ABC’s THE FORGOTTEN Will Be Ignored By Me This Fall

Several months ago, I was excited about news of British thesp Rupert Penry-Jones (MI-5) coming to our shores to do a Jerry Bruckheimer pilot. I got even more excited when ABC picked up the pilot to series. But then the bad news came: Penry-Jones and Reiko Aylesworth (whom I liked in 24) would be replaced. I was displeased but wanted to see who the replacements would be.

TVGuide.com reports today that, while Aylesworth’s role hasn’t been recast yet, Christian Slater is confirmed to take Penry-Jones’s place. Whaa…?! On one hand, you’ve got a sexy and classically trained actor and on the other, you’ve got someone whose appeal I never understood even when his career was at its peak. Though I liked Heathers quite a bit, Slater drove me nuts with his Nicholson-lite poseur act. Last year, when he played a spy with a split personality on the NBC series My Own Worst Enemy, he couldn’t make even one persona compelling enough to keep me watching beyond the pilot.

OK. Now that my rant’s over, I think this may be best for Penry-Jones. Word is that the script was pretty weak and perhaps the actor (along with Aylesworth) was a scapegoat since ABC couldn’t exactly fire Bruckheimer. Penry-Jones was also forced to speak in an American accent, which dulled some of his charm. Meanwhile, I’ve heard about another project which might be better for RPJ and allow him to retain his British accent.

Warner Bros. optioned for television a book called The Baker Street Letters (read my review here). It’s about two British lawyers (and brothers) who move into Sherlock Holmes’s address at 221b Baker Street and end up being amateur sleuths in Los Angeles after receiving letters addressed to Holmes from people asking for help. If Penry-Jones is still interested in working in America, he’d make an excellent choice as the suave older brother. It’s free casting advice, WB, so call RPJ’s agent and make it happen!

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Shelley P
    July 6, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Is it just me, or is the name Rupert inherently adorable?

    • Reply
      popculturenerd
      July 7, 2009 at 10:40 am

      I don’t hear it often here so just think it’s different, but not in a weird way. I do like the whole Rupert Penry-Jones; sounds very posh.

  • Reply
    Kyle
    July 7, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Penry-Jones and Aylesworth being scapegoated by ABC is probably the best description I’ve heard yet. “The Forgotten” is going to sink so far; no amount of rearranging of the deck chairs will help. Penry-Jones and Aylesworth are better off no being stuck aboard the Titanic.

    • Reply
      popculturenerd
      July 7, 2009 at 8:51 am

      Welcome, Kyle! I agree and think better projects await those two talented actors.

  • Reply
    le0pard13
    July 7, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Quick! Name one American you know named Rupert… Anyone? No?

    But, I love your statement re: firing Bruckheimer, PCN. Thanks.

    • Reply
      popculturenerd
      July 7, 2009 at 3:12 pm

      I was going to say Rupert Holmes but then found out he’s half-English (Dad’s American). Then I found out his birth name is David Goldstein so now he really doesn’t qualify.

  • Reply
    Roo'sPet
    July 7, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    I heard on a radio interview recently that Rupert was coerced into going to US for this pilot. He didn’t like the script in the first place. I guess it went downhill from there. I agree with PCN – this show is really going to flop real bad. I don’t like Christian Slater as well.

    • Reply
      popculturenerd
      July 8, 2009 at 12:21 pm

      Welcome, Roo’s Pet!

      Oh, that’s too bad about RPJ having a bad experience here again. In an older interview, he said he came to L.A. several years ago to take a stab at Hollywood. When that didn’t pan out, he returned to England, where he eventually became a star. Since things apparently didn’t go well this time, either, I wonder if he’d still be interested in doing American productions.

  • Reply
    Reader#9
    July 8, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Okay, got the rant and agree somewhat. Although I did enjoy Slater in the underrated KUFFS.

    Why would Penry-Jones be forced to do an American accent? The lead on MENTAL doesn’t have to. Don’t know why Simon Baker doesn’t use is normal accent on THE MENTALIST.

    As for Reiko being shut out, it’s simple. She would dwarf Slater. Just too much woman for him and it would castrate his credibility.

    Rule Number 1: Never try to figure out what networks are up to. It has to do with $$$ most of the time and payback the rest. They would all love to have just reality shows. Low overhead and, if the show becomes popular, the ad revenue alone makes it a cash cow and there aren’t any actors unions to deal with and therefore no actor salary hikes ever. It’s all about cash. And who can blame them? TV was never about art.

  • Reply
    yeti9000
    July 20, 2009 at 3:13 am

    Oh, man…that sucks! Christian Slater is alright, but after taking a gander at some of the stinkers coming to our TV screens this fall all I can say is that it looks like we’ll be renting a lot of movies this fall. I mean, yikes…was this just an especially crappy year for pilots or what???

    • Reply
      popculturenerd
      July 20, 2009 at 6:42 am

      It was crappy! I did like the V pilot and Flash Forward looks interesting but that’s about it. I watched Melrose Place in its heyday but the reboot stars Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, which I just can’t condone.

  • Reply
    vicsmith
    August 13, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    I hope RPJ finds something that suits him here in the US. Christian Slater is unwatchable.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      August 13, 2009 at 3:19 pm

      I agree with both your statements!

  • Reply
    Carm
    September 1, 2010 at 9:02 am

    It would have been fantastic to have Rupert on US tv on a weekly basis, but I am afraid he would or would have to (?) drop his British accent as so many other British actors and actresess did before. Part of what I love about him is that sexy British voice, and as much as I would love to see more of him, please not to the extend of him taking on US English. I got all MI-5 episodes with him on my iPad and watch them whenever I feel like a doses of RPJ, though I don’t like to watch the last one too much. I don’t understand why he left MI-5, I kept the Netflix DVD’s as long as possible, and I search Netflix, iTunes and other places for more of him whenever I have time to do so.

  • Reply
    dyan
    September 5, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    One thing that just really irratates me…not that anyone asked, but I shall tell you anyway. When a Brit or Aussie, actually any person with a beautiful accent (other than american), does anything in the US and they have to use an ammerican accent…I would like to get rid of the producer or whoever it is that said: “Out with your own accent and now use american accent.” Pahhhh leeesse…get over yourself with the american accent…and let these actors use their own beautiful accent. Just saying……….BTW… I was born and live in america

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