Scene-stealing Battlestar Galactica alumnus James Callis has been cast in a recurring role in what producers are calling the "relaunch" of ABC's stalling sci-fi series FlashForward.
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All the details on Callis's role are being held back; all the producers have said is that he's a "really exciting, unusual character" appearing in several episodes late in the season, with some connection to Olivia (Sonya Walger).
Weirdly enough, this is the third Battlestar-related casting note this week. We just learned that Grace Park is joining Alex O'Loughlin and Daniel Dae Kim on the revamp of Hawaii Five-O. And Katee Sackhoff will headline ABC's yet-to-be-titled crime drama pilot about an attractive female detective who partners with a disgraced ex-cop unraveling the conspiracy that lost him his job.
Callis's fanbase includes FlashForward's new showrunner. "When I watched Battlestar, every time he wasn't in a scene I couldn't wait for him to come back," executive producer Jessika Borsiczky told Sci Fi Wire. "And I really wanted to have an opportunity to work with him. Honestly, since the show was ordered, we've been excited to work with him."
Ratings for FlashForward have dropped dramatically, from a 14.5-million-viewer debut to half that at its midseason finale in December, so the Callis announcement and the anticipation it should stoke among sci-fi fans could be a huge shot in the arm.
The series, which ABC is still hoping will morph into the new Lost, has been having a turbulent freshman year. The production team decided to extend its midwinter hiatus until March to put its ducks in a row, and recently extended the break a further two weeks to March 18, when it will return with a two-hour special.
A few weeks ago co-creator David Goyer stepped down from showrunning the series, planning to turn his attention more fully to feature films. (The writer-director, best known for helping write the Christopher Nolan Batman films, has a number of high-profile projects on the stove at the moment, including The Invisible Man and Man of Steel.)
"As my feature projects have started ramping up again, I felt I was being pulled in too many directions," Goyer said in a statement. "I'm proud of the show and excited about the relaunch. It's in great hands." Goyer was the show's second show-runner: first showrunner, Marc Guggenheim (Eli Stone), left the series in the fall.
Borsiczky, Lisa Zwerling and Tim Lea have recently been named to step into his role: Borsiczky has been an executive producer on the show, while Zwerling and Lea have been head co-writers.
"We always anticipated David would leave to go do movies, so for us it was something we were always bracing ourselves for and preparing for," Borsiczky said. "The game plan was already in place when that happened, so it's obviously a headline, and people get sad, and it's fairly page-turning, but honestly it's business as usual, for the most part, over here."
Meanwhile, FlashForward also announced that Ravi Kapoor (Crossing Jordan) will also guest star in a forthcoming episode. Kapoor will play Malik, a man who comes in contact with Aaron Stark (Brian F. O'Bryne) during Aaron's trip to Afghanistan to search for answers about his daughter's disappearance.