Bakula To Start Shooting 'Late Boomers' TodayBy Christian
April 27, 2001 - 7:55 AM
After a long period of negotiations that started at least six weeks ago, former Quantum Leap star Scott Bakula has upped the pressure on the Series V producers by taking the lead role in the new CBS pilot Late Boomers while still keeping his Trek options open.
Michael Schneider at the Daily Variety reported that Bakula has agreed to replace Burt Reynolds as the lead actor on the CBS comedy. However, he has so far agreed only to appear as a guest in the opening episode, meaning that he would still be able to assume the role of Captain Jackson Archer on what Variety is now referring to as Star Trek: Enterprise.
Late Boomers is a comedy about Teddy Barnett, a former NFL star who owns a stylish restaurant in Chicago where he and his friends hang out and talk about the good old days. Burt Reynolds was originally cast in the lead role, but he angrily stormed off the set on Sunday and has sinced been let go from the project due to "creative differences."
Filming for Late Boomers is scheduled to begin as early as today. According to Audiences Unlimited, which is selling tickets for the tapings, shooting will continue through the weekend. This means that the pilot episode for the series will likely have wrapped by May 8, when Series V is scheduled to start filming.
The Variety article seems to officially confirm that Bakula is in fact in negotiations with Paramount for the Series V lead role. The trade paper said that Bakula had originally passed on the series, but in recent days resumed talks with Paramount TV again. Previously, it had been rumoured that the delay was mostly due to money issues and Bakula wanting a certain degree of creative control over the next Star Trek series.
Now that he has also landed the lead role on Late Boomers, this provides much more security for Bakula. On the one hand, if the Star Trek deal fails to materialise, he will be able to fall back on Late Boomers. On the other hand, if he is able to reach an agreement over the Jackson Archer role, he is free to simply drop Late Boomers.
In addition to this extra security, the deal also provides Bakula with some more bargaining power at the Star Trek negotiating table. With Enterprise no longer his only option for employment, he will be able to use this to make more demands for Series V.
Meanwhile, all this places Late Boomers in the unenviable position of having to shoot a pilot with a lead actor whose commitment to the rest of the series is unknown. In addition, two other key actors in the series, Markie Post and Adam Arkin, are in the same situation as Bakula. They both are still attached to other television projects, and have only agreed to appear in this one initial pilot episode, meaning that if Late Boomers goes to series it may have to recast three of its most important characters.
With the Late Boomers pilot scheduled to start shooting today, it appears unlikely Bakula will be able to also reach an agreement for Series V on the same day. In all likelihood, this also means that the official announcement of the next series, originally expected to be this week, has also been pushed back.