The TNT heist show Leverage came back from hiatus this week, and Star Trek Voyager’s Jeri Ryan became the latest Star Trek alumni to join in, but this time for a recurring role. Jeri participated in a conference call to talk about the show and we have some of her comments about it (and Trek below). Plus today TNT announced they have ordered a second season of Scott Bakula’s new show, Men of a Certain Age.
Jeri Ryan talks Leverage, Trek and more
The TNT heist show Leverage starring an ensemble cast headed by Timothy Hutton has seen guest spots from Trek alums Armin Shimerman, Brent Spiner and Wil Wheaton, and even a cameo from Jonathan Frakes (who has directed a few episodes). But Jeri Ryan is now coming on board as a recurring character, starting with last night’s episode "The Runway Job". The impetus to bring Jeri on stemmed from the show needing a replacement for Gina Bellman who is pregnant. Jeri plays Tara who is a "a bare-knuckled, street-wise grifter who lands in the seedy world of crime when she does a favor for the Leverage family."
Here are some excerpts from her conference call promoting her joining Leverage:
Ryan on her character and the show:
… the way they pitched this character to me I loved everything about her. She sounded like so much fun. The episodes that I had seen of the show were great. I love the tone of it. I love, you know, that it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
And it’s a very different character than anything that I’ve really gotten to play before. So it was pretty exciting.
she’s a great skin to inhabit. I really enjoyed playing Tara.
I’ve got to admit she’s a lot more adventurous than I am. The most adventurous thing I’ve ever done – I guess it’s not that adventurous by most people’s standards but I’ve cooked in a restaurant kitchen during service behind the line during dinner.
Jeri Ryan with Timoth Hutton on TNT’s “Leverage”
On joining Leverage and fitting in with the cast (drawing connection to Voyager):
…I’m used to being the new kid because I’m – I joke that I’m the designated pinch hitter for TV series because Shark is the only show that I’ve ever been with from the very beginning, from the pilot.
My first series was Dark Sky that was added in the middle of that season. Boston Public I was added Season 2, Star Trek Season 4. So this was, you know, it’s nothing new for me to walk in, in the middle of a thing. But this is such a great group of people.
They’re so warm and funny and just a bunch of goof balls. And so it’s amazing that we actually got anything accomplished ever because all we did was sit around and laugh at each other.
Jeri on if she will return to sci-fi
Yeah. I think there’s a chance you’ll see me do Sci-Fi.
Jeri Ryan on TNT’s “Leverage”
Leverage airs Wednesday at 10 PM. Below is a preview of Jeri in next week’s episode "The Bottle Job" (airing January 20th on TNT), which also happens to be directed by TNG’s Jonathan Frakes. More info and video at the official TNT Leverage site.
Bakula’s Men of A Certain Age Gets Another Season
Today TNT also announced that Men of a Certain Age, the show about three friends played by Scott Bakula, Ray Romano and Andre Braugher, has been picked up for a second season. According to TNT, Men of a Certain Age averaged 4.4 million viewers in its first five episodes. The show’s Dec. 7 premiere ranked as ad-supported cable’s top new series launch of 2009 among households and adults 25-54. Men of a Certain Age airs on Mondays at 10 PM on TNT, here is the preview for the next episode, "Father’s Fraternity" airing Monday January 25th.