“Hellcats'” Gail O’Grady was surprised to hear that TV prognosticators are giving the CW teen comedy-drama about a cheer squad no better than even odds for renewal next season. The show, in which she plays Aly Michalka’s intrusive mama, has an ardent following of loyal fans, she points out, and “I think everyone is feeling positive.”
On the other hand, with new season announcements coming up next month, it’s tension time for even some fairly successful shows that are now on the bubble.
“I ran into my buddy Gary Sinise the other day, and he said that for the first time in seven years, they’re not sure,” she notes of the “CSI: NY” star. “You know how TV is these days, unless something is a runaway hit, unless you’re ‘Modern Family,’ nothing is certain.”
O’Grady is certain about her feelings toward “Hellcats” and Aly. “From the get-go we had kind of an instant chemistry,” she notes. “Usually over hiatus it’s kind of nice to have a break, but yesterday I found myself thinking, ‘I have to call her.’ I miss her.”
Coming up on “Hellcats” are episodes in which her character, Wanda, finally opens up to daughter Marti about her mysterious father. “That’s one thing my character has refused to discuss with her — not out of denial, but feeling she’s protecting her, which has caused friction in the mother-daughter relationship.” Viewers will find out why as the series unveils new episodes, beginning April 19.
O’Grady considers “Hellcats” a dream job for personal reasons as well. The former “American Dreams” and “NYPD Blue” cast member has a six-year-old son. The ensemble show allows her time at home between camera calls — but, inconveniently enough, it requires her to fly back and forth between her L.A. home and Vancouver production. She admits, “I think it’s the most flying I’ve done within a few months.”
Her work life and mommy life don’t leave the six times divorced blond beauty much time for grown-up activities. “The last movie I saw was ‘Rango,’ so that pretty much tells you,” she says. But for now, she’s getting a kick out of hanging out with her son at hot spots like Legoland and Disneyland.