Tag Archives: In Plain Sight

Mary McCormack’s Quick Change from ‘In Plain Sight’ to New Comedy

Talk about a fast job switch.  While Mary McCormack and her “In Plain Sight” team were in their final days of filming the fifth and last season of her popular USA series, the actress was also fielding occasional long-distance calls about the ABC comedy pilot she’ll be shooting April 24.

Among the issues: whether Mary should have a different hairstyle for the new show — in which she’ll play a newly-unemployed corporate executive trying to adapt to full-time parenting of her two teenaged children.  If so, what should the new look be?  She tells us, “We haven’t made that decision.  After six years it does seem like time to give myself a change.”

And that applies to much more than her appearance.  Her schedule this past week has included the “In Plain Sight” wrap party and three final days of shooting in Albuquerque, NM, where the show is based.  Now she and her husband, producer-director Michael Morris, and their three young daughters are getting ready to leave New Mexico.

“It will take us awhile to move.  The kids are in school here.  We have packing and goodbyes.  It is bittersweet, sad to leave a part of your life,” Mary notes.  “It’s a great crew down here.  We’re going to miss people.  But on the sweet side, there’s more time with my kids to look forward to.  They’re little.  I want to spend more time with them while they’re still small.”

Yet, she’s going right into another show.  “But it’s totally different.  A multi-camera show schedule is so much better for a mom,” Mary points out.  “It’s such an easy schedule compared to what I’ve been doing.”

The comedy (working title: “The Unprofessional”) has a cast including Greg Germann and Mo Gaffney.  “I’ve never done this kind of show before, so I’m nervous,” she says.  “But it’s good to get scared.”

Filming the ending scene of “In Plain Sight” “was emotional,” she admits.  “But we saved time for it.  We had hours.”

Stephen Lang will soon be seen on the show as the long-absent, career criminal father of Mary’s U.S. Marshal character, Mary Shannon.  Also, as followers of the Friday night show are aware, Shannon now has her baby daughter and an apparently cordial relationship with the infant’s father.  And there is her partner, Marshall (Fred Weller) and the yet-unfulfilled energy of their relationship.  Will “In Plain Sight” fans hungry

for some happily-ever-after for Mary Shannon be satisfied?  The actress replies with a laugh.  “I can’t tell you.  I really wish I could.”  Don’t bet against it.

Tia Carrere Finds Tough Broads on Season 5 of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’

Tia Carrere NBC photo

 Season five of “The Celebrity Apprentice” doesn’t debut until Feb. 19, so contestant Tia Carrere has to be circumspect about what she reveals regarding her journey on the show.  But it can’t have been too hard on her — considering that now she’s now contemplating opening her own business back in her native Hawaii.

“The great thing was I found out I’m a really good team player.  I’ve never been in a corporate environment before,” says the actress and Grammy-winning musician who rose to fame in the “Wayne’s World” movies.  “I was pleased that I was able to anticipate people’s needs and be a self-starter.  Most important, I promised myself going in that no matter what, I would maintain my integrity.  There is no reason for being backbiting and manipulative.  Other people are — but I guess that makes good TV, doesn’t it?

“I was surprised.  Some of these broads are tough,” adds Carrere.  She’s part of an eclectic group of 18 including Arsenio Hall, George Takei, Cheryl Tiegs, Penn Jillette, Clay Aiken, Victoria Gotti, Aubrey O’Day, Lisa Lampanelli, Adam Carolla, Victoria Gotti, Lou Ferrigno, Michael Andretti, Debbie Gibson, “Real Housewives of New Jersey’s” Teresa Giudice  and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider.
 Carrere reports she was a last-minute addition to the cast.  “They had asked me for the past few years, and I’d always kind of shied away from it because I knew it would be difficult.  I was the last one to jump on.  I didn’t have time to think about it.  It was, ‘Let’s just see if make money for my charity,’ which is After-School All-Stars.  It’s a group Arnold Schwarzenegger introduced me to nearly 20 years ago when we did ‘True Lies,’ that provides fitness and enrichment programs for kids all across the country.”

 Even if she’d had the time, however, “You can’t prepare for this.  What I like about the show is that we’re so exhausted and overwhelmed with the tasks we’re asked to do, people’s true personalities come through,” she notes.  “Yeah, people put on this happy face, but when push comes to shove, all that wears off.  I got some interesting insights about people:  ‘Oh, you really went to that place?  How disappointing.”

It’s already a ridiculously busy year for Carrere, who has just started filming her new  recurring role on the USA Network’s “In Plain Sight,” and is also juggling hosting-producing chores on two more shows she says are going into production soon. “One is called ‘Forsaken Places’ and the other is called ‘Street Stars,'” she says.  “I’ve got to go to Vancouver, and Albuquerque — and there’s another movie that I might do that would mean going to Montreal and Louisiana.”

Carrere admits she finds it “very hard” to be away from her six-year-old daughter for long stretches, but credits her ex-husband, British photojournalist Simon Wakelin for stepping up. “Bianca’s daddy is terrific about being right there.”

Tom Bergeron Makes ‘Castle’ Play on Jay n’ Coco

Tom Bergeron ABC photo

Tom Bergeron’s working his acting chops on the set of ‘Castle’ this week in an episode that, as he puts it, ‘takes a page out of the whole Conan O’Brien-Jay Leno imbroglio’ — with Tom playing the host of an 11:30 comedy and talk show ‘who believes that the guy with the 12:30 show is gunning for him.’

The back story on how the ‘Dancing With the Stars’ and ‘America’s Funniest Videos’ host wound up on ‘Castle’ is as much fun as the episode sounds like it will be. Tom reminds that ‘DWTS’ is the lead-in show for ‘Castle,’ and that stars Nathan Filion and Stana Katic have been in the audience of the live dance competition to promote their series. Tom’s become friendly with them. ‘I told Nathan I was a fan of ‘Firefly’ and introduced him to my wife.,’ he tells us.

‘Independent of that, I ran into Jonathan Frakes and Genie Francis at the Starbucks near my house just about two weeks ago, after not having seen them for a couple of years. I told them I’d recommended them to our ‘Dancing With the Stars’ casting people, because with Jonathan’s sci-fi background and Genie’s in soaps, they bring in two different fan bases.

‘Then Jonathan said, ‘I can do you one better. I’ve been directing ‘Castle,’ and I’ve recommended you to the producers for an acting role.”

One call led to another — ABC head honcho Steve McPherson was quick to get on board — and Bergeron wound up center stage in the episode, airing April 12, called ‘The Late Shaft,’ with Fred Willard as his sidekick, and Bill Bellamy as his rival. Not only that, but all this camaraderie and mutual admiration has led to Bergeron serving as host of ‘An Evening With Castle’ with the producers and cast tonight (3/16) at the Paley Center for Media in L.A.. He’ll finish shooting his scenes as late night comic Bobby Mann on Thursday (3/18), then go right into preps for the new ‘DWTS’ season launch Monday (3/22).

MEANWHILE: Bergeron is excited not only by this season’s lineup of dance competitors — including Pamela Anderson, Niecy Nash, 80-year-old former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, pilot Jake Pavelka of ‘The Bachelor,’ Olympic Gold Medal-winning figure skater Evan Lysacek, Erin Andrews of ESPN, Kate Gosselin and Pussycat Dolls leader Nicole Scherzinger. He’s also looking forward to getting in step with his new cohost.

Tom was in on the casting of Brooke Burke to replace departing Samantha Harris. ‘Brooke, based on everything — her experience doing live TV, not only as a host, but her unique experience on the show as someone who has won — was a slam dunk. It will undoubtedly feel different since Samantha and I did eight of the past nine seasons together, but I have no doubt it will be good.’

CAN YOU SAY ‘WORKAHOLIC’?: Five episodes into shooting the third season of ‘In Plain Sight,’ star Mary McCormack says, ‘I could use some sleep. I’m not going to lie.’ The ‘In Plain Sight’ team keeps up an even more hectic pace than stars of broadcast network hour dramas, since the hit USA Network cable series is shot on a more compressed schedule. Add to that she has her five-year-old and two-year-old daughters with her in Albuquerque, where the show headquarters — while her husband, producer-director Michael Morris, toils away in L.A. on his show, ‘Brothers and Sisters’ — and it’s no wonder she’s sleep deprived.

‘I don’t know how we’re doing it,’ she says. ‘We haven’t had a vacation together, ever. Not one. One of us always working. And we’ve been together almost 10 years. Last year for my birthday, we planned a whole thing on the Mexican Riviera. We had our plane tickets. Then the swine flu hit and we couldn’t go. Who knows? Maybe when our girls go to college we’ll sit on a beach and do crosswords.’

Except for the swine flu, McCormack isn’t complaining, however. She’s actually all revved up about the new season, debuting March 31 — with guest stars including Donnie Wahlberg, Tess Harper, Allison Janney, Rita Moreno and Steven Weber. ‘It’s hard to walk that tightrope of doing a half-funny, half-dramatic hybrid. Sometimes we’ve gone too dark. I think it took us a while to figure out. But now we’ve got it. We’re doing it successfully. Our show has really grown up and gotten better and better,’ she says. They also have a new director of photography, ‘and he’s making it look like a feature, He’s lighting it different. The tones and the color are different, more real. It’s the edgiest show on USA. Now the look matches the content.’

ON ANOTHER FRONT: ‘Psych’ costar Corbin Bernsen is busy, busy, busy. He’s wedged a couple of promotional events in-between preps for his ’25 Hill’ labor of love — a movie he wrote and is producing. It’s based on the true story of a friendship between a boy who lost his military man father in Afghanistan, and an old veteran who lost his firefighter son in 9/11, and how the two team up to compete in a soap box derby. He’s wrapping up casting with shooting to get underway before month’s end.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster