Scott Bakula: Is He In Or Out?

By Christian
April 26, 2001 - 11:58 PM

Earlier this week, trade newspaper Variety reported that Paramount was planning to officially announce the next Star Trek series, Enterprise, this week. Today, the status of the series became a lot more unclear, as its rumoured main star was said to have entered into negotiations for another series.

In today's issue of the Daily Variety, senior columnist Army Archerd reported that Scott Bakula had gone in talks on Wednesday for the CBS pilot 'Late Boomers.' This comedy series was originally supposed to be headed by Burt Reynolds, but he reportedly stormed off the set on Sunday, leaving the producers with the task of quickly finding a replacement.

If Bakula indeed went into talks yesterday to replace Reynolds, this would seem to indicate that his negotiations for the role of Captain Jackson Archer on Enterprise fell through. However, it is unknown whether this news is actually true. Certainly 47-year old Bakula is a completely different person than the 65-year old Reynolds, so it is hard to see how Bakula would immediately be able to be hired on 'Late Boomers' without an extensive retooling of the character.

While this one report from Variety suggested that Bakula was no longer in the running for the part, other sources today reported the exact opposite, suggesting that the actor has in fact been able to land the Series V lead role.

Industry trade magazine Broadcasting & Cable, which originally revealed the Enterprise name, reported that Bakula has been "cast as [the] Enterprise skipper," and said the actor was in final negotations with Paramount. The paper's sources said that executives at UPN have been wanting to announce the new series for months now, and that the actual announcement could be expected by the end of this week.

This was confirmed by television executive subscription service TV Tracker, which updated its listing for Enterprise Tuesday. The site said that Paramount was still in negotiations with Bakula for the role, which it was now referring to as Jeffrey Archer. The original casting sheet referred to the character as Jackson Archer, but it is of course possible that he underwent a slight name change.

Whether an announcement on the new series actually arrives tomorrow or not, the recent wave of mainstream news reports on Series V does suggest that Paramount is preparing to make an announcement. In all likelihood, the studio is waiting until a deal with Bakula (or a possible other actor) has been completely finalised, thereby avoiding what occured with Star Trek: Voyager. For that series, Genevieve Bujold was originally cast as Kathryn Janeway, only to be replaced by Kate Mulgrew while filming had already started.

If Bakula is indeed in talks for another series, this would be very bad news for Paramount. Recently, the studio already renewed its casting call for the character of T'Pau (story), suggesting that casting for that part also wasn't going smoothly. With less than two weeks left before the reported start of filming, it is becoming increasingly important for Paramount to finalise the Series V cast.

Paramount and UPN have so far steadfastly refused to comment on any questions regarding Bakula's involvement with Enterprise, or even on any questions regarding the series itself. However, the official Star Trek site reported a few days ago that the official announcement was now only a few weeks away.

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