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New US TV show casting

  • Craig Grannell

    I really liked Castle at the start. The premise was ridiculous, but it somehow worked, and there was decent chemistry between the cast. I'm not sure when things went south, but I've enjoyed it significantly less over the past two or three seasons (we're currently on 7), and it's very much turned into the bottom of the pile show we watch on NOW TV vs. something we'd pay for and watch on the night it airs.

    Castle has turned into a caricature and buffoon, usually being written as the worst version of himself. It's genuinely refreshing in those episodes where he isn't a massive idiot, spouting conspiracy theories, and so actually helps in an investigation through his ability to think through the stories. Esposito and Ryan are almost as bad. Someone online referred to the show as The Three Stooges, and that seems pretty apt. (I did for a while wonder if I should treat it as a kind of comedy, in the same manner as Warehouse 13, but Castle tries too hard to be serious and dramatic for that to work.)

    Mostly, though, how does this show survive without Beckett? It makes no sense, any more than removing Sarah from Chuck would have. The entire show is about the two leads. However, I've been reading about the whiff of misogyny in season 8 from several people, and this casting decision seems especially odd on that basis, at a stroke removing two women from a male-dominated show. (I sense there had been attempts to deal with the imbalance with characters like Tori, but she was so superfluous and wooden, I've no idea what the point of her was.)


  • GYAD

    Jose Padilha doing new Brazilian material? Mel doing a TV show? Excellent (tho I wish The Barbary Coast was about Mel as a Catholic corsair in the 16thC…).

  • JustStark

    I watched the first few, which were interesting in that the writer would solve the case by, for example, spotting that the person they'd arrested couldn't have done it because it wouldn't be satisfying dramatically; a nice bit of narrative awareness.

    But there's only so many times you can pull that trick because it is ultimately one trick, so it just turned into a formula where every episode was solved by the daughter explaining her subplot to the father just before the third commercial break, and him connecting that to the murder. At that point there stopped being any point in watching it.

    But what really shocks me about finding out it's still going on is — exactly how long can a writer plausibly tag along with bunch of cops?! Has he, like, become a detective by now or something?

    But basically, Castle was done a lot better and in two hours by Shane Black and called Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

  • That's pretty much the feeling I had about Castle when it started, and why I gave up. Weirdly, the first time I was on Radio 5, listeners were asked to name the best US TV show currently airing and someone said, “Castle,” and to this day, I still can't understand why anyone would have considered that a possible option. But someone also named It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and that similarly baffled me.

  • The former's certainly good news. The latter really depends upon how much medication Mel's been getting since his 'incidents'

  • Andy Butcher

    Much the same here – I actually really enjoyed the first two or three seasons, stuck with it for the next three out of hope it might pick up again, but ditched it when Season 7 started. It had become a chore to watch.

    No idea why anyone would think a season (even a 13 episode short one) without Beckett could possible work. Surely it would make much more sense and be much more satisfying to any fans left to have the pair of them ride off into the sunset at the end of the current season?

  • GYAD

    Mel's on the less booze / more lifting cycle which bodes well. I'm really looking forward to his new WWII film.

  • JustStark

    No idea why anyone would think a season (even a 13 episode short one) without Beckett could possible work

    Scurrilous gossip:

  • Indeed. It wasn't exactly secret that Fillion and Katic have hated each other for ages (alleged dating then break-up or Fillion getting annoyed that Katic was getting too much screen time – delete rumour as appropriate). But it's more the question of why ABC thinks the show is viable without Katic – it's a bit like Moonlighting without Bruce Willis. I mean it could work, I guess…

  • JustStark

    But it's more the question of why ABC thinks the show is viable without Katic

    Maybe they don't think it's viable — they just don't have anything to replace it with in time? So they make another series and if people keep watching, well, they can always make another, but if they don't, they've had another year to find something else?

    (This seems to be a bit of a problem with the US 'fixed schedule' system: their long series and apparent need to 'block out' the year in advance seem to give them a lot less flexibility than UK schedulers, who seem not to finalise schedules until about six weeks / two months in advance).

  • Actually, we're right in the middle of pilot season, so ABC doesn't need to make the decision about renewal for the fall season right now. Plenty of fall 2015 shows are completing their runs on all the main networks but haven't yet been been told whether they've been renewed or cancelled yet, so it's basically an early renewal for Castle.

    Of course, ABC has just had a big internal shake-up, thanks to being fourth in the ratings, with the Brit running their entertainment division getting the boot, so it could be the case that the newbie just wants to keep all the plates spinning until she's got a handle on things:

    It might even be the case that she's taken one look at the scripts for all the prospective pilots and has had a horrible sinking feeling, so is hedging her bets.

    The US doesn't really have a fixed schedule system these days, beyond the Fall and Spring mid-season launches of the bulk of the new shows. For example, it's April and NBC has been deploying new shows, as has ABC. And if there are problems, the main networks have plenty of fillers and will just stick re-runs of current shows in place of other shows – that's how ABC can cancel Wicked City and Of Kings and Prophets after three episodes and not simply have to play lift music over some kittens instead.

    Whereas once the Beeb starts airing a show, it's pretty stuffed if only ten people watch it. Admittedly, stuffed for only three weeks, after which the series has ended, but stuffed nonetheless, given its commitment to avoiding repeats during primetime.

  • Andy Butcher

    I'd never been too sure what to make of the Fillion/Katic rumours, as their on-screen chemistry never seemed to be affected by it.

    I totally bought the stories about friction between Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi on The Good Wife, for example, because they stopped appearing in scenes together for several seasons before Panjabi finally left.

    If Fillion and Katic really have hated each other, they must be better actors than I gave either of them credit for. 😉

  • Andy Butcher

    That's a good point – there are rumours that HBO is going to split the final season of GoT for similar reasons, as they're a little short on hit new shows now Vinyl flopped.

  • JustStark

    it's basically an early renewal for Castle

    Actually just going back to the original (linked) report:

    'As reported Monday morning, the ABC series is not asking either Katic or
    Jones to return in the fall, in the event of renewal, as an apparent
    means to cut costs'

    So maybe the press release is the production company jumping the gun, and it's still open to ABC not to renew, if they don't think the new, smaller cast will work?

  • Maybe then. Could be leaked by Katic and/or Jones to drum up support for their reinstatement before any decision is made final. Could be ABC testing the waters to see how fans react. Could be ABC trying to drum up some publicity for the show to boost its ratings. Could be a way of making the fans feel important, with a completely planned reversal of the firings coming in due course.

  • JustStark

    Could be leaked by Katic and/or Jones to drum up support for their reinstatement before any decision is made final.

    Or letting it be known far and wide that they are available for other work…