Question: This past season we saw several shows (24, Alias) start in January and run straight through, without rerun. I must say, as a big fan of 24, it was much nicer to watch it this way. Do you see this as a future trend, or do you think this will only be a once-in-a-while occurrence? I know it would leave networks wondering what to do with September to December, but I wish more series would operate in this fashion. It makes for much more coherent viewing. What do you think?
Answer: It's a good and timely question, and I think it's fair to say that for many serialized shows, straight-through runs with limited breaks and few if any repeats will become more common. The exceptions will be for megahits like last season's Desperate Housewives and Lost, and the occasional show on smaller nets like UPN and WB, which may look at repeats as a chance for their low-rated serials to get extra exposure. This trend is also likely to start applying more frequently to shows that begin at the start
Question: I read recently that J.J. and Co. have decided to incorporate Jennifer Garner's pregnancy into the story line of the upcoming season of Alias. Do you think this will be Alias' "shark jump"? It seems to me that a show about a covert ops branch of the CIA would not be quite the same with a baby cooing in the corner. What do you think of the chances are of Alias continuing past Season 5?
Answer: Pretty slim, I'm afraid. But I've learned with shows like this not to jump to critical conclusions. Jennifer's and Syd's pregnancies certainly will put a crimp in the show's style, but this, after all, is a show about a spy family, and who knows how this baby will affect the show's many complicated emotional dynamics. (Grandpa Jack, for starters.) In talking briefly with J.J. Abrams while in Los Angeles, I got the impression that there is an endgame in sight for this show, and if we're lucky, the show's creative team will be able to end its on their own terms and not because of sharks in
How does Alias creator J.J. Abrams plan to work around the pregnancy of series lead Jennifer Garner, who is due to deliver her first child (by new husband Ben Affleck) in December? By not working around it. When the spy saga returns for its fifth season this fall, Sydney will be expecting a child with longtime beau/coworker Vaughn. (And boy, can that baby kick!) For more on this and other Alias spoilage, check out Michael Ausiello's Television Critics Association press tour diary.
9:08 am For a network exec, ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson — who’s always been a laid-back fellow — is decidedly dressed down, forgoing the formal suit in favor of dark pants and a striped shirt. If he's trying to convey a nonstuffy “everyman” vibe, it's working. If he thinks it’s going to get him off the hook for Monacogate, he’s sorely mistaken.
9:15 Swag alert! McPherson reveals that last year’s ingenious Desperate Housewives marketing ploy, which placed ads on dry-cleaning bags, will return this fall with a twist: Some bags will include an actual Desperate Housewives T-shirt!
9:17 McPherson claims that his decision to yank Welcome to the Neighborhood before a single episode aired was not driven by special-interest groups such as GLAAD. “This was our decision,”
On the Burbank, Calif., set of Alias, a recently rescued prisoner is quietly recounting details of unthinkable torture.
Her eyes are hollow with exhaustion. Scars and bruises form grotesque ribbons around both wrists. But while series superspy Sydney Bristow, played by Jennifer Garner, has witnessed this scenario countless times before, she can't help but fight back tears. After all, the broken beauty before her is her mother, Irina Derevko, and until moments ago, Sydney believed she had been offed by her pops (Victor Garber).
"But no one really dies on Alias, right?" asks Lena Olin, who's returning as the duplicitous Derevko after a two-year absence from the ABC spy serial. "I am definitely back."
And how. Irina may not be, as creator J.J. Abrams cracks, "resurrected from the dead with some kind of Rambaldi serum," but her return will provide a shot of adrenaline to the end of the season. In the May 18 episode, Syd
Though Alias aficionados would adore it, Lena Olin's return as Jennifer Garner's malevolent mama seems highly unlikely. Fortunately, those who can't get enough of superspy Sydney Bristow's freaky family tree may still have something to look forward to. Remember Isabella Rossellini, who guest-starred last year as Syd's not-so-nice auntie, Katya Derevko? Well, she's just itchin' to kick some more butt.
"They called me the other day to see if I was available," Rossellini says excitedly, "so I hope they'll make me kill someone else."
So Katya's definitely coming back? "I did say that I was available," the 52-year-old actress hedges with a smile. "But their schedule changes. They film an hour [episode] every 10 days, so they have to have all the scripts and to make sure other people are available. It is an incredible job of organization and scheduling. So I am available, hopeful
It's not just viewers who are blown away by the twists and turns on ABC's spy drama Alias. Dave Anders — the show's British bad boy Mr. Sark — gets his share of surprises, too. Sark has gone from a mere recurring character in Season 1 to a major player in the North American cell of The Covenant last month. His rising status as a TV terrorist is quite an unexpected coup for this 22-year-old actor.
"In the first season, I didn't know how long I was going to be around," Anders tells TV Guide Online. "I [even] wanted to get Jennifer Garner's picture and autograph. On the picture, she wrote, 'To David: Welcome to prime time. Get comfy. You're going to be here awhile.' I was like, 'What the hell does she know? She knows something I don't!'"
Not bad for an Oregon native with only two professional acting credits on his résum&ea
Still suffering from Felicity withdrawal? You're not alone. Scott Foley, who spent the better part of the last four years crushing on Keri Russell's angst-ridden alter ego, admits he grieved long and hard following the WB drama's swan song last May.
"I'm embarrassed to tell you this, but I'll let the cat out of the bag: I watched that final scene — the montage with the Sarah McLachlan song 'I Will Remember You' — probably 30 times over the course of two weeks," he confesses to TV Guide Online. "It just makes me so sad. I finally had to erase it from my Tivo and I haven't watched an episode since. I had to cut the cord.
"Shooting that final scene was one of the hardest days of my life," he adds. "We were all bawling our eyes out. I'
Alias fans weren't the only folks shocked by last Sunday's post-Super Bowl episode, which climaxed with the murder of Sydney's (Jennifer Garner) sweet roommate Francie (Merrin Dungey) at the hands of her never-before-seen evil double. Not even Dungey's closest friends knew the actress would soon transform into a femme fatale. Since October, she's been suffering under a vow of silence about the plot twist, and now she's dying to tell us all about it!
"J.J. [Abrams, the show's creator] said he'd send my character to Disney World, never to return, if I said anything," she tells TV Guide Online. "I've been holding this secret and living [like] Sydney Bristow... No o
If you thought last night's post-Super Bowl episode of Alias was big, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Exec producer J.J. Abrams confirms to TV Guide Online that there have been some informal discussions about transporting Jennifer Garner's double-agent alter ego onto the big screen in an Alias feature film.
"It has come up, and... it's an interesting idea," he says. "My agents have talked to me about it, and I know that they have talked to Disney about it, but it's nothing that is seriously being pursued.
"Given the fact that we try every week to do a movie version of the show, it's not clear to me what we would try to do that we aren't already trying to do," adds the former Felicity