When you’re a TV star, it’s easy to lose perspective — after all, you’re famous, you’re surrounded by yes-people, you’re no longer mingling with the masses. And that’s how faulty career moves happen. Herewith, a few suggestions for performers who seem to be in need of professional advice:
Your X-Files contract is up at season’s end, you’re suing your own studio for making squirrelly rerun deals, and you’ve accused your boss of conspiring with the squirrels — David, where are you going next (besides Disney World with your new baby)? Here’s an idea: Even if your feature-film career hasn’t exactly taken off (Playing God?!), your X-Files directorial effort was top-notch, so why not embrace your inner Tarantino? Or better yet: CBS is updating The Fugitive — go grab David Janssen’s lead role. You’d be playing a loner (i.e., wouldn’t have to share screen time with some fetching but irksome costar), and the show’s being overseen by John McNamara, who’s done smart, interesting projects like Profit. Think it over and then start joggin’, Dave.
Girl, what were you thinking? Sure, David E. Kelley created Snoops, but you didn’t really think he was going to be paying much attention to this froufrou P.I. lark, did you? This show reduces your big-screen slinkiness to small-screen simpering. If you want to stay in TV, we propose Unbound: The Sitcom, in which you play an independent city gal. We picture you as a wisecracking yet romantically inclined woman: a combination of Mary Richards, Eve Arden, Eartha Kitt as the Catwoman, Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday, and your own bad self. And every once in a while, you could make a leather outfit your very special guest star.
Jesse, sinking quickly in its second season, clearly wasn’t the vehicle you’d hoped would lift you above your Married…With Children bimbo type-casting. Instead, it makes your screen persona seem…what’s the word?…all right, dull. You need a producer who’ll pull a Susan Dey on you: Remember when she was briefly reborn as a Serious Actress on L.A. Law? That’s the ticket: an hour-long showcase (sitcoms are dying, kid) with class. May we suggest something that’s not on TV right now: a grown-up Western in which you would play a strong, unsentimental frontier woman (i.e., not a Dr. Quinn weeper). There’ve been lots of recent books on the subject: Pick one and develop it. Sure, it sounds outta left field, reviving a moribund genre, but so did, in their times, Hill Street Blues and, well, L.A. Law.
Sam, baby, you’ve shown almost Buddha-like patience in your quest to become as big an action star in America as you are in Hong Kong. But first CBS saddled you with Louis Mandylor and now with the new, hip-cop version of Arsenio Hall. Time to bend Arsenio’s skinny frame into a pretzel and toss him out, leaving you free to do an action show that, with improved writing, could transform you into a politically correct Charlie Chan — TV’s first real Asian sleuth. Sounds kicky, doesn’t it?