Harry Hamlin, Harper's Island
Someone's weeding out a wedding party in Harper's Island, a new CBS series premiering this Thursday at 10 pm/ET. The concept? Over the course of 13 and only 13 episodes, a killer sets his or her sights on the guests at a destination wedding, having at 'em the way a drunk best man has at an insecure bridesmaid.
Among the cornucopia of characters, Christopher Gorham (Ugly Betty) plays the groom, while Harry Hamlin is his fun- and ladies-loving Uncle Marty. On the other side of the aisle, Katie Cassidy (Supernatural) is the bride, and Richard Burgi (Desperate Housewives) her domineering dad. Hamlin shared a look at this Ten Little Indians-style slashfest.
TVGuide.com: I happen to love this idea of a 13-week, closed-end series. Having been in the business a while, do you think it's smart?
Harry Hamlin: From the point of view of the studios, it's very smart. Especially because if the show's a success, they don't have to open up the Brinks truck for the actors on the show.
TVGuide.com: The plan for Harper's, if it is a success, is they'll find a new venue each season — à la Harper's Space Station, as was joked at TCA.
Hamlin: Or Harper's Safari. Yeah, it's kind of an interesting concept. I think [series creator] Jon Turtletaub was smart to introduce this kind of a potential franchise to the TV market.
TVGuide.com: Tell us about Uncle Marty.
Hamlin: Uncle Marty was the reason I wanted to do this. Marty's not a deep, deep character, but I liked the idea of playing a guy who's the life of the party, and who has a really large footprint when it comes to his personality. On the other hand, he has a dark side... . There's something going on in a subterranean way with him.
TVGuide.com: You and Richard Burgi have a great scene in the premiere where Marty lays down how it's going to be. They pretty much cross swords.
Hamlin: Right. There was a line in there — "Mind if I do?" — as in, "Mind if I sit down next to you?" But I had this idea that if Burgi was there smoking a cigar, "Mind if I do?" was about me taking one of his cigars. It became a whole different moment.
TVGuide.com: I'm afraid, though, that the contentious cigar scene puts quite the bull's-eye on Uncle Marty's back as a result.
Hamlin: Then Richard [Burgi]'s character becomes the killer, obviously. The whole idea behind the [premiere] is that no one is safe.
TVGuide.com: If a character is killed early on, might that actor still have some work to do — in flashbacks, or recreating missing moments?
Hamlin: Well this is television. Remember, there was a whole season of Dallas that was a dream, right? So yeah, there's a lot of opportunity for god knows what else.
For more from Hamlin, watch this interview from TV Guide Network's Hollywood 411: