I Spied Alias Without Jennifer Garner: It happened during an interview with Rachel Nichols a couple of weeks ago, before the cancellation was announced. I saw the future of Alias. And it worried me.
When asked what's ahead for the show, considering Jennifer Garner's impending motherhood, Rachel replied: "She's going to do every episode this season. And contrary to popular belief, she'll even probably be back for some episodes next season...And if [the show] goes on for another couple of seasons, I'd like to think that I will be here and doing my part as, you know, Jennifer moves off. Who knows, maybe in a couple of years I may be the pregnant one that's like, 'All right, time for someone new to come in! I'm leaving!' "
Sure sounds like producers may have been considering continuing the show with less Jen and more Rachel, no? A source on set confirmed it was so--that although Jen had already signed for season six, clearly, she'd need a bit more time for her new Garfleck bundle of joy, who has the cutest name ever, Violet. (Those 18-hour days aren't so conducive to motherhood.)
A week later, precisely two days before Alias was canceled, I ran into ABC President Steve McPherson at an event and, of course, pounced at the chance to ask, "Is this Alias' last season? Is it going to continue without Jennifer Garner?" He responded that he didn't "see it continuing without Jennifer Garner...Alias is Jennifer Garner."
I found myself surprisingly, strangely relieved. (God, I feel blasphemous for saying that--stay with me.) Not because I don't adore Alias and Rachel Nichols (she's one of the best young talents anywhere today), but because I'd rather see her in a spinoff than carrying the torch of a show that's already morphed into something else so many times.
Don't get me wrong, Alias is still one of the best shows ever to air on television. Even at its worst, it's still better than 99 percent of the felgercarb on the air. But for some of we die-hard Aliasaholics who've loved the show since its inception, the farther it gets from the original concept in the pilot, the more we can't help but ache a little for the Alias of yesterseason. Will, Francie, Sark, Vaughn, "the Man" turned Spy Mommy, "Joey's Pizza." (Sigh.) Anyone else feel the same? If so, therein lies the glittering silver lining.
Alias Reunion! That's what it's certainly sounding like the big series finale in May could be. Sources tell me producers are hoping for a full two-hour blowout, in which they would bring back many of the former goodies and baddies we've loved and lost: Irina (Lena Olin), Will (Bradley Cooper), Francie (Merrin Dungey), Anna Espinosa (Gina Torres), Katya (Isabella Rossellini), etc. The list goes on and on and might even include a certain someone who may or may not have been shot repeatedly in the chest.
Do you hear that? It's the sound of my mind exploding. (As our beloved Marshal would say.)
Of course, all this depends on the actors' availability. Some are doing plays, like Bradley, with Julia Roberts on Broadway, and others, movies, but I can't imagine they wouldn't drop everything to take part. Oh, and by the way, a certain baddie already has vowed to do so...
Sark Is Back This Wednesday! Don't forget, Alias is moving to Wednesdays at 10 p.m. this week. You do not want to miss this episode, for it's the triumphant return of Alias' best baddie, Sark, aka David Anders.
"He's American for most of the episode," David says of his British biscuit of a character. "The episode's called 'Bob,' and it refers to Sark's alias on a mission to Brazil. He meets Ms. Nichols-Ms. Gibson, and she was doing an English alias, so it's a whole flip-flop thing we're doin'. It's very fun."
Speaking of flip-flopping, he'll be doing precisely that between the sheets with at least one female on the show this season. As I mentioned before, he'll be scantily clad, but (brace yourself for the bad news) apparently he won't be sporting that flesh-colored c--k sock. "That ended up not goin' down," David says. "I mean, I was willing to see how it worked and to see how comfortable I was, but I'm just gonna be in my undies. I don't know, maybe you'll see my backside, in my Calvin Kleins. [Laughs.]"
Meanwhile, David has been keeping busy in the movie world, having just wrapped a film called Circadian Rhythm, another with Monica Keenan called Left of Darkness and a short treatment of a film that's headed for Sundance, in which he plays a schizophrenic whose alter ego is a woman.
And good news. He's expected to stay on Alias for a handful of episodes this season and says he hopes to be asked back for the big finale. "I have no idea, but I would think they'd bring back all the old familiar faces, everyone just crawlin' out of the grave. Rambaldi elixir for all. Just a big Rambaldi party, with the baby!"
He's also pitching a spinoff for Sark. "I've got three executives already on board and three writers. Sark buys a bar, and the show changes to a half-hour format, sitcom-style. The old gang shows up every so often. You know, Sloane, Will, Diane, Norm. We'll turn the whole genre on its head."
Clearly, he's kidding. And regardless, David will have his own fantastic legacy. "I just found out 'Sark' is now the word for, um, sex or hookin' up in the writers' room," he says with a laugh. "As in, 'Dude, did you Sark her?' 'Cause Sark's carnal relations are not gonna end with Rachel. I'll tell you that."
Sark, yeah, mother-Sarker!