Question: I was flipping channels last night and came across WB's sitcom, Nikki, which actually wasn't nearly as bad as I expected it to be, what with all the awful reviews it received when it first came on the air. I swear one of the co-stars of the show has a voice that sounds just like the voice of Megara, biting sarcasm and all, in Disney's Hercules movie of a few years back. As I was a huge fan of the character, especially the voice, I was wondering if you could tell me if this is the same person and, if so, how she went from a Disney film to a third-rate sitcom. Appreciate any light you can throw on the subject. — Bryan L.
Televisionary: Actually, Bryan, failure is in the eye of the beholder: What you see as a drop, I see as a rise, business-wise.
Granted, on the surface actress Susan Egan went from Broadway accolades (playing Sally Bowles in American Beauty director Sam Mendes's revival of Cabaret and Belle in the stage version of Beauty and the Beast) and a turn in a major animated flick to an also-ran comedy. But keep in mind that residuals aside, she got paid once for the movie. And once the stage work stopped, the paychecks did, too.
On Nikki, she's got a regular series gig and steady money. Sure, it's a WB show and it's not exactly doing ER or Friends numbers, but she's working for successful TV producer Bruce Helford (Drew Carey, Norm). Between that, the fact that the show isn't, as you say, that bad and her singing, dancing and acting chops granting her access to drama, comedy and high-end work like PBS Great Performances, I'd say the lady's doing just fine. I mean, it's not like she's got one entry on her résumé, and it's Shasta McNasty.