In a year where the most talked about series, is a reboot of an eighties classic, television executives are literally running to grab series stars of the past. Several new series and quite a few older ones boast former stars in their casts. Perhaps these execs are realizing that the so called reality shows aren’t going to return them to their former glory. Maybe it means that the viewers want to see good old fashioned scripted shows again . But for one, I am glad. It brings a smile to this viewer’s face to see shows that have stars that were once part of my tv week. Cable television like TNT and Showtime seems to be leading the race with these kind of shows. Let’s take a look at some of these shows as well as a prime time new comer that stars a familiar “FRIEND”
Eric McCormack has returned to play a totally different kind of role. I will always say that his lately lamented comeback “Trust Me,” didn’t have the oomph that it required to compete against that “other show” about ad men. (That was “Mad Men”) How could Mason hold his own against a dynamic character like Don Draper? This time, Eric plays Dr. Daniel Pierce, a college professor who helps solve crimes with his abilities. Oh and did I mention, Daniel is also schizophrenic. This show demonstrates that McCormack has range and can escape his “Will Truman” persona perfectly. TNT boasts McCormack’s series “Perception” , that coincidentally Eric also produces. For Trekkers, there is also the added bonus of LeVar Burton playing the Dean to Daniel’s college. I found it to be a thought provoking and educational show as well. “Perception” airs on TNT starting July 9.
Lisa Kudrow has spent a career playing flaky characters. Her Showtime character, “Fiona” is no exception. Lisa is a producer on “Web Therapy” now entering its second season. Dr Fiona Wallice has decided that it would be more economical to see patients on the web for a few minutes rather than hearing them blather on for an hour. So she hosts “Web Therapy’ which she also hopes that investors will see and invest in the show. Victor Garber shows his comic chops as he plays her politician husband, Kip. One of the highlights of this show is the opportunity for so many great guest spots, these range from Alan Cumming from “The Good Wife.” , Julia Louis Dreyfuss from HBO ‘s “Veep” and Meryl Streep. One other guest role to note is a visit from Lisa’s former castmate, Lookingglass’s own David Schwimmer as a son of her former professor. With Don Roos at the helm , this show promises to be a winner.
Mark Paul Gosselaar returns again as a bad boy in “Franklin and Bash” . This TNT hit of last season stars Gosselaar along with “Road Trip” star Breckin Meyer as two unconventional lawyers who don’t play by the rules. They also seem to act like two overgrown frat boys since girls in bikinis are a regular staple of the series. Malcolm McDowell plays their boss and head of the legal firm they work for.
Noah Wyle has traded in his scrubs for a gun in “Falling Skies” Wyle will long be remembered as the young med student, John Carter , on the former NBC series , “ER” In this show, Wyle plays a history professor who fights to save civilization in post apocalyptic Boston. The show is produced by legendary producer , Steven Spielberg. “Falling Skies” enters its second successful season.
Courteney Cox and the cul de sac may not be returning to ABC anytime soon, but fear not fans, “Cougar Town” will be returning to TBS . That’s right , TBS, the land of funny has picked up the Coquette series that is also produced by Cox . Be sure to keep posted about when the gang will return.
Finally we return to prime time and NBC, once the home of “Must See TV” , NBC has wisely decided to return to its roots with the casting of “Go On” Three times a charm for Matthew Perry who has made previous attempts at comebacks with the critically acclaimed “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” and his own creation “Mr Sunshine” . “Go On ” stars Perry as Ryan King. King is a sportscaster who has recently lost his wife. Could the plot BE more depressing? But King joins a support group while he tries to pull the pieces of his life back together. Good news for Perry fans , along with being honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year, there are rumblings in the air concerning his performance on “The Good Wife” . Is the curse broken and will Perry join Kudrow and Aniston as winners of an Emmy ? We’ll see.