Hollywood Notebook: ‘Bosch’ finds home on Amazon Prime; Neil Flynn likes being in a family way

Titus Welliver stars in the Amazon Prime series “Bosch.”
Titus Welliver stars in the Amazon Prime series “Bosch.” Amazon Prime

The number of ways to stream quality programming continued to grow with the launch of the second season of “Bosch” on March 11 on Amazon Prime Video. Titus Welliver, whom you might recognize from “Lost,” returns to the lead role based on the novels by crime/detective novelist Michael Connelly.

Los Angeles Police Detective Harry Bosch investigates high-profile homicides while also facing many of his own demons. A dead body found in the trunk of a car on Mulholland Drive appears to have a mob connection and leads Bosch and his investigation to Las Vegas.

Welliver was well aware of the quintessential antihero character before the casting process, having read one of Connelly’s books years ago. He became even more impressed with the character as he read the script.

“It was a beautifully crafted script. I couldn’t write a better character for myself,” Welliver says during an interview at the Television Critics Association meetings. “(Bosch) has tremendous depth, and he’s flawed, and he’s very, very human. And so it’s not just this sort of ridiculously, overly heroic character, although what he does is very heroic.

“He’s human. He’s afraid. He’s damaged. But that’s what makes him interesting. That’s what makes him, I think to the audience, very attainable because he’s not just this guy with a white hat who comes crashing through the door and drives a Porsche and wears Brioni suits.”

The trick for Connelly, who also is one of the show’s executive producers, was finding a way in the first season to take a character who reveals little about himself and make him relatable to the audience. Now that the character has been established, the second season will be more about telling good stories.

That will mean integrating more of Bosch’s family and partner into the storylines.

Expanding the approach isn’t completely on Welliver’s shoulders. The series also stars Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino, Sarah Clarke, Madison Lintz, Lance Reddick and Jeri Ryan.

Connelly’s books were optioned by Paramount when they were first published in the 1990s. The writer is not upset the movie studio never made his books into films because he has seen TV change, especially with the advent of streaming services such as Amazon.

Fellow executive producer Henrik Bastin agrees with Connelly that the Bosch stories work better where they can be played out over multiple episodes in a dark and gritty way.

“Michael’s books are page-turners. I think we have tried to replicate that,” Bastin says. “When you sit down, you’re going to say to yourself, ‘I’m done after three episodes,’ and then you go like, just one more. That’s what we try to accomplish.”

Growing up with show

Neil Flynn tries to slip quietly out of an ABC party for TV critics. Even in the crush of people, it’s hard for “The Middle” star to slip away, mainly because he’s 6-foot-5.

Before he can get to the door, though, Flynn stops to talk about his ABC comedy, which has been going strong since 2009. Because the show about an average middle America family with three children has been on the air for so many years, the once-young actors have grown up in it.

Flynn, who plays the father, says he has watched the storylines evolve “very naturally.”

“It turns out that with young people, each year that passes, there are significant milestones set into their lives. Those are getting their driver’s license, prom, graduation, college, first loves,” Flynn says. “Those things unfold in almost all of our lives.

“You would think it would be hard to follow a show that strongly features minor-aged characters. The writers have a challenge, but I think it has worked out very well.”

When “The Middle” started, the Heck children – Axl (Charlie McDermott), Sue (Eden Sher) and Brick (Atticus Shaffer) – were all living under one chaotic roof. In the current season, Axl and Sue are away at college.

Despite being at school, the older Heck children are at home enough to keep the family dynamic going. Flynn laughs and says that if you look a little too closely, some of the ways of getting them home are a little unrealistic. But “The Middle” is not a documentary.

“We all know there isn’t a show if the family isn’t all together,” Flynn says.

Other news

Animated effort: Production has started on “Big Hero 6,” an animated television series for kids, ’tweens and families based on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award-winning feature film. The series will debut in 2017 on Disney XD.

Joining the dance: “Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland has joined the cast of the ABC production of “Dirty Dancing.” She’s been cast as Lisa Houseman, Baby’s older, extroverted sister who spends summer vacation with her affluent family at an early 1960s Catskill Mountains resort and falls for Robbie, a womanizing waiter.

Just keeps going: CBS has renewed “NCIS” for two more seasons, noting that series star and executive producer Mark Harmon has signed a new two-year deal.

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1