Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tenspeed & Goren?

In addition to the news about the Emmy top 10 semi-finalists (check the comments for some thoughts on the episodes each show will screen for the nomination blue ribbon committees), some other TV odds and ends:
  • Chris Noth is leaving "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," and will be replaced by Jeff Goldblum. (The last time Vincent D'Onofrio tried to carry the full load in every episode, he wound up in the hospital; hence the co-lead situation.) Goldblum, last seen playing a cop on NBC's short-lived "Raines," seems more in the quirky genius Goren mode than the earthy charmer Logan mode. So, the question: would you rather the non-Goren guy provide a contrast, or are you happier if the episodes are more tonally consistent between the two leads?
  • CBS announced their fall premiere dates, with most of their shows debuting during premiere week (starting Sept. 22), but with "CSI" and "The Eleventh Hour" being held a few weeks because of the Obama/McCain debates, and the Friday shows (including "The Ex-List," which I liked) not debuting until the season's second week.
  • In addition to Michael Strahan, upcoming "Chuck" guest stars will include Nicole Richie (I'm not optimistic, but she's marginally more talented than Paris), Michael Clarke Duncan, Melinda Clarke (after Rachel Bilson, the "O.C." alum I miss the most) and John Larroquette, who's going to play some kind of spy mentor for Chuck. (I'm assuming he's been downsized from "Boston Legal.")

19 comments:

pgillan said...

I don't watch Criminal Intent, but right around when Noth showed up in the commercials, it looked like there was a story line involving D'Onofrio in an insane asylum, or some such thing. Was he in the hospital in real life, too, or am I just confused by your statement and misleading commercials?

pgillan said...

Also, I've seen the ads for The Eleventh Hour, but haven't heard any reference to the British show with the same name from 2006, starring Patrick Stewart. Both shows have the same sort of "science gone bad" vibe, but I don't know if they're otherwise related. Usually when there's an American version of a British show, there's no end of people screaming about how the original was better.

The British version was solid, if not spectacular, and was something I found while poking around on Netflix.

Andrew said...

pgillan, sometime during the fourth season D'Onofrio went to the hospital for exhaustion. The following season, they brought Noth in as a co-lead to ease up the workload.

Regarding Goldblum, I'll like him if the character is well written, and I won't if he isn't. Logan was a well written character, so I'll miss him. I'm not too concerned about tonal consistency. In my mind, you give up the luxury of tonal consistency when you decide to have two separate casts.

Alan Sepinwall said...

To Clarify, D'Onofrio was hospitalized for exhaustion in real life, and earlier this season on the show (several years after said hospitalization), they did a storyline where Goren went undercover in a mental hospital.

mrsb said...

Though I liked Noth as Mr. Big, I was never crazy about him on CI. I much prefer "Tilty" over "Big". I think a quirky Goldblum could be a great addition to the show.

BGF said...

I think you linked to an article that explained the problem with Noth: he's a beat cop, not Sherlock Holmes. It never worked with him. Goldblum sounds like inspired casting, and I bet I won't skip his weeks. Are they keeping Wheeler? I thought she was good.

Anonymous said...

I have always been a fan of CI. D'Onofrio as the quirky detective was a far better spinoff for me then the constant brooding of SVU. When Noth was added his smirking swagger was a nice counter point to Goren's quirky know it all...ism. The other plus was that Logan was a nice tie into the history of L&O. I think the show will miss having two (maybe the only two) distinct L&O characters trading off weeks. Also when the two of them happened to interact (geeking out on Sinatra comes to mind) they were fun to watch. The show will be less without Noth to no fault of Goldblum.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

I miss Alicia Witt...

Anonymous said...

I used to watch CI but got tired of Goren's implausible tendency to literally know it all. I will be interested to see how Goldblum does and while I wouldn't go out of my way to catch his eps, I would watch if I happened to be channel-surfing when they come on.

As for the stunt casting with frequent tabloid headliners (Britney, Paris, Lindsey and now Nicole), I make a point to never watch those particular episodes even if I like the show normally. I can't stand it when talentless and overexposed (often in more ways than one) celebs are brought in to get more ratings.

Tyrone said...

I think Goldblum was Brownshoe, not Tenspeed.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I think Goldblum was Brownshoe, not Tenspeed.

Dammit, you're right. Ben Vereen was Tenspeed. For some reason, I remembered it as Goldblum was the goofy guy who rode a bike to work (hence Tenspeed), while Vereen was the real detective (hence Brownshoe). But multiple sources say otherwise.

Amy said...

I would love a Goldblum D'Onfrio cross over episode! Two quirks head to head!

I am in a minority (especially for women) but I never liked Chris Noth's Big, I hated the goofy acting personality. But I do like him on CI and will miss him there. But, maybe somewhere down the road he'll show back up somewhere else in franchise.

kalman said...

I heard John Laroquette is looking for a meaty character piece.

Vlada said...

I hope Josh Schwartz completes the trifecta and gives Autumn Reeser a guest spot. She deserves better than "Lost Boys 2" and "The American Mall."

UAM said...

The hallmark of great story telling, originality, and artistic integrity has always been stunt casting. It does not surprise me at all that "Chuck" is the latest to be honored by this noble tradition.

The only upsetting news is that "Chuck" didn't qualify for the Emmys in BOTH the drama and comedy categories. Obviously the Emmy voters did not see the soul-shattering longing looks between Chuck and Sarah that bordered on Shakespearean tragedy, or the wacky, wacky Buy More antics that redefine comedy. It's hard to imagine, since these repeating elements were in EVERY SINGLE EPISODE of Chuck, without fail (or at least in the 6 or so random episodes I saw).

I mean, come on! There were 10 better shows than "Chuck" in either of these categories?!?! Really!?! It's hard to imagine "Chuck" not being on everyone's Top 10 list of All Time, let alone for 2007.

Yeah, I hate this show, and what it represents for the future of TV, that much.

Tony Dayoub said...

I miss D'Onofrio's more organic use of his actorly quirks when the show first debuted. Back then his Goren was looked at as a misunderstood savant. Now he's more like the cliche of an overworked investigator half a step away from a nervous breakdown.

While Noth's Logan made for a nice "regular guy" counterpoint, I will welcome Goldblum if they allow him to bring his unique personality into the "basic procedural" format of this show.

I would have loved to see Alicia Witt and Juliana Nicholson become the first female duo of the L&O franchise, especially after the the territorial claws were bared by Nicholson after the departing Witt left some items in her desk.

More interesting is Exec Producer, Warren Leight's jumping ship to HBO's In Treatment. Was he showrunner at Criminal Intent? Could he be at the root of the show's current staleness? Could his replacement reinvigorate the show?

dez said...

Why is Noth leaving? I will miss Det. Mike Logan, but I welcome the Cream Cheese Guy to the show!

Melanie said...

I think Goldblum is inspired casting. I liked Raines and thought he was great in it.

cgeye said...

I moaned piteously when I heard the news. For you see, L&O CI fails when it goes to the babe detectives (pace Sciorra, who was excellent and underused). The only babe that mattered on both configurations was Noth, and now he's gone.... it's all Nicole Wallace or NW equivalent, all the time.

At least Noth was charming, humorous, and feral, when the situation demanded it. He didn't need to be Sherlock Holmes; most detectives aren't. Seeing D'Onofrio play Goren's spiral downward for the past two years has been draining to watch, and not clever enough, in the standalone Not Dealing With Bobby's Family episodes.

Damn, I will miss the pretty, and no, Goldblum won't be enough.