Michael Vartan

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From CIA to CEO: Alias' Michael Vartan Takes Some Big Shots

Michael Vartan, Big Shots

Michael Vartan is suiting up. As AmeriMart CEO James Walker on the new ABC series Big Shots (premiering tonight at 10 pm/ET), he doffs his secret-agent gear in favor of tailored suits as he contends not with rogue spies but with ruthless bosses, an unfaithful wife and his irrepressible alpha-male pals (played by The Practice's Dylan McDermott, West Wing's Josh Malina and funnyman Christopher Titus). Think of it as "Tons of Testosterone and the City." TVGuide.com invited Vartan to clear the air about his "controversial" new show. Plus: The Alias wish that went unfulfilled. TVGuide.com: A foursome of well-off guys sitting around talking about the sorts of things guys talk about... is Big Shots as bold, even daring, a TV venture as some are making it out to be?Michael Vartan: I don’t think it is. The truth of the matter is, they're not talking about women the way men really talk about women, and thatR read more

Paul Blackthorne Takes on Big Shots

Paul Blackthorne by Steve Wilkie/Sci Fi Channel

Paul Blackthorne may not be a household name... yet. But the British actor, who recently starred as Harry Dresden on the now-defunct Sci Fi Channel fantasy series The Dresden Files, has guest-starred on Medium, Deadwood and Monk. He’s also racked up recurring roles on 24 and ER. Next up? The chameleon actor will play a Wall Street CEO and costar with Michael Vartan, Christopher Titus, Joshua Malina and Dylan McDermott on the new ABC drama Big Shots. “He’s what’s described as a corporate raider,” Blackthorne tells TVGuide.com. “He’s somebody that buys up companies, sells companies, just an all-around outrageous moneymaker.”Blackthorne’s story arc kicks off on Oct. 4 for nine episodes. “He’s someone that these other guys are slightly wary of in a business sense,” reveals the actor. “It also seems our man is circling around Dylan’s ex-wife, the one he still has the hots for.”Just don’t pin your hopes on Bla... read more

Dresden in Sci Fi's Circular File

Paul Blackthorne in The Dresden Files by Steve Wilkie/Sci Fi Channel Photo

After months of fielding questions from fans desperate to know if Sci Fi was ever going to make a decision on the fate of its clever private-eye/fantasy hybrid The Dresden Files, it's official: The show isn't returning for a second season.A shame, but hardly a surprise, given the reticence to discuss the matter every time I brought it up to Sci Fi or NBC Universal Cable execs during the recent TCA press tour. In their world, it's all about "running the numbers" (in other words: looking at the ratings and budgets, etc.) and to them, Dresden just didn't seem to measure up.This confirmation came my way the same morning that there are reports in the trades that Paul Blackthorne, Dresden's very appealing star, has joined the cast of ABC's Big Shots in a recurring role as what's being described as the show's "fifth CEO... a sophisticated, iconic tycoon that the [other] four (Dylan McDermott, Michael Vartan, Christopher Titus, Joshua Malina) aspire to be."At least he's landed on his feet. ... read more

ABC at TCA: Lost in Translation

Peter Krause by Bob D'Amico/ABC

Get lost, ABC. That was the hostile undercurrent behind much of the questioning for ABC's entertainment president Stephen McPherson Wednesday morning. We critics can be a surly group, especially this late in the TCA press tour. (ABC has the bad luck to be up to bat on the final two days of the three-week hype-a-thon.) But give us something legitimate to gripe about — in this case, the decision by Lost's producers to skip the TCA and instead address the game-changing events behind Lost's cliff-hanger at the Comic-Con fan convention in San Diego on Thursday — and you'd better watch out.One reporter even put it this way: “Are we not important enough for you?” At first, McPherson tried to shrug it off with a joke, saying that he has hired Don Imus — fired earlier this year from his radio and TV gigs for a racial slur — to join the show. (This was the closest he or anyone else came to addressing the Isaiah Washington/Grey’s Anatomy debacle during his of... read more

Pilot Talk: Alias Cutie Goes from APO to CEO

• Michael Vartan has been tapped to topline an untitled ABC drama pilot about four friends who are either high-powered CEOs or CEOs-to-be, says the Hollywood Reporter.• Gabrielle Union, last seen on The Night Stalker, will play a model-turned-recording artist and fiancée of a star wide receiver in ABC's adaptation of the U.K.'s Footballer$ Wives.• Sleeper Cell's Melissa Sagemiller is a married lawyer drawn to Damian Lewis' falsely imprisoned cop in the NBC pilot Life.• Spike Lee is on board to direct NBC's pilot about the mayor of New York City, says Reuters. read more

You are such a tease, ...

Question: You are such a tease, Ausiello! What show was Michael Vartan going to join (Ausiello Report 10/27)?!


Answer: One of the producers on this show worked with Vartan on his last TV gig.

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Random Scoop/Gripes: Alias, Oprah, Betty and More!

Here's my mini week-in-review, with a few pieces of prattle mixed in...* It almost happened. Michael Vartan was thisclose to returning to TV. According to a fresh batch of intel from one of my APO moles, Vartan was in talks to join the cast of one my five current favorite shows. But sadly, the deal fell through. * Just weeks after Oprah revealed that she had never heard of a little thing called the Kinsey Scale (WTF?), Gayle's BFF confessed on yesterday's Oprah that she wasn't aware that an HIV-positive person could be re-infected with a different strain of the virus (double WTF?). I seriously hope this whole dumb act is just her attempt to appear more relatable to the average viewer. * In related news, The View needs to put Elisabeth Hasselbeck out of her freakin' misery. I have to shield my eyes from the TV whenever she opens her mouth — especially when the topic turns to politics. It's not her stance on the issues that I have a problem with (OK, maybe that's part of it), it'... read more

Will Michael Vartan be in any ...

Question: Will Michael Vartan be in any more Alias episodes?


Answer: He'll be in four more, including the finale.

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This interminable waiting ...

Question: This interminable waiting game that ABC is playing regarding the fate of Alias is not to be had! What can we, the fans, do about it? Anything?


Answer: ABC confirmed late Tuesday that Alias is returning in just seven short weeks on Wednesdays at 8 pm. There are eight episodes remaining — reduced from 13. Here's how they're being scheduled:

  • April 19, 8-10 pm/ET: Two-hour episode. Syd's baby is born and Vaughn's fate is revealed. Michael Vartan, Lena Olin and Greg Grunberg return.
  • April 26, 8-9 pm: The 100th episode. Bradley Cooper returns.
  • May 3, 8-9 pm: Currently in production. Devlin returns.
  • May 10, 8-9 pm: TBD
  • May 17, 8-9 pm: TBD
  • May 24, 8-10 pm: Two-hour finale.

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Michael Vartan is supposedly ...

Question: Michael Vartan is supposedly signed to do four more episodes of Alias. Will it be as a ghost?


Answer: OK, major-ass prattle here: According to Pinkner, Vartan is actually returning for five, possibly six, episodes, beginning with the second one back this spring (that's Episode 99, for those keeping track at home). And I'll let Jeff address the second part of your question: "As we've said from the beginning, the rumors of Vaughn's death were nothing more than rumors. In this world, don't take anything at face value. We'll know by the end of the 99th episode exactly where he is and if he's alive or not."

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