ABC Picks Up Rupert, TED and V Remake (Review Included)

Back in March, I wrote about MI-5‘s Rupert Penry-Jones doing a Jerry Bruckheimer pilot, which had me excited at the prospect of seeing this fine British thespian every week on my TV. The Hollywood Reporter now reports that it’s official! ABC has picked up the pilot, called The Forgotten, which also stars Reiko Aylesworth (whom I enjoyed on 24), Rochelle Aytes, Anthony Carrigan, Michelle Borth, and Bob Stephenson. Penry-Jones plays a former cop whose child was kidnapped so he leads a team of amateur sleuths in solving cases involving unidentified victims. I’m predicting (hoping?) Penry-Jones will be huge here in America. I mean, he looks like that and he’s a good, classically-trained actor. (Alas, bad news update here.)

ABC is also picking up V, the remake of the 1980s mini-series -turned-series about reptilian aliens, dubbed the Visitors, who come to Earth in human form pretending to be friendly and in need of help. They soon start killing people, revealing their real intention of stealing Earth’s resources for their dying planet.

vbackontvI was interested in the remake because I really liked the original mini-series. I got to see the pilot (see clip below), which still uses the striking red “V” logo, and think it’s well done. It’s suspenseful, with good acting, high production values and one decent fight scene between humans and aliens.

Lost‘s Elizabeth Mitchell brings her usual intelligence and competence to Homeland Security agent Erica Evans, Scott Wolf makes a good replacement for Marc Singer in the baccarinreporter role, and Morena Baccarin is perfectly cast as Anna, the alien leader. Jane Badler’s performance as Diana in the original is very memorable but Baccarin puts her own stamp on the role with her smiling-but-slighly-menacing presence. She also sports a close-cropped hairdo which goes well with her sleek alien wardrobe (silver, not red). Others in the cast include Baccarin’s Firefly co-star Alan Tudyk, Morris Chestnut, Lourdes Benedicto, Laura Vandervoort and Joel Gretsch.

Variety reports that ABC will present V as a “limited event series,” which suits me just fine because it’s better when the story isn’t dragged out. When they turned the mini-series into a series back in the mid-’80s, it lost its juice.

Other good news included ABC’s renewal of Better Off Ted; that show is hilarious but suffered from anemic ratings. Cheers to the network for giving it another season to find an audience.

Are you excited about any of these news? Any other V fans out there?

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Jim
    May 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    I hope this report is accurate that ABC only picked up V for a very limited run. … My main concern is Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) remaining a major character on Lost next season and not as an occasional guest star or worse (written off completely). If she can remain a major character on Lost, the go for it V. If not, then take a hike until Lost is done next season.

    • Reply
      popculturenerd
      May 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm

      Here’s the interesting thing, Jim: Elizabeth Mitchell is listed as guest star for the V pilot though her character is clearly set up to be one of the leaders of the human resistance. I think this means Lost remains in first position for her.

  • Reply
    ShelleyP
    May 17, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    I like the sound of The Forgotten. Since Life has passed away, I have a gap there to fill!

    • Reply
      popculturenerd
      May 18, 2009 at 2:06 pm

      I think Rupert will do a fine job filling any gaps you have might have! 😉

  • Reply
    VisitorSite.net
    May 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    I’m definitely very interested in V – even created a website for this new version! – and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. SO jealous that you’ve been able to see it already. 🙂

    • Reply
      popculturenerd
      May 18, 2009 at 2:05 pm

      Wow, I’m impressed you’ve created a whole site! I hope you’ll get to see it soon, too.

  • Reply
    Lostfan
    May 18, 2009 at 7:05 am

    I have to admit I’m worried about Elizabeth Mitchell’s character on Lost as well. If the writers write out the best actress and female character on the show, then I’ll have major problems tuning into the sixth season. If they are smart, they wouldn’t dare do such a thing. Kudos to Mitchell for being so in demand she may have two shows. She’s such an amazing actress, that certainly doesn’t get the accolades she deserves.

    • Reply
      popculturenerd
      May 18, 2009 at 3:10 pm

      Hi Lostfan,

      I’m going to hope for the best-case scenario of Elizabeth Mitchell doing both shows somehow. (She said on a talk show she did both Lost and the V pilot simultaneously.) Her schedule would be crazy but we’d get to see more of her!

    • Reply
      popculturenerd
      May 18, 2009 at 9:50 pm

      Here’s an update on the Elizabeth Mitchell situation.

  • Reply
    le0pard13
    May 18, 2009 at 8:12 am

    I’m all for some good sci-fi. And if it involves Morena Baccarin (who I adored in the ill-fated Firefly series), I’m so there. Having Firefly co-star Alan Tudyk is icing on the cake. Looking forward to this, PCN. Thanks for the post.

    • Reply
      EireGo
      May 18, 2009 at 9:52 am

      I agree on Morena. TV needs more of her. Not sure I’m on board with the V remake. It was a pretty cheesy thing even back in its day.

      Glad they grabbed Better Off Ted. That show is so underrated, but so hilarious!

  • Reply
    Searril
    May 23, 2009 at 4:14 am

    I am so pumped up for V. I’ve been waiting for this for 25 years!

    • Reply
      popculturenerd
      May 23, 2009 at 10:19 am

      Welcome Searril! I was a huge fan of the original and really liked the pilot so I’m excited, too!

      • Reply
        popculturenerd
        May 31, 2009 at 11:15 am

        Here’s an update on The Forgotten that’s breaking my heart. Looks like ABC is replacing Rupert Penry-Jones AND Reiko Aylesworth. No reason for me to watch now.

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