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Monday, July 16, 2007

Hey..I Know It's Innocuous....But it IS a Sci-Fi matter involving Isaiah Washington

If I haven't mentioned this before, I am not a big Isaiah Washington fan. This is purely based on the behavior he allegedly exhibited during his time on Grey's Anatomy. I always thought that he was a more than competent thespian and perhaps a successor to Denzel, especially if you have seen his performance in Spike Lee's Get On the Bus. But how do you screw up a gig that pays high six figures per episode and is destined for the real cash cow-syndication. Black men that fall for the okey-doke, emote, implode and then fall on the racial excuse sword are not to be exalted. Nevertheless, his potential coup in obtaining a spot on the highly anticipated remake of the Bionic Woman franchise may be a vindication of sorts-if he doesn't screw that up. Here's an excerpt from USA Today:

Washington, 43, was fired last month from the hit medical drama after on-set conflicts including use of an anti-gay slur, which later was connected to co-star T.R. Knight. Washington initially denied missteps, then apologized and underwent counseling at ABC's insistence.

But in subsequent interviews after his firing, he said racism might have been a factor and accused Knight of manipulating the controversy.

Katherine Pope, president of NBC's Universal Media Studios, says that despite the public baggage, Washington is "a brilliant actor," and she believes viewers will re-embrace him. "I think people watch characters on TV, not personalities" in the news, she says.

Washington won critical praise for his role as Dr. Preston Burke, who was written out of Grey's at the end of its third season in May, when he walked out on Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) moments before their planned wedding.

On Bionic, he'll play an outsider with a mysterious agenda who is introduced early in the series and may either help the superpowered Jamie (Michelle Ryan, in the role first played by Lindsay Wagner) or take her down.

Washington has signed on for at least five episodes of the new drama, considered NBC's strongest shot this fall, in a crop developed by former entertainment president Kevin Reilly, who has since moved to the same post at Fox.

The Washington deal marks the first stamp of new NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman, who also is an executive producer of The Office and Ugly Betty.

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