Bakula Excited About New TimeslotBy Kristine
May 27, 2004 - 7:34 PM
Scott Bakula, who portrays Captain Jonathan Archer on Star Trek: Enterprise predicts that the show will thrive in its new home on Friday nights.
In a chat at StarTrek.com, Bakula said he thought the move to Fridays could take the show out of direct competition with shows like American Idol, which tend to draw large audiences. "I think Wednesday night has gotten busier in terms of competition, for instance, what do we have tonight, the finale of American Idol, that's a big one," he noted. "I don't think we lose a huge block of audience, but Friday nights will separate us."
Bakula said that he believes the cast and crew share the same enthusiasm about the move, and that the executives are hopeful as well. "I think overall everyone's excited about it," he said. "I think overall the studio's excited about it. I think back to the days when Miami Vice was on Friday nights and was kind of the only show on Friday nights and blossomed in the slot. Before then it was a death slot."
Bakula's main faith in the timeslot lies in the loyalty of Enterprise fans. "From what I know about our fans they'll follow us anywhere," he said. "They're extremely loyal and, as evidenced by UPN's erratic scheduling, they've gotten very good at finding us after five or six weeks sometimes, go by. So the big demand in the fall will be [to] come find us on Fridays! We're counting on it! And because it's a new night for UPN, we have an opportunity to break that night out for UPN and for ourselves."
The fans' support of the show was crucial in bringing Enterprise back for a fourth season, Bakula noted. "The help that we've gotten from SaveEnterprise, the faxing the e-mailing, the letter-writing, all of that stuff that people have contributed, the positive response we've felt all year on the Internet, the USA Today poll, the positive response we've felt all season from the fans and the press, for the most part, helped sway the network and largely contributed to our fourth season," he said. "So I can't say thank you enough to everyone for supporting us this year."
Bakula told fans he had heard about the renewal before the news was officially released, but that he wasn't confident of it until the day UPN had their upfront previews. "I got a call from Garry Hart [President, Paramount Television Production] in New York, on the sly, and he said I couldn't tell anybody. And I didn't. But it looked like we were coming back. But knowing this business as I do, I still didn't count on it until Thursday [May 20]," Bakula revealed.
Bakula fielded some questions about the current season of Enterprise, including one about a rumored alternate ending filmed for the finale in case the show wasn't picked up. Bakula quickly dispelled those rumors. "I hate to break the news to everyone and all of the conspiracy theorists out there, but we only shot one ending," he said.
The fans had all sorts of theories on what they wanted to see from the show next season, even including a more musical Archer. When one fan suggested that the captain might serenade his beagle, Bakula warmed to the notion. "I think that Archer singing to Porthos and Porthos singing to Archer is not a bad idea," Bakula commented. "He could howl and I could howl back."
Are Bakula and his four-legged co-star close? Not terribly, according to Bakula. " Porthos is a professional, well-trained canine who, while he is--and I use the term "he" loosely--friendly on the set, he tends to hang out with the other dogs in his van between scenes," Bakula noted of his fellow castmate.
The actor did express enthusiasm over the direction his character took this year. He liked how Archer's situation forced him into making some tough decisions he might not have otherwise made. "[I]t's been a great season for Archer," he said. "And as an actor I had to make a lot of interesting, careful choices about a lot of the events that happened and I think it's only natural that, when a human is forced to go against their nature, that they're going to be repercussions. I kind of liken it to war veterans and how they come out of it and how they integrate back into society, into their roles that they were assuming before they went into war. So for me the stage is laid for another season of character exploration and discovery that I hope will be interesting to everyone."
To read Bakula's comments on everything from Quantum Leap to water polo, please read the chat transcript at StarTrek.com!