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August 19 2003

Rumor: 'Tru Calling' May Not Air in the Fall. "'It looks like the new Fox show 'Tru Calling' is being pushed back to midseason or spring for a third round of recasting and rewriting. The first few episodes and the pilot are going to be reshot.'"

"'Fox has told the producers of their other new show 'Still Life' to hurry up and they're starting production two weeks earlier than originally schedule (they're starting filming on September 23). Seems that unless the producers of 'Tru Calling' can quickly retool their show to the satisfaction of the executives at Fox, 'Still Life' will replace 'Tru Calling' and will premiere on October 30th whilst 'Tru Calling' will premiere some time next year as a midseason replacement.'"

I just don't get Fox. It sounds like they are already trying to dump this show.
Am I nuts or is there nothing about Tru Calling on this link? There's the Angel tidbit at the bottom of the page, however.

All in all, this is actually good news for me as Still Life is Marti Noxon's new show and I am much more interested in that show than Tru Calling. The actor's new shows or projects are never as intriguing to me as the new work of people behind the scenes.
unitas, you have to scroll midway down the page. It's right befor the blue "Various Bits" section.

FYI, the link will change after today to this one.
OK, this is weird. It's some Superman story before Various Bits when I use the link above.

I couldn't get the second link to work for me. Very odd.

Thanks for the help, though.
unitas, it sounds like yesterday's news page at Dark Horizons is still cached in your browser. So if you clear your cache, perhaps today's news will show up. And that second link won't work until tomorrow's news is posted.
Ahh, thanks for the help.

Found the item. I hope this doesn't end up hurting Still Life as Ms. Noxon said she would like to come on in mid-season anyway. I also don't see Still Life getting much of a boost from Fox's October baseball schedule.

[ edited by unitas on 2003-08-19 21:56 ]
Is there some other, better link out there that's reporting this? I'd like confirmation anyway. I've just scanned the spoiler sites today and saw nothing about this elsewhere. One link that's already burying the news is not a very confident source to me.

Still, IF this is proven the case, I'm torn about how I should feel. I understand Dushku's desire to not get typecast as Faith. I wish the actress well in whatever endeavour she chooses. It's very dangerous to get well known as one kind of role in Hollywood because the people with money are so fast to peg you. They wanna be able to say "A Faith like role? Get that actress." If that kind of role loses favor with the audience, or just doesn't get any writers writing it in, you suddenly can't get work cuz people still expect you to be that one thing, even if your range is beyond that.

However, so far what I've read about Tru is that she's Faith with a dysfunctional family and no jail time. She doesn't have slayer strength, but she can alter temporal events. So she's still saving people from the unknown, y'know? It's not like she's stretching her acting muscles. It's not like Tom Hanks going from the park bench to the volleyball. I don't see how she thinks Tru would be an improvement over Faith, so it must have boiled down to money. Fox offered more. And now that it sounds like Tru and Still are racing, I get the feeling that a lot of this is political. That behind the scenes there's ill will somewhere and people who should be working together on projects now prefer to be competitors and enemies. Whether this is the case, or just a big misunderstanding, seems irrelevant at this point.

Maybe we fans should all just pack up our Buffy lunchboxes and Angel trading cards and go home. Obviously the people who made the BuffyVerse possible no longer want it. Why should we keep a candle in the window for them?
vpecoraro, a lot can happen between the time when a pilot is okayed and when it makes it to air. The executive(s) who okayed "Tru Calling" may not be the one(s) making the decisions now. And television executives are, more or less, a pretty clueless bunch. So, in effect, Fox may be trying to dump the show.

That being said, I'd like to see both shows get a chance. A lot of people seem to think that, should "Tru Calling" fail, then a Faith spinoff is a lock. From the hesitancy to revisit the character that Dushku's expressed, I don't think that's necessarily true. Why (secretly or not) root for her new show to fail in the off-chance that she might change her mind?
Unreality, you're absolutely on target. It's what I've speculated in the past. I believe this happened to Firefly. The FOX people who told Whedon they wanted it didn't hold Whedon's hand over the summer, and somewhere along the way a wolf slipped into the henhouse. Either the FOX people who were on Whedon's side were replaced, or Whedon somehow fell out of favor. This causes FOX as a network to look psychotic, repeatedly slapping itself in the face. Saying yes one minute and no the next. I've dumped girlfriends for less. Now the same thing's happening with Tru. The people who greenlighted it are obviously not the same people who push it through the process. Either that, or these people suffer from split-personality and need help. It's like Green Goblin's in charge of FOX.

