Thursday, June 22, 2017

NBC Renewed 'Taken' But Season 2 Is Dropping 6 of the 8 Series Regulars

If you starred in "Taken" Season 1, NBC will find you, and they will probably fire you.

The networked turned Liam Neeson's "Taken" films into a TV series origin story, with the 2017 Season 1 ranging in viewers from 7.45 million (1.6/6 rating/share) for the premiere to around 4.40 million (0.8/3 rating/share) for the Episode 10 finale, despite a cushy spot following "The Voice."

It was a bit of a surprise to see the show renewed for Season 2, but TVLine just reported that it'll basically be a fresh start with only two series regulars returning -- Clive Standen (a younger Bryan Mills, Neeson's movie character) and Jennifer Beals (Christina Hart).

There were eight series regulars in Season 1. That means, TVLine reports, that these SIX stars are leaving:

  • Gaius Charles (John)
  • Brooklyn Sudano (Asha)
  • Monique Gabriela Curnen (Vlasik)
  • Michael Irby (Scott)
  • Jose Pablo Cantillo (Dave)
  • James Landry H├ębert (Rem)

Some fans asked about Jennifer Marsala (Riley), but she's one of the "recurring" stars, which isn't always tied to screen time, it's a contract thing. It's not yet clear if she or fellow Season 1 recurring stars Simu Liu (Faaron) and Ali Kazmi (Marzoki) will return.

"Taken" just got a new showrunner in Greg Plageman ("Person of Interest"), which was probably a hint to the cast that big changes were coming, and the 16 episodes were moved from fall to midseason. Insiders told TVLine that Plageman has a new creative vision for Season 2. But it remains to be seen if 1) the loyal fans who stuck with Season 1 will want to return for this changed show and 2) the "new vision" can attract some desperately needed new viewers.

We'll see what happens when "Taken" Season 2 arrives on NBC midseason 2018. Brainstorm: Pay Liam Neeson whatever you were paying those six actors combined and get him to at least book a cameo.

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