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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 virtual unknown in the States was a deliberate move on NBC and studio NBC Universal's part as they are said to have wanted to introduce a new face to US television, despite being thisclose to casting some well-known American actresses in the role.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: NCIS (CBS); Dateline (NBC); Gilmore Girls (CW); America's Funniest Home Videos (ABC); American Idol (FOX); Wicked Wicked Games (MyNet)

9 pm: The Unit (CBS); Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBC); Veronica Mars (CW); Primetime (ABC); House (FOX); Watch Over Me (MyNet)

10 pm: Without a Trace (CBS); Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC); Boston Legal (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: American Idol.

Simon, Randy, and Crazy--I mean, Paula Abdul--continue their search for the next great American Idol. Tonight it's the Hollywood Round.

8 pm: Gilmore Girls.

Le sigh. I'm not sure why I am still watching this, as it's just so damn depressing to watch this once-great series continue to fall off the tracks. On tonight's episode ("Farewell, My Pet"), Richard begins his recovery following his bypass surgery; Rory discovers that Richard's economics class is now being taught by an atractive (and younger) prof; Lorelai and Sookie plan a funeral for Michel's beloved dog. (Remember when Michel *actually* had something to do on this show?) All in favor of ending this once great show, say aye.

9 pm: Veronica Mars.

YAY! Veronica *finally* returns (at least for a few weeks, before the dreaded Pussycat Dolls reality show knocks it off the schedule again) with new episodes. On tonight's installment ("Postgame Mortem"), Keith is hired by the widow of the murdered Hearst College basketball coach to investigate her late husband's death and clear her son, who happens to be the prime suspect. Shades of Dean O'Dell's death, anyone? Meanwhile, Veronica runs afoul of Sheriff Lamb and might just end up in the clink.


Anonymous said…
Oi! This is good news. Zoe Slater lives! Poor girl found out that her sister was really her mother and that she was the product of incestuous rape. Now if only Kat (her slag of a sister/mother) would guest star as a villain, we'd be cooking with gas.

I just hope the show is more Galactica and less Birds of Prey, a show I never missed but never liked either.
Anonymous said…
Yeah, I was really let down by Birds of Prey so I hope that David Eick and Bruno Heller (two great minds) add some more depth to this show.
GSanchez said…
I'm with you on the latest season of Gilmore Girls, but last week's episode was great.

You know how they always show "previously on..." before the show? One scene I wish they would show was from two season ago. The one where Jess tells Luke he should forget pursuing Lorelai "becuase they're Gilmores" and they will end up dumping you.

I don't recall the scene exactly, but it explains Lorelai and Rory's behavior this season, especially the "First Cotillion" episode.

Sure, the show has struggked this season, but the writing is in character when you consider that scene from 2 seasons ago.
The CineManiac said…
I'm sorry I just don't see why everyone is complaining about Gilmore Girls. Yes, Mrs & Mr P left, yes it's sad. But the show is still good, I hated the end of last season and that was all the P's.
This year they are having to salvage what happened and I think they're doing a hell of a job with what they've had to work with.

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