As for Dushku, or any of the old cast members, at this point I just want to see interesting stories. If they get other people to play the characters, that's fine. I like the story basics. I like the fictional universe. I tire of the petty politics. Whatever happened to the days of The Show Must Go On? "Chosen" set it up so that they can create all new characters, put them in a different locale, and tell the stories of multiple slayers and the people who stand by their side. Why should Mutant Enemy be forced to cater to the whims of fickle actors with a little history in the show? Hire new actors who want a steady paycheck and let's get on with it.

This is so not rocket science.
unreality, I think your right about the dopes at Fox not knowing how to develop a show like this. I would like to see anything Eliza does succeed but I think she's wrong about not wanting to do Faith. If the show is a success and she winds up making SMG or even Alison Hannigan(did I spell that right?) money she could be set for life.
Zachsmind, yeah, I made sure to include that this was a rumor in the headline link. Quite frankly, if it's true, I'm not surprised at all at Fox's behavior. I knew Firefly would be cancelled and Tru Calling seems to be falling under a similar pattern.
grr arrgh
what's fox's deal??
Honestly, I am not sold on Eliza's new show. I just saw a preview for it last night and I couldn't get over the fact that the character of Tru is dressed similiar to, wears her hair similiar to, and sounds similiar to the Faith character. I know, I know, it is the same actress but can't they go for a different look at the very least? In my eyes, Tru was just Faith in a labcoat. They even showed her kicking a gun out of a man's hand and it had slayer-style written all over it! Of course, I will have to actually see more of than a 1 minute preview of the show to be sure of the similiarites. But if Eliza is going to play a character similiar to the one that made her famous, she should have just stuck with the character everyone loves. Money, Schmoney!
Oddly, I just downloaded the Tru Calling pilot today and watched it before reading any of this news. (it's on one of those foreign sites we all know about but don't post the URL for)

I didn't think she was Faith in a labcoat, and the above mentioned kick actually startled me cause the character comes across with a fairly quiet affect. That said, I didn't get anything 'new' off the character that I haven't seen ED do before either in BtVS or movies, other than Tru is more mature. I thought ED did a solid job and the set up is decent and the family backstory actually works pretty well.

But the story in the pilot was still kind of flat and I was getting really really tired of watching Tru run back and forth, quite literally- she *runs* everywhere (they even exposit she was a former track star) yet seldom changes clothes and doesn't seem to sweat....they were obviously going for a run lola run thing

it made me wonder how future eps would be able to sustain the drama. Seems to me that most of the real drama is Tru's family and backstory.
Hey, Fox is just being true to their motto, Screw over everyone. Or was it Stupify America? Ah, who can tell these days? The point is, they're just trying to follow the reputation they've set up for themselves.
Well, I can't really say that I'm surprised with this. Fox needs to send the old execubots to the shop for repairs so that their network won't be so terrible.
Tensai chipped in with his thoughts on Tru Calling a couple of days ago, he wasn't hopeful either.

Tru in Trouble
I don't what you guys are talking about. If Fox is really postponing the debut of Tru Calling, that is the only good news that the show has gotten since it was announced. I actually thought that Fox just wanted the show to fail considering where they have it. For those of you who don't get it, listen up: THURSDAY AT 8 IS AGAINST FRIENDS (in its final season) AND SURVIVOR (with a likely celebrity edition)!

If the show remains there, IT IS DOOMED, maybe within 3 or 4 weeks.

And I also don't think that Dushku taking the job has to have been just about money. This is her first chance to headline a show, and on a major network. If she had went straight to Faith the Vampire Slayer, the headliner, as always, would have been Joss Whedon. Creatively and professionally, to be the number one is a big deal.
I've got this theory that Fox is a network that expects each show to be it's saviour. Think about it, they've always been known for one huge show, there was Married with Children when they first started, and then the Simpsons, and then 90210/Melrose Place, then X-Files and now there's American Idol. I'm thinking that when a show isn't looking like it's going to beat the pants off every other network they completely forget about it.

It's like a child who thinks that buying "Toy X" will make them the coolest kids on the playground, and then they get the toy and either there's a new cool toy or it's not quite as cool as they thought, they just toss it in the trash and forget about it. (Take that! overwrought cookie-dough metaphors).

I guess it's what's to be a expected from a mediocre network. The other networks can suffer a show that doesn't perform amazingly because they'll generally have a solid lineup to buffer it, whereas Fox (with the exception of Sunday nights) seems to put all their proverbial eggs in one basket.

Either that or Fox execs are a bunch of sleezy tail-chasing blow-monkeys with the collective attention span of a fruit-fly. Meh.
I think you're on the right track with that fruitfly thing, Orange.

