Well, what would you do? If the show you're on is "certain to be canceled," wouldn't you grab the nearest lifeline you could? In the case of actors on a troubled series, the metaphorical lifeline would be a promising pilot, which comes out as a win-win for the actor involved -- you could always abandon the pilot if your current series is unexpectedly picked up -- but not for the people involved in the pilot, who'd have a gaping hole where their carefully chosen new actor used to be.
Margo Martindale stars as Rita Perkins-Hall on A Gifted Man .. for the time being.
© Craig Blankenhorn/CBS
It's pretty common, of course -- that's what the two stars of No Ordinary Family did last year while the writing was on the wall, and this season, as the networks delay decisions on several marginal series, there have been even more cases of series-straddling. The latest example is Josh Hopkins, who just landed a role in NBC's comedy pilot Lady Friends despite still being attached to the not-yet-renewed, not-yet-canceled Cougar Town.
And now comes word that Margo Martindale -- one of the stalwarts of A Gifted Man, an Emmy winner (for Justified), and a perennial supporting player MVP -- has also set up a Plan B. Martindale has joined the cast of Counter Culture, ABC's sitcom pilot about three aging sisters running their family diner together in West Texas, as the eldest of the three sisters, according to TVLine. (Doris Roberts has already been cast on the pilot in a supporting role.) She's also guest-starring in the Masters and Johnson sexuality drama Masters of Sex for Showtime.
And it's not just Martindale: A Gifted Man co-star Rachelle Lefevre, who plays Kate on the series but is better known as the original Victoria in the Twilight franchise, also has a fallback. She's earned the lead role in the CBS pilot Applebaum, based on the Mommy Track Mysteries book series, says Deadline. The pilot, to be directed by Chris Columbus, is about an ex-public defender turned stay-at-home mom who, out of boredom, decides to become a p.i. (which, actually, sounds like an ideal role for her--even if Applebaum is a stupid name for a distaff p.i. drama).
Both pilot roles are in "second position," which means that if A Gifted Man is picked up for a second season, Martindale and Lefevre will stick with it, forcing Counter Culture and Applebaum (if either or both goes to series) to recast.
But don't take much comfort from that. Those are pretty major roles to have to drop in a new actor for, in both cases requiring reshooting and even rethinking the entire pilot. The producers behind Counter Culture and Applebaum wouldn't risk that if they--and the actors involved, and their agents--weren't pretty darn sure that A Gifted Man is a goner.
A Gifted Man ended its season with ratings slightly up for the finale, but people are acting like CBS has already canceled the series. It isn't over yet, though--there's been no official announcement--and there are fans trying to save the show (there's a petition available here, for example).
|Tags: A Gifted Man, Margo Martindale, Rachelle Lefevre|
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