Part of “Old Info And News”
SIGNIFICANT’ MOVES: “Party of Five” creators Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman have set Scott Bairstow, Eion Bailey, Jennifer Garner, Michael Weatherly and Elizabeth Mitchell as the stars of “Significant Others,” their new series creation produced by Columbia TriStar for the Fox Network.
The ensemble drama, which has a six-episode commitment, begins shooting Dec. 4. Fox will launch it in March.
The best known in the young cast is Bairstow, who starred in the Warner Bros. film “Wild America” and the “Lonesome Dove” syndie series. He will play one-third of a triangle of best friends, with two guys carrying a torch for their galpal. The other sides of the triangle are played by Bailey and Garner (she co-starred in the indie “Washington Square” and will be seen in the Woody Allen-directed “Deconstructing Harry”).
Weatherly, who just finished Whit Stillman’s “The Last Days of Disco,” plays Bailey’s brother, who in the pilot spontaneously marries Mitchell, the ex-girlfriend of his brother.
The series might be called “Twentysomething,” in that it explores the angst that goes into career and romantic decisionmaking of characters at the formative age of 24 — a time that Keyser described as “just past the period in which you can make mistakes without paying the price.”
Decisions at that age, he said, determine who you will be at 30; getting the characters to that age, he added, would also mean the show lasted the six seasons needed for syndication.
Rather than cast a crop of big stars, Keyser and Lippman hope to replicate the success of the “Party of Five” cast, several of whom have burgeoning movie careers. After wondering week to week the last two seasons whether the “Party” would crash because of low ratings, the two creators have a bonafide critical and ratings hit. Still, they said they were surprised to find their second series creation pursued not only by Fox, but also NBC and ABC.
“Fox had made such a commitment to our work that it felt right to place the series there,” said Lippman, who teamed with Keyser at Harvard and wrote together on “L.A. Law” and “Sisters.”
“When we aired on Mondays, I used to wake up the morning after the show and call in for the ratings, and walk away saying, ‘Those are numbers that get you canceled,’ ” said Lippman. A move to Wednesday and a Golden Globe Award later, the ratings have more than doubled.