Dushku needs to either fire whomever is advising her, or get a frontal lobotomy if she's only listening to herself. "Faith the series" would have been a sure thing. Even if it crashed and burned worse than "Renegade" (anyone remember that one? No? Good), FtS would have been guaranteed at least one season to prove itself. "Tru Calling" will be lucky to be given four episodes to prove itself. I mean, when the network gets to a point where they're openly planning midseason replacements months in advance, EXPECTING something to flop, that's a strong indicator of a network's lack of faith in its own mentality. Dushku should have said yes to FtS, paid her dues for four to seven years, then after Faith had run its course she'd have built up name recognition to do something else. OR amassed enough of a nest egg to fund her own independent project.
If Fox had made Firefly a mid-season replacement instead of putting it on in between baseball, then it would still be on right now. Midseason replacements make sense -- wasn't Buffy a midseason replacement? And Dushku can still do FtS after Tru Calling, and improve her resume to boot in the meantime by making connections with others than Mutant Enemy.
Mid-season replacements get cancelled, too. I think "Firefly" was in trouble the minute Fox decided to screw with the order in which the episodes aired. Even as a mid-season replacement, it's likely that it would have been dumped in favor of "reality" programming, unfortunate (and stupid) as that might be.

And, regardless of what we think of "Tru Calling" or the possibility of a Faith spinoff, the fact remains that Dushku has said she isn't interested in pursuing it. Maybe there's more than everyone's letting on, and maybe Tru and Faith really aren't too far removed from one another as characters, but I'm still inclined to think this isn't about the money, that Dushku just feels like she's moved away from who Faith is and, like she says, would rather pursue different characters.

If "Tru Calling" fails -- if Fox tries to dump it, if it can't find an audience, or simply if it sucks -- I still don't think "Faith the Vampire Slayer" is guaranteed. I wouldn't be surprised if Dushku still said no to it. As I said, hoping her current show fails simply in the off-chance she'll reconsider (or have to reconsider for financial reasons) seems pretty foolish.
FtS a sure thing? Like the Lone Gunmen?
Watched the pilot today as well... very Run Lola Run indeed... even had one of the tracks from the movie in it.
Y'know what killed Lone Gunmen? A lack of faith in the three principal roles. Some executive somewhere insisted on eye candy and beefcake. They so did not need that cute babe spy and the "James Bond" dumb jock. Instead, there should have been a parade of such characters coming in and out of the lives of the three leads, and the three of them would interact with a distorted X-Files reality like a modern cross between the Marx Brothers and Maxwell Smart. The show was a great premise, but the humor became forced and too much time was spent on characters other than the three guys who were the whole point of tuning in.

In today's TV City, if you don't have a physicality that causes people to drool uncontrollably, network executives don't know what to do with you. It had its moments, like when Frohickie was posing as a karate expert, or when Langly stepped in to break into a top secret mainframe (a cinch) for these bad guys only to discover that once he's successfully accomplished this they're gonna kill him. It was when they focused on the three guys that things were fun. They didn't do that enough so the show fizzled.

Do "Faith the Series" and then don't concentrate on Faith? Same thing will happen. Notice that in season one of Buffy, she had four to seven regular roles surrounding her, but we rarely ever saw friends of her friends, y'know? That didn't happen till later. Angel was Buffy's love interest. Xander and Willow were Buffy's best friends who also happened to be each other's best friends. Giles was Buffy's Watcher. Joyce was Buffy's Mom. Cordelia was Buffy's nemesis. For the most part it was one degree of separation. It wasn't until season two that we saw friends of friends, like Oz, Jenny, or Ethan. Spike & Dru were associates of Angel. Again, not introduced until season two. For the first season - the whole plot arc between Buffy and The Master - that was ALL ABOUT Buffy. She was the center of her universe. Later on Xander, Willow and Giles each were given flimsy social lives, but only after Buffy was well-established as the lodestone.

In "Tru Calling" so far what I've read is that stuff happens to other people, and little to nothing affects Tru directly. Her sister has an eating disorder. Her brother has gambling debts. Somebody at work's in trouble. Tru is reliving a day, but she's reactionary to these other lives and doesn't do anything about herself really. That doesn't fly well, because it should be Tru's story, not the story of her family and friends. At least not for the first season. I mean, if you found out your life was repeating over and over, would you bother with fixing other people's lives? No, actually the average person would be more self-involved than that. I think that's what more people would want to see. It's more believable than someone poking into other people's lives and changing them but leaving their own life alone. This is escapist entertainment after all. Look at the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day. Talk about a self-involved lead character! That worked very well.

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