Putting Breaking Bad on Netflix is credited for the ratings surge the AMC series has experienced this season as more viewers discover the serialized drama. ABC is hoping for a similar bump for the second seasons of its returning serialized dramas Once Upon A Time, Revenge and Scandal. In a unusual move so early into series’ runs, the complete first seasons of the three ABC shows are being made available for U.S. members to watch instantly on Netflix and will become exclusive to Netflix at the end of the month. The move is timed to get the three series out just days before their second-season premieres. READ MORE »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
During a TCA visit to the elaborate Manhattan Beach set of the ABC primetime soap Revenge, the cast and showrunner Mike Kelley regaled the press with stories of what’s to come on its second season this fall. Not that they revealed all that much. Kelley revealed just enough to whet appetites. ”For season two, we flash forward to the end of summer again and then a real terrible event that occurs,” he said, “and then we bring the audience back to the beginning of the summer. We also open with a quote much as we did in the first season. This one is about destiny. It’s about whether you have a hand in your own destiny or whether it’s all laid out for you. So this season is all about free will vs. fate.” Part of that fate (or is it free will?) revolves around Jennifer Jason Leigh, who will have a major story arc in the upcoming season. She plays the mother of lead Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp, who had been presumed dead until the very end of the series’ Season 1 finale. “Yes, mother is coming, and she’s got some deep psychological issues”, Kelley said. “So Emily’s going to do a lot of reflecting on whether she’s genetically programmed to be a little bit unhinged like her mother — who is actually very unhinged. You’ll see the mother in the present day. And it’s a big surprise as to what happened to her”. He added that he would also like to bring back William Devane’s character at some point but that it won’t be happening for a while, as the producers are intent instead on emphasizing the core cast for the sophomore season.
Kelley also spoke of his intention not to play with audience loyalties on Revenge. He recalled watching Knots Landing and Melrose Place as a young man and hopes to engender a similar vibe on his series going forward. “There was such a slow burn” on those shows, Kelley says. “You trusted those writers and felt you were in really good hands. And I feel like we’ve lost some of that because there’s been these big event shows, these big mythology shows, where they’re asking you to go on a ride but they’re not showing you exactly where they’re headed. I felt like because those shows got pulled before the audience could find out what happened, people were just left hanging, I felt like when I started this that I wanted to tell the audience, ‘You’re in good hands, I know where I’m going, sit down and we’ll get you there. So that’s what I’m trying to do”. He hopes to take viewers on a similar ride in season two as he did in season one and hopes they’ll be coming back saying they like the stortytelling.
Anthony D’Alessandro is managing editor/contributor to AwardsLine.
It takes a considerable amount of finesse for an actor to create sympathy for a sociopathic character, and one of Emily VanCamp’s strengths in playing Emily Thorne, the merciless Hamptons socialite in ABC’s Revenge, has been playing the girl next door in Everwood and Brothers & Sisters. Much like Rooney Mara’s challenge to shed her Katherine Ross-like image for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo auditions, VanCamp went the distance to prove to Revenge producers that she could play dark as a girl plotting revenge on her father’s upper-crust killers. And not just one shade of black: VanCamp’s forte lies in shifting gracefully between emotional poles — a mastery not always displayed by primetime broadcast tube thespians. VanCamp’s Thorne runs the gamut from eloquently subduing her wigged-out nemesis Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) to burning down an opponent’s house. Lest we forget her most colorful trait: Throne’s unabashed fetish for disguises. Whether she dresses as a hotel waiter or skanky barfly, she’ll do whatever it takes to collect intel or poison her enemies. An Emmy nod for VanCamp would be truly special for the actress this year as it’s the first time she’s becoming a TV Academy member.
AWARDSLINE: How did the role come your way?
EMILY VANCAMP: I finished Brothers & Sisters in September (2010) and made a pact with myself that I wasn’t going to work unless I read something and loved it. I had worked pretty steadily and hit a point where I wanted to feel challenged. I read Revenge and thought this was a huge gamble. It was the only pilot [role] I fought for. I met with Mike Kelley and [executive producer] Marty Bowen who filtered through everyone. They asked me to test, because they didn’t quite know if I could play the darkness the character required. … Longevity for me in my career has not only been about choosing the right material, but trying to reinvent myself as a young woman. People love to put you in a box. [At times in this industry], you have to force people to see you in a different light as you can burn out. There was a slight transition for me as an actress between Everwood and Brothers & Sisters going from being a girl to a woman — however, that’s a big jump to make in Hollywood. … People remember me from these roles and it’s one of the reasons why they root for Emily even though sometimes one shouldn’t.
Anthony D’Alessandro is managing editor and contributor to AwardsLine.
At the onset of the 2011-12 season, Mad Men knockoffs Pan Am and The Playboy Club were primed to be the masters of the broadcast drama universe but ABC’s Revenge stole their thunder. The series created by Mike Kelley kicked off with an electric set-up (a dead body on the beach during an engagement soiree), irresistible twists and a string of sexy, complex characters that rivaled the dramatis personae of any premium cable show. Revenge plays like a bastard relative of an F. Scott Fitzgerald story in its deconstruction of Long Island high society, swapping The Great Gatsby’s North Shore of the 1920s for the Hamptons of today. (“I have never visited The Hamptons, but I’ve definitely visited nighttime drama,” Kelley quips.) World Series fixers of the Jazz Age are replaced with the millennium’s one percent who’ve unscrupulously licked the recession. Instead of a lovelorn Jay Gatsby we have a vindictive Amanda Clarke in Revenge, a juvenile delinquent turned socialite under the alias Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp). Her m.o.: Decimate the Grayson family, the folks who took her father’s life, in particular her dad’s ex-Queen Bee mistress Victoria Grayson (played with campy gusto by Madeleine Stowe). Close to 9 million on average last season tuned in for Revenge, making it ABC’s most watched 10 PM show in four years, since Lost in 2006-07. Awardsline’s Anthony D’Alesandro spoke with Kelley.
HOW REVENGE CAME TOGETHER: After Swingtown [on CBS], which was a personal story about my wonder years through my parents’ bedrooms (during the 1970s) and [CW’s] The Beautiful Life: TBL, which I did per my contract at CBS and which died a merciful quick death, I wanted to hook up with a network that was a better fit for my sensibilities. … Paul Lee, who just came in as president [of ABC Entertainment], was interested in doing something based on The Count Of Monte Cristo. At the same time [production company] Temple Hill wanted to do a show that took place in the Hamptons. I loved The Count of Monte Cristo, but there was no way one could do a show like that in linear fashion. So my take
ABC has ordered full seasons of its new series Revenge and Suburgatory. The network also has ordered six more scripts of its sophomore comedy Happy Endings. The news comes after some encouraging ratings news on all 3 shows this morning, with Happy Endings and freshman Revenge posting week-to-week gains and …