private medical practice/medical cooperative, run by her married medical school friends. McDonald will play Naomi Bennett, the female half of that couple, who have recently (and unknown to Addison) gotten divorced; her husband Sam will be played by Taye Diggs. But didn't Alias ' poor murdered Francie, Merrin Dungey, play Naomi in the two-hour Private Practice backdoor pilot ("The Other Side of This Life") that aired on Grey's Anatomy in June? You are correct, sirs and madams. With no explanation from the studio or network (other than the us

Pilot Inspektor: NBC's "Bionic Woman"

One of the more interesting concepts this development season was the "re-conceptualizing" of 1970s cult drama The Bionic Woman . Ordinarily, I'd have sighed and bemoaned the lack of imagination of television creators for simply repackaging an old series with a flashy new cast and better special effects. But of course NBC's new drama, Bionic Woman , set to launch this fall, isn't just from any creator but from executive producer David Eick, who had his hand in re-conceiving another 1970s cult series, Battlestar Galactica , for Sci Fi. As any longtime readers will tell you, BSG is one of my favorite current series, so I had built up a lot of anticipation for this project, especially having read multiple versions of the pilot script over the last few months. So imagine my surprise when I finally saw the completed pilot for Bionic Woman a few weeks back and actually did enjoy it. Some of the concerns I had whilst reading the script had disappeared (a polish by K

Network Scorecard: NBC

Network Upfronts start today with the Peacock getting the first go-around at the fall schedule announcements. There's still a few hours to go until NBC makes its announcement, but that wily Kevin Reilly has already officially publicized what the fall schedule will look like. "Last year we promised a return to the NBC legacy of quality, and in terms of awards, buzz and critical acclaim, that's just what we delivered," said NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly in a statement. "We've got the class and next season we're ready to add some mass, with new shows that build on the creative accomplishments of last season and are as broad as they are good. Combine the energy of these new programs with the bulked-up strength of our existing NBC hits and you've got a lineup that's poised to take us to the next level." Without further ado, a sneak peek at NBC's fall schedule: NBC Primetime Schedule for the 2007-08 Season: MONDAY 8-9 pm: Deal

Peacock Spreads Its Wings: NBC Orders Five Drama Pilots to Series

It's always a happy day when three of your favorite drama pilots get ordered to series, all in the same day, and all before the network upfronts have even begun. NBC today gave series orders to five dramas, including Bionic Woman , Journeyman , and Chuck . Bionic Woman comes from NBC Universal, David Eick Productions, and G.E.P. Productions Inc. It stars Michelle Ryan ( EastEnders ) as a down on her luck bartender who is forced to undergo a radical surgery to save her life after a car accident that turns her into a bionic dynamo. The cast also includes Chris Bower, Miguel Ferrer, Will Yun Lee, Mae Whitman, and Molly Price. Journeyman , from 20th Century Fox Television, stars Kevin McKidd ( Rome ) as a man who suddenly finds himself traveling into the past in order to change people's lives, sometimes for the better, sometimes for worse. But when he encounters his long-dead fiancée (Moon Bloodgood), who was killed in a plane crash, he finds himself torn between saving her and

Stacking the Drama Pilots: A Pilot Inspektor Preview

With the network upfronts scheduled for next week (I cannot wait!), I thought I'd take a look at this year's current crop of pilots, some of which will blossom into full grown series next week. I can honestly say that I have now read every single drama and comedy pilot at every single broadcast and cable network that is up for consideration for the 2007-08 schedule. (It's a demanding job but somebody has to do it.) Yes, ladies and gentlemen, every single one. From Cashmere Mafia to Marlowe , The Return of Jezebel James to I'm in Hell (a fitting title), no pilot is beneath this Televisionary's piercing gaze. So which drama pilots did I like and what new series do I hope will make it onto their respective networks' schedules? Sit back and find out. Dirty Sexy Money (ABC): Equally one of my favorite drama pilot scripts this year (save the remarkable Damages , which has been ordered to series at FX), it is a tantalizing combination of Arrested Development and

Casting Couch: Starbuck To Tackle "Bionic Woman" for NBC

Looks like there could be life for Starbuck after all. Or actress Katee Sackhoff, at least. Sackhoff, best known for her role as the (possibly?) dead Viper pilot Kara "Starbuck" Thrace on Sci Fi's Battlestar Galactica , has signed on to another remake of an old 1970s TV series, The Bionic Woman . The Bionic Woman 's pilot, co-written and executive produced by BSG 's David Eick, stars Michelle Ryan ( EastEnders ) as Jaime Sommers, a young woman whose body is reconstructed following a horrific accident. Like her predecessor, Sommers is equipped by bionic body parts by a shadowy government organization and gains superhuman strength and senses. While many pegged Sackhoff a natural for the potential series' lead (sorry, Starbuck fans, that's Ryan), she will instead be guest starring in The Bionic Woman as the top secret program's prototype bionic chick, one with more than a few mental health issues to deal with. According to reports, it's possible t

Casting Couch: EastEnders Star Locks Onto "Bionic Woman" Update

Following what was undoubtedly an exhaustive search, NBC has found its Bionic Woman. Brit actress Michelle Ryan, best known for her role as Zoe Slater on the long-running primetime soap EastEnders, has been cast in NBC's drama pilot The Bionic Woman , an update on that classic 1970s action series starring Lindsay Wagner. The update of Bionic Woman is more of a reconceptualization of the entire series than a strict update and comes from writer/executive producer Laeta Kalogridis ( Birds of Prey ) and exec producers David Eick ( Battlestar Galactica ) and Bruno Heller ( Rome ). Ryan will play Jaime Sommers, an everyday woman transformed into a marvel of biomechanical craftsmanship with $50 million worth of bionics implanted inside her body. (Including, yes, both legs, one arm, an eye, and an ear, natch.) Unlike the original, Sommers will not be a tennis pro but will instead be more of a decidedly down-and-out bionic woman, struggling to make ends meet. The move to cast a virtua

David Eick to Tackle "Bionic Woman" for NBC

Call it a hunch, but I'm guessing that, unlike Starbuck, this Bionic Woman will stay the same gender. Battlestar Galactica executive producer David Eick is partnering with feature writer Laeta Kalogridis (James Cameron's Battle Angel ) to develop a re-imagining of 1970s series The Bionic Woman (itself a spin-off of the Lee Majors-led The Six Million Dollar Man ), in which Lindsay Wagner played cybernetic tennis pro/secret agent Jaime Sommers, for NBC. Eick will executive produce and Kalogridis will write the pilot for NBC Universal. Like Eick's update of Battlestar Galactica , this re-imagining of The Bionic Woman will start from the ground up and will use the title merely as a jumping off point. Unlike the original series, which centered around the rise of terrorism in the 1970s, the new version will instead explore the complicated role of professional women in present day. Or as Eick told Variety , "It's using the idea of artificial technology as a metaph