Armin Shimerman, Jonathan Frakes, and Brent Spiner
When Star Trek's Jonathan Frakes signed on to direct an episode of TNT's Leverage, he agreed to helm one of the drama's most complex episodes yet: one where Timothy Huttons team of cons for good causes help upset an attempt to rig a trial.
But Frakes also beamed in a few friends to turn the set into a mini-Star Trek convention, recruiting The Next Generation's Brent Spiner and Deep Space Nine's Armin Shimmerman and Kitty Swink for key roles.
The once-and-perhaps future Commander Riker also hinted about the possibility of getting involved with J.J. Abrams' reboot of the Star Trek franchise, and his acting role on the soon-to-be scheduled Fox drama Persons Unknown, from The Usual Suspects and Valkyrie writer Christopher McQuarrie. And intelligent guy that he is, he took a moment to praise his wife, Genie Francis, for her recent performance in the Hallmark Channel's The Note II: Taking a Chance on Love.
Frakes' Leverage episode, "The Juror No. 6 Job," airs Tuesday at 10 pm/ET.
If you want some fun, check out this video on TVGuide.com to see our reaction to getting a second-season pick-up! Dean Devlin told us we all needed to gather to do a group interview for the season finale. I was in London, Christian [Kane] was in Nashville and Tim [Hutton] was in Paris. Just getting all the time zones synched was a feat in itself! It was really sweet of Dean Devlin and Michael Wright of TNT to want to bring us all together for the big announcement and the reactions are priceless. I look a bit stunned. All of us have had a chance to catch up with each other and we can't wait to get started again, so stay tuned!
I'm sure you've all noticed over the course of the season that ...
"Our show is about deception," Leverage creator Dean Devlin tells his cast and producers. "And so is this today."
Thus began a meeting with cast and producers — assembled in-person and via video-conferencing — early Monday morning for what was billed as an important occasion. The stars were scattered across the globe: Christian Kane was in Nashville; Gina Bellman was in London; Timothy Hutton was in Paris, and others were gathered in the L.A. studio. Once they were all in the same room, Devlin surprised them with a special guest who broke the good news: Leverage will be back for a second season!
Devlin filmed the event, and shared the exclusive sneak peek with TVGuide.com, including a moment with Aldis Hodge's mom and Kane's kvelling that his prayers had been answered.
Watch the video, after the jump.
Now playing in this week's Mitovich Mega Minute:
• It's the face-off 24 fans have been waiting for — Chloe vs. Janice! Mary Lynn Rajskub shares a peek at what happens when socket monkey meets socket monkey.
• Will a picture trigger a thousand angry words between CSI: Miami's Eric and Calleigh?
• A Star Trek reunion is coming to TNT. See which show is playing host, and who all is involved.
Watch and discuss the new MMM after the jump.
"The 12 Step Job" was the last episode we shot before the season finale.* We were all feeling a little bit sentimental and nostalgic. We knew that on the finale we were going to be pumped up about working with Dean Devlin and John Rogers again, and celebrating the long journey we'd been on together, so in some ways this episode was the lull before the storm.
We had a great guest star to cheer us all up. Drew Powell is a funny and talented actor who we all really clicked with. In fact, Drew and Beth [Riesgraf] were already pals and it turned out that Drew and I ...
Burt Young and Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: SVU
10 pm/ET TNT The seedy and the greedy keep taking down the needy, and Nate Ford and his Ford-tough subordinates render yet another high-tech scam to stop it. Tonight their mark is an investment broker who apparently bilked a charity. The crew's scheme involves tricking the financier to enter a rehab facility for his long list of various vices, which include addictions to nicotine patches, porn, gambling, lying and eating. Sadly, it turns out rehab might be a suitable place for one of the team members, too.
Read on for previews of American Idol, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Nip/Tuck and Nova.
Perhaps the coolest element of TNT's Leverage — which airs Tuesdays at 10 pm/ET, and has just been picked up for a second season — is its colorful cast of characters, each of whom is more assured of their snatching skills than the next. That quality is no better personified than by Beth Riesgraf's Parker, an upper-echelon cat burglar who loves climbing walls and sticking her claws into other people's things. Riesgraf gave TVGuide.com a look at what's ahead for her sexy and sassy sneak.
TVGuide.com: Other caper series, like Heist, Thief and Smith, were short-lived. Why do you think Leverage has shown legs?
Beth Riesgraf: I think it's because it's a fun show that really anybody can watch; it makes people think about [the corporate malfeasance] happening in the world today, and there's something satisfying about seeing the bad guys get messed with while the good guys are helped for once.
TVGuide.com: I've got to think this is the most fun you've ever had in a role.
Riesgraf: Absolutely. I mean, I've had a lot of fun working before ...
Leverage has leveraged itself a second season.
The TNT drama about a band of con artists who use their skills to rip off other thieves – from crooked developers to corrupt companies – received an order for a 15-episode sophomore run, the cabler announced.
Hi to all of you watching Leverage and checking out this blog. Your comments mean a lot to me. I've been back in London for several weeks now so have been unable to see the episodes airing and have not been getting the usual feedback from friends or people I meet. I keep thinking an American tourist might recognize me and say, "Are you Sophie Deveraux?" but it hasn't happened yet!!
"Snow Job" was shot in the height of the summer in ...
Most of this episode of Leverage takes place in an airplane. Tim [Hutton] and I get to sit in the First Class section of the set, which is a big relief, because when filming in a confined space, you want to be as comfortable as possible. We're using a real interior of a plane constructed in the studio. Some shots require the cabin doors to be closed so it's a bit like sitting on a 12-hour flight day after day with the added stress of squeezing past equipment and stepping over cables with hot, bright lights burning into you.
There are a lot of extras playing passengers and crew. Most of the women, including Beth [Riesgraf] and I, are wearing fluffy slippers ...