Today we have three of television’s finest female actors at three very different stages in their careers. Constantly poised to break out beyond her current cult stardom, Summer Glau has nabbed the lead role in the pilot for NBC’s superhero hourlong, The Cape. Over on ABC, the outspoken Katherine Heigl has already gotten her big break, and so is eager to abandon her post on the hit medical drama Grey’s Anatomy to pursue her blossoming film career. Meanwhile, internet darling Betty White continues to enjoy a recent resurgence in the twilight of her career, earning a role in the season finale of family sitcom The Middle.
Details on each item after the break:
After roles in sci-fi series Firefly and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (not to mention a guest arc on Dollhouse), Glau has caught the eye of many a geek. Although none of the aforementioned series ever got further than a second season, Summer Glau will make a go of it one more time in yet another series friendly to fans of comic book fare with The Cape. The Simon West-directed pilot follows a former police officer (David Lyons) who creates a masked alter-ego, the Cape, to clear his besmirched name. According to THR, “Glau will play Orwell, a cute and intrepid investigative blogger who fearlessly goes after corrupt cops and costumed bad guys”, making sure to add, “And yes, she gets physical and is quite capable of kicking ass.” Sounds like it would go great on Mondays with Chuck in the event that Heroes is cancelled (God willing).
Katherine Heigl, on the other hand, has no use for television anymore, much less the hassle of pilot season. After her last three films–Knocked Up, 27 Dresses, and The Ugly Truth–all inspired respectable ticket sales, Heigl has outgrown her role as Dr. Izzie Stevens on the Grey’s Anatomy, the high profile show that incidentally enabled her such a film career. Though still a regular cast