Wentworth Miller, left, stars as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold and Dominic Purcell is Mick Rory/Heat Wave in The CW's "DC's Legends of Tomorrow."
By Rob Owen / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
PASADENA, Calif. — The first two episodes of The CW’s latest comic book series, “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” (8 p.m. Jan. 21, WPCW), is an overstuffed paint-by-numbers affair that will test the number of comic book series one network can viably sustain.
“Legends of Tomorrow” spins off characters from the network’s “Arrow” and “The Flash” for a more sci-fi, time traveling adventure, complete with a “Doctor Who”-like Time Master, Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill), who assembles a team to fight baddie Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) in various time periods. (The Rip Hunter character actually appeared in comic books four years before “Doctor Who” began airing in 1963.)
Leonard Snart (aka Captain Cold) is among the future legends, played by 1990 Quaker Valley High School grad Wentworth Miller. Fans will need to enjoy his presence while it lasts.
“My commitment to this show is not long-term,” Mr. Miller said today. “I don’t expect to be playing this character forever and that’s in line with the original concept of ‘Legends,’ which is this revolving door drama. Characters are meant to move in and out. No one is here permanently.”
Snart was introduced last season on “The Flash” alongside Mick Rory/Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell, Mr. Wentworth’s “Prison Break” co-star) with Snart as the brains and Rory as the brawn, but on “Legends” that relationship will change.
“[Snart] starts to rely on that heavily so that when that changes and Mick starts to evolve and change as well, that’s destabilizing to Snart,” Mr. Miller said. “To take a character who’s cool, calm and collected and move into new territory where he’s coming apart at the edges is interesting as an actor.”
ABC execs on ‘Downward Dog’
ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee said the ABC pilot “Downward Dog” that filmed in Pittsburgh in December will be in consideration for a slot on the network's 2016-17 TV schedule, which will be announced in May. If picked up to series, “Downward Dog” could be on the air in fall or perhaps midseason a year from now. Production on subsequent episodes would begin in the summer.
Based on an unreleased Web series created by the Pittsburgh-based production company Animal Inc., the pilot is executive produced by Pittsburghers Kathy Dziubek and writers/creators Samm Hodges and Michael Killen.
Allison Tolman (“Fargo”) stars in “Downward Dog” as Nan, owner of a mixed breed pup, Martin, who speaks. Lucas Neff (“Raising Hope”) plays Nan’s ex-boyfriend, Jason, a musician/bartender who’s trying to get back into Nan’s life.
“We’re very high on that pilot,” Mr. Lee said. “These guys have a very distinctive, very extraordinary point of view. … It's about the dysfunction of the American family because it’s about how we invest our emotional and family values on the animals around us. … We loved the table read, and we went early with it, so we expect to see a cut very soon.”
ABC Studios is producing the potential series with Legendary Entertainment.
“I haven’t seen it yet,” said ABC Studios president Patrick Moran, who confirmed the plan is to return to Pittsburgh for filming if “Downward Dog” is picked up. “We had actually done talking animals ideas before, but this one had a voice and a point of view that felt very specific and contemporary. It's a dog who’s having an existential crisis, and you experience the show through the point of view of the dog.”
ABC Family becomes Freeform
On Tuesday cable network ABC Family gets renamed Freeform, debuting a new season of “Pretty Little Liars” at 8 p.m., followed by the series premiere of “Shadowhunters” at 9 p.m.
Why the name change? Freeform president Tom Aschiem said it’s about growing the network’s audience beyond the “becomers” — people in their 20s between “their first kiss and first kid” — who already watched ABC Family.
Given the content of ABC Family’s programming, which is racier than the word “family” might typically suggest, it's easy to imagine a desire to jettison the “family” part of the name so potential viewers don’t think of the programming as too wholesome.
Mr. Ascheim said viewers won’t have to reset their DVRs, which record programs based on channel numbers. The channel numbers will stay the same.
“DVRs are smarter than we are,” he said.
The fourth and final season of SundanceTV’s “Rectify” will air in the fall. … J.J. Abrams, whose company produces CBS’s “Person of Interest,” said he anticipates the upcoming unscheduled fifth season of “Person of Interest” will be its last: “The only heartbreak there is how much good story there was to come if it were to have continued.” … ABC’s Paul Lee suggested “The Bachelorette” this summer will likely feature a more diverse leading lady.
A portion of this column originally appeared online in the Tuned In Journal blog. Post-Gazette TV writer Rob Owen is attending the Television Critics Association winter press tour. Follow RobOwenTV at Twitter or Facebook. You can reach him at 412-263-2582 or email@example.com.
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