TV on DVD

Beloved CBS drama 'Now and Again' finally surfaces on DVD


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The short-lived 1999 CBS drama "Now and Again" finally arrived on DVD this week.

The series told the story of Michael Wiseman, a man who dies (played by John Goodman) and comes back with his brain and soul in the bio-engineered body of a 20something government agent (Eric Close, "Nashville"). Wiseman pines for his wife (Margaret Colin, "Gossip Girl") and is under the thumb of a government boss (Dennis Hasybert, "24").

"Now and Again" was one of the best TV series of 1999 but was canceled in 2000 after just one season.

The DVD release includes a good number of welcome extras, including an "on the set" feature from an electronic press kit shot at the time of the series and a four-part documentary (about two hours total) featuring interviews with the show's producers and all the primary cast.

Glenn Gordon Caron, creator of "Moonlighting," tells the story of CBS top dog Les Moonves coming to him to coax him back to television by giving him carte blanche to develop any pilot. Mr. Caron brainstormed and said "Now and Again" was influenced by the Broadway musical "Damn Yankees."

The four-part documentary tells the story of making the pilot, the series and then how it all ended in an on-the-bubble cancellation following a cliffhanger ending.

"That was me trying to game the network," Mr. Caron acknowledged of ending on a cliffhanger. "I heard they were inclined to bring us back. ... Little did I know, they didn't care. I never would have done that episode if I'd known that was the case."

Mr. Caron acknowledges he was both heartbroken and mildly relieved because the series was so different.

"We all know how to do a family show, a spy show, a science-fiction show, but it was juggling all the genres," he said. "How do all these things co-exist? It was exhausting."

Another special feature is a roundtable discussion among Mr. Caron and two other writers about writing the series and what they imagined might have happened in season two.


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