Elizabeth Mitchell Makes Triple-Duty Work for Her

Elizabeth Mitchell ABC photo

Elizabeth Mitchell ABC photo

Elizabeth Mitchell says her friends are teasing her “that I’m taking all the jobs.”

Actually, it’s just two plum jobs — Dr. Juliet Burke on “Lost” and FBI agent Erica Evans on “V” — that have Mitchell flying high these days. The double-duty work might generate stress for someone else in her shoes, but she’s simply focusing on “the good stuff. They put me on a plane and pick me up. It’s quite a luxury, compared with taking the subway and having to walk for eight blocks.”

She notes, “I understand there are elements that make things complicated — having a four-year-old, not getting to see my husband as much as I want. But, I’m not a person to get caught up in stress. When things aren’t perfect, I just figure, ‘We’ll work it out.'”

Elizabeth works it out by taking son Chris with her on her series locations and spending off-time with the youngster and her actor/husband Chris Soldevilla at their get-away home on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Mitchell, who played Mrs. Claus in the last two installments of “The Santa Clause,” and was Dennis Quaid’s co-star in the big-screen “Frequency,” reveals she and her husband discovered the retreat in a flight from L.A. to Vancouver when they were over the Seattle area, looked down “and Saw the San Juan Islands — perhaps the most beautiful places I’d ever seen. We knew right then that that was the area when we wanted to settle down.”

She expects “Lost” to finish production in late March or early April, “with the last script probably arriving with eight armed guards.”

She’s proud of ABC for dropping the show after this, its sixth season, reasoning, “It was brave of the network to make it as good as it could be and then letting it go. Networks and studios want to make money, of course. And, I think ABC’s artistic integrity was pretty cool to let ‘Lost’ go.

“Maybe it will start a trend with the other studios — dropping series when they are as good as they can get. I don’t follow the numbers all that much, but I know ‘Lost’ hung onto the core group it really wanted, Overall, ratings might have slipped, but it has been doing well with the demographics, and those are what matter.”

MOVING ON: Nicole Sullivan tells us she’s disappointed about the cancellation of her sitcom “Rita Rocks,” but when one door closes, another one opens.

“I think I saw the writing on the wall. Lifetime was a great place to be, but the second season, they put us on at a bad time. The programming department sort of messed up.

“We had a really good audience the first season, but the second season never took off. I’m really bummed, but at the same time, when nobody’s watching your show, it’s pretty depressing,” says Sullivan of the cancellation. “Now, I’m working on a new show for CBS called ‘Tick/Tock.’ We’re in the preliminary stages right now. It’s about a woman who is looking for love and she has a 10-year-old son. We’ll see what happens. I just feel blessed to sort of always get some gigs in TV.”

In the meantime, Sullivan is keeping busy with voice-over work on shows like “The Penguins of Madagascar,” which is airing its half-hour special, “Dr. Blowhole’s Revenge,” tonight (2/15) on Nickelodeon. “How I Met Your Mother” star Neil Patrick Harris has joined the regular cast for the special episode.

“I’ve known him for years. He’s just such a great performer that it’s really a treat to watch him come up with stuff for the character. He could read a phonebook and be interesting, and the writing of this show is so solid that when you add the two, it’s just a winner. Plus, whenever you add in a talent like Neil, it just brings your own game up. You become better,” says Sullivan. “It’s a really cute episode. People of all ages will enjoy it.”

CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN ENDING: It now appears that, indeed, “Heroes” has breathed its last as a network offering with no long goodbyes — or any goodbyes, or an ending, even. But, as series star Masi Oka points out, regardless of the show’s renewal — or not — no doubt we haven’t seen the last of his Hiro Nakamura or the rest of the show’s characters.

He’s convinced “that even if NBC dropped it, it would have an ending on a different medium, would continue on as a comic series, a web series, whatever. Somehow, it would be part of the great trans-media movement.”

THE INDIE WAY: Ryan Merriman tells us that “Home of the Giants” is finally on its way to an April 6 release — on DVD. The Haley Joel Osment starrer, about a hometown basketball hero, has been awaiting distribution since 2007 — despite enthusiastic reviews and favorable festival response.

Handsome Merriman’s just been seen starring with Lacey Chabert in the Hallmark Channel’s fun romantic movie “Elevator Girl,” which gets an encore airing this Friday (2/19). He has a second feature awaiting release as well, “The 5th Quarter” — which also stars Aidan Quinn and Andie MacDowell. “It doesn’t have a release date yet,” he says, “but hopefully will soon!”

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

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This entry was posted in The Hollywood Exclusive by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and tagged , , , , , , , on by .

About Stacy Jenel Smith

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley when it was a kids' Shangri La in the 60s and we had Fabulous Eddie's miniature golf and trampolines on Ventura Boulevard. My big brother frequented The Third Eye psychedelic shop back in the day, but he wound up turning out anyway. Dad was an NBC video man who worked on "Laugh-In," Dean Martin's show, and specials by everyone from Sinatra to Fred Astaire. Mom was a first class home maker and PTA and GCA volunteer. They're still doing great. Anxious to get going in life, I quit college and jumped into journalism when I was still a teenager, and was writing for the New York Times syndicate and People magazine before turning 20. But that was a long time, many adventures, lots of traveling around the world and thousands of interviews ago. I go back to the very last days of hot type and getting to talk to Henry Fonda and Bette Davis, and Sammy Davis at the old Brown Derby...What a ride. That's in no small part thanks to my amazing writing partner, Marilyn Beck, one of the grand old-school Hollywood columnist stars -- a true star -- who knows how to do it right. I'm lucky, for sure. Now is fun, too. I love going out to events with my 17-year-old daughter (Jonas Brothers!). Seeing everything fresh through her eyes renews my excitement about the game. In-between I went back and finished school -- University of Redlands -- married, divorced, and at long last found my true love. My favorite things outside of the show business realm are being with my family, my faith and spiritual growth, learning new things (from doing Qigong to uploading stuff on Facebook), and running. See you on the trail.

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