Putting together a primetime lineup takes more than just throwing darts at an empty schedule. (Well, most of the time.) As the networks put together their fall plans, it's up to the scheduling executives to parse test-audience scores, research data, producer pleas and gut instincts to determine which new and returning series should make it and when they should air.
But sometimes serendipity ...
Question: Is it just me, or is Burn Notice similar to The Pretender? Michael Westen is seeking answers from a covert organization, but at the same time he is running from that organization (much like Jarod and the Centre). He also spends every episode using the skills that organization taught him to help an innocent person and bring a perpetrator to justice (just as Jarod did). Maybe the connection seems stronger to me because Jeffrey Donovan played Jarod's brother in The Pretender and I'm still pining for the third and final Pretender movie, but I definitely see similarities (although Burn Notice takes a slightly more lighthearted approach). Given the success of Burn Notice, it seems to me that The Pretender was simply ahead of its time. Would you agree? Do you think there is any chance Pretender fans will ever get any closure in the form of a final movie or miniseries?
Answer: You Pretender fans never give up. Not that you should. I mean, they're still making Highlander movies over at
Question: Thanks for your support of Invasion this season. I was a little sad but not surprised to see that it had been canceled. I consider it a fascinating experiment that yielded some wonderful results, like Shaun Cassidy's other series, American Gothic, although it certainly wasn't for all tastes. Best of all, it brought the talents of William Fichtner, who was able to simultaneously convey both menacing and sympathetic qualities, to my attention. I will miss Sheriff Underlay most of all. I don't consider it a "waste of time" to have taken a chance on a series that had a high chance of failure. It was worth it to see something interesting and a little different. So tell us what you think now that the decision's in. What do you think about Invasion and about investing time and love in low-chance shows?
Answer: I couldn't agree more with the praise for William Fichtner, one of the more original villains-turned-heros I've ever witnessed. I liked Invasion when it was too slow for many,
Question: Who was the girl who played Ms. Parker on The Pretender? Thanks.
Answer: That's an actress named, appropriately enough, Andrea Parker playing Centre operative Ms. Parker, Pete. And if you believe the show's press materials, the character was named before she was cast. Before you caught her on The Pretender, you might also have seen her both in bit parts and recurring roles on such shows as ER, JAG, Seinfeld, Coach, Married... with Children and Ellen.