NBC is looking to have a better fall season than it did a year ago. The network launched six new shows and only one, “Blindspot,” survived.
The series stars Jaimie Alexander as a woman with no memory but a body covered in tattoos that are clues to crimes. It returned Wednesday, Sept. 14, for a second season. The opener offers some answers to many of the major mysteries from the first year, including the real name of the character played by Alexander.
Of course, the way this show twists and turns, this new name could just be another false story.
Joining the cast this season is Archie Panjabi, who plays a government agent with the NSA who becomes involved in the mystery because of national security concerns. You’ll remember Panjabi from her time on “The Good Wife.” Since that series, she has appeared in the disaster film “San Andreas” and was a guest star on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
As for becoming part of the NBC action series, Panjabi says, “I’ve always loved to do stuff that is completely out of my comfort zone, and I have always wanted to do an action-based TV show.
“So when the inquiry came in for ‘Blindspot,’ my first reaction was, ‘Oh, gosh. I would be terrified to do something like that,’ which is why I finally decided I wanted to do it.”
It’s no shock that on a show known for its secrets, the actor can’t talk too much about her character. She will only say the role she’s playing is a woman who is tough, tenacious and unpredictable.
Panjabi even protects a secret from her time on “The Good Wife.” Because of a purported feud with series star Julianna Margulies, their final scene together was shot using a green screen. It was a way of putting them together on screen without them having to work together.
Asked about that scene, Panjabi dances around the topic to say, “I loved playing the role of Kalinda. I had such a great time on it. It’s something that’s very special to me. I’m so thrilled to be on another show.
“In terms of anything that happened on ‘The Good Wife,’ I think it’s only respectful for it to stay on ‘The Good Wife.’ It was time for me, for many reasons, to unzip the boots and step onto another show. What I can tell you for those of who you miss the boots, I do wear a pair of knee-high boots on ‘Blindspot.’ ”
The devil made them do it
The Fox midseason series “Lucifer” had enough devilish effect on the ratings that the comic book-based series returns for a second season tonight. The story of a bored Lucifer (Tom Ellis) who has given up his job of supervising hell to walk among mortals gets an additional cast member as Tricia Helfer will play Lucifer’s mother.
Helfer has appeared in a variety of shows, but science fiction fans know her best for the reimagined “Battlestar Galactica.”
The fact that Helfer is only four years older than Ellis wasn’t a problem for the producers. Her character doesn’t arrive in a body but only as a soul in search of a vessel, and that meant she could be older, younger or even the same age as her sons (D.B. Woodside plays Amenadiel, Lucifer’s brother).
“Finding that common ground and finding how to be their motherly figure with all that’s going on and in their thousands of years of history, it’s been a lot of fun. She’s a layered character,” Helfer says.
Executive producer Joe Henderson jokes that Helfer’s “not a bad body to slum in.” He adds that they needed to find an actress who could be both be the mother of angels and also be a legitimate threat to them.
Ellis was happy when he heard Helfer was going to play his mom.
“I was a huge ‘Battlestar’ fan. It is a bit weird that I used to have a crush on my mom. But it sort of plays into the conceit of our second season,” Ellis says. “My mom hasn’t always looked like this, so you imagine how uncomfortable that makes her two sons.
“The dynamic that Tricia brings with mom has really elevated the show to a new place.”
The “Art” of more: Season 2 of the Crackle scripted drama, “The Art of More,” will premiere Wednesday, Nov. 16. Returning for the new season are stars Dennis Quaid, Kate Bosworth, Cary Elwes and Christian Cooke.
Keep the fire going: Fox has ordered 17th and 18th seasons of the Gordon Ramsay culinary competition series “Hell’s Kitchen.” In the cooking series, aspiring restaurateurs are put through an intense culinary academy to prove they have the endurance and skill to win a grand prize.