The hostages of ABC's The Nine (premiering Oct. 4) recently returned to Fidelity Republic Bank in Los Angeles, but this time they werent being held captive by gunmen brothers Lucas and Randall Dalton. Instead, the cast, producers, creators and other invited guests were there to attend a screening sponsored by ABC, Warner Bros. Television and TV Guide. Heres what key players had to say about the ensemble drama being touted by some as the best new show of the 2006-07 season.
Kim Raver (Kathryn)
On doing double duty with 24: Im in a lack-of-sleep mode. Im not going to be able to be the regular that I was on 24 [next season]. [But] thanks to Kiefer Sutherland, the producers, Warner Bros. and ABC, I can continue Audreys story line.
On having Falcon Crest's Susan Sullivan for a TV mom: She is so unbelievably funny. Its like when I was working with Ben Stiller. You have to be uberconcentrated [to keep from laughing].
Tim Daly (Nick)
On previous cop roles: The first thing I did for the Screen Actors Guild was on Hill Street Blues. I did a scene with Dolph Sweet, a great character actor.
On calling out "Nine the movie!" after the screening: This show really is like a movie. It sets the bar very high. Were going to have to live up to that every week.
Scott Wolf (Jeremy)
On getting the Nine cast together for weekly dinners, as he did on Party of Five: We spend 16 hours a day in the bank in hostage mode. The last thing we want to do is go out for spaghetti. [But] Im still vowing to get everyone up to our house.
On playing a heart surgeon: Dr. Mark Plunkett, a thoracic surgeon at UCLA, let me shadow him. I got to watch him consult with families and perform open-heart surgery. It was an invaluable experience.
Lourdes Benedicto (Eva)
On [SPOILER ALERT!] her bank-teller character's fate: I die, yet I live on! Its rare. I love my character and everything about her. I dont get shot until the [tail end] of the hostage ordeal [in the premiere].
Ever been in a fight-or-flight moment? When I was in high school, I was carjacked. My dad and I got out of the car and ran for cover. They found the car a few days later.
John Billingsley (Egan)
On Egan emerging as a hero: I think we all fantasize about what wed do in [a dangerous situation]. I suspect nine times out of 10 wed bust our ass running from [the danger].
On not watching Prison Break, where he quit his role as Terrance Steadman to become one of The Nine: Its too painful because Im a horrible mercenary. The idea that I cant collect two paychecks at the same time is crushing.
On seeing former Prison Break sis Patricia Wettig (now on Brothers & Sisters) at ABC events: I saw her at the upfronts. We said to each other, What are they going to do [without us]?" I dont think Fox will openly root against her new show.
Chi McBride (Malcolm)
On not going to the bank anymore: Theres always a possibility no matter how slim that a day like this could happen to a person. I havent been to a bank in years. [Wryly] I usually have my people take my money to the bank in wheelbarrows.
Jessica Collins (Lizzie)
On keeping the same look for continuity purposes: It was difficult spending the summer trying not to get a tan. My hair has been the same since March, but I love it. Its easy to maintain.
Camille Guaty (Franny)
On having Lourdes Benedicto for a TV sister: I have brothers in real life, but Ive spoken to people who have sisters. The bond between them is completely different. Its like having the closest girlfriend in the world for your whole life.
On going to the bank: I was in a bank on Wilshire Boulevard and I asked the teller if he was ever afraid. He said, I know youre on that new show The Nine. Are you doing character research?
Owain Yeoman (Lucas)
On working as a real-life bank teller: My most traumatic experience was the day I got fired. They said, "You dont need to ever work here again."
On keeping his British accent in check: I have a lot of respect for Hugh Laurie (House). Its a real task for me [to hide my accent]. If nobody notices Im British, that will be fine.
Dana Davis (Felicia)
On working with Chi McBride again: I played his girlfriends daughter on Boston Public. I was kind of crazy, so I broke them up.
K.J. Steinberg (creator/coexecutive producer)
On the real-life couple that got mugged on a date and inspired The Nine: They [got married] and are still together, but their names will remain in my vault.
After the screening, attendees were surprised to see a mock setup of the final moments of the hostage drama on the street, complete with faux SWAT officers, cop cars, helicopter sounds and floodlights. Raver instinctively put up her hands in fake surrender. It becomes automatic to do that, she says.
Guests feasted on Mediterranean shrimp, beef on a stick and bruschetta at the after-party. The TV Guide Channel conducted interviews in a makeshift vault. Cast members were spotted chatting up producers... perhaps to get some advance story? We made a deal with the actors, says executive producer Alex Graves. We tell the actors anything they need to know, and they can ask us any questions they want. Thats been working pretty well so far!
To see photos from TV Guide's The Nine party, click on the "More Photos" button on our new media player here.
For even more Fall TV scoop, pick up the Sept. 18 issue of TV Guide.
Send your comments on this article to: firstname.lastname@example.org.