Hide your gardeners! Maria Conchita Alonso (Kingpin, Chasing Papi) has been cast on Desperate Housewives as Gabrielle's mother, Lucia, in an episode slated to air Feb. 19. In semirelated prime-time sudser news, Dynasty alum Emma Samms is returning to her daytime roots, reprising her role as General Hospital's Holly. (But how funny if GH had recast with Pamela Sue Martin?) For more on that, check out today's Soaps News column.
Question: It seems like we haven't seen many major TV miniseries on network TV in recent years. Almost every recent, successful miniseries I know about, such as Into the West and Band of Brothers, has been on cable. Have the networks given up on the miniseries as a programming option, or will we see one or two in the coming months?
Answer: With few exceptions, network miniseries have shrunk to two-night "events," although ABC has started production on a six-hour docudrama miniseries based on the 9/11 Commission reports to air sometime in the next year. For the moment, the cable networks that are in the business of building brand awareness are about the only ones willing to devote the time and marketing muscle to multipart miniseries of any true scope. Although in this space we've also frequently discussed the trend of networks airing "limited series" over six or so weeks (like NBC's Kingpin and Relevations) that in a different era might have been aired over a single week as a miniseries
Sopranos fans who sample the premiere of NBC's Kingpin (Sunday at 10 pm/ET) expecting the crime-family serial to be a Latin-flavored rehash of HBO's Mob hit can just fughedaboudit. Although the new drama features onetime Sopranos guest star Yancey Arias in the lead role of ambivalent drug czar Miguel Cadena, and is directed by frequent Sopranos helmer Allen Coulter, its twice-told tale owes no greater debt to Big Pussy than it does to the Bard.
"We all love The Sopranos, but Kingpin is more like The Godfather meets Traffic with a little bit of Shakespeare added," Arias suggests to TV Guide Online. "It's a different show altogether.
"When you first met Tony Soprano