TIMELESS RETURNS — Whether you know it or not, TV today is really just a numbers game: If you don’t snare a certain amount of viewers quickly (on DVR viewing or otherwise), its curtains. Also, ownership is key. CBS may own a show, but it may appear on another network, severely lessening its money-making abilities in the long run. A show like Elementary (one of my personal faves) is totally owned by CBS and appears on CBS, so by not having the best ratings around, which unfortunately it never really achieved, it still is a massive money-maker for … CBS. The show, by the way, was recently renewed.
TV in the last decade or so has had a knack for canceling sci-fi shows. Be it Flash Forward, or Jericho, Invasion, Revolution or Millenium, these shows went far too soon. The network big wigs figure either a show builds an audience quickly … or, not. The much heralded show Doubt, starring Katherine Heigl and Dule Hill was pulled after only two episodes. Ouch!
Such was the case this year with a great show called Timeless, on NBC. It was one of three time-travel shows to appear this year. It looked terrifically expensive with almost movie-like special effects, yet, their ratings weren’t good and last Thursday, it was officially canceled. There was an outpouring of criticism from the public and, surprisingly the critics as well, and miraculously, the decision was reversed on Saturday. To me, this is the first time I can remember something like happening since the original Star Trek, close to cancellation, was saved by the public. Jericho too, was about to be canceled too and a one-year reprieve was finally given.
Timeless was only given a ten-episode order; in order to finish the terrific storyline. And, believe me, when I tell you that the first season ended on one heck of a cliff hanger. Abigail Spencer (from Mad Men), Matt Lanter and Malcolm Barrett delivered first rate performances and the scripts were sensational. Going through the posts it amazed me somewhat to see how many people said that they actually learned something from the show. Steeped deep in historical information, the writing was crisp … and, for the most part, very accurate.
Bravo to all involved. If you haven’t yet gotten into this show, do yourself a favor and watch the first season and prepare for these next 10 installments. You’ll be glad you did.
BOOTHE PASSES — Powers Boothe, the character actor known for his villain roles in TV’s Deadwood, and in the movies Tombstone, Sin City and The Avengers, has died. He was 68.
Boothe’s publicist said he died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Fellow actor Beau Bridges tweeted the news and called him “a dear friend, great actor, devoted father and husband.”
Boothe won an Emmy in 1980 for playing cult leader Jim Jones in the TV movie Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones. The ceremony was held amid an actors strike, and Boothe was the only acting winner to show up for his award.
“This is either the most courageous moment of my career or the stupidest,” he quipped after accepting the prize.
He went on to play other memorable antagonists, including ruthless saloon owner Cy Tolliver in Deadwood,the gunman Curly Bill Brocius in Tombstone and a corrupt senator in Sin City. More recently he appeared as Gideon Malick in 2012’s The Avengers and ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Peter MacNicol, who acted alongside Boothe on Fox’s 24, tweeted Monday that Boothe was a great, old school actor who’s every word on camera “sounded like a first time utterance.”
Born to a farming family in the west Texas town of Snyder, Boothe eventually left for New York to pursue an acting career. He told The AP in 1981 that he made ends meet at first by working in a Broadway restaurant and eventually found theater roles, but his family was always ready to welcome him back. “They kept telling me, ‘Come home and we’ll have a place for you on the farm,’” he said.
A private service will be held in his native Texas.
COMME DES GARCONS — We finally checked out the Met’s Comme des Garcons exhibit, Art of the In-Between and just loved it. Since beginning the company is 1969, the Tokyo-based designer Rei Kawakubo has consistently defined and redefined the fashion aesthetics. Her work has been bold, be it on David Bowie or Rihanna, it’s a great statement. In a terrifically lit white-room, the installations were stunning. Her use of color was just great as well; mostly black, but the reds and yellows were dazzling.
I had to for a moment compare it to the last Met-exhibit on the late-Alexander McQueen. His was big, bold and dark. Totally dramatic for sure; Kawakubo’s was dazzling as well, but a bit more controlled. Sure, her work baffles, bemuses and bewilders … but, we loved it. A must-see show.
SHORT TAKES — Congrats to Steven Van Zandt who gave the commencement speech at Rutgers University yesterday. Honestly, I can’t think of a better choice. Artist, entrepreneur, a wondrous soul up-and-down … great choice. He urged the students to stay true to their Jersey-roots. Last year, their speaker was President Obama … and, just for the record, Skidmore College’s commencement speaker this year is Oprah … I really couldn’t quite believe the thunderous outcry form social media when Howard Stern took a personal day … supposedly his first ever in his career! Rumors abounded that his marriage was in trouble, to the passing of one of his parents. Truth to be told, he said it was a non-event. Amazing … Here’s a shot we just got from Donnie Kehr’s earlier-in-the-month 10th anniversary event for his PATH fund; L-R: Broadway Cares’ Frank Conway; Kehr and PR-pasha David Salidor … Fox has announced plans for a live-revival of Jonathan Larson’s Rent for next year; while NBC has committed to a live-revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, a terrific play from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. I’m a huge fan of Rent, which launched the careers of Adam Pascal, Jesse L. Martin, Taye Diggs and Anthony Rapp … check out CNN’s Great Big Story, which last Friday did a brilliant spot of Micky Dolenz telling the tale of how Jimi Hendrix, of all people, became an opening act for The Monkees: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI0RrL0R6rY
Till next time… Please leave your comments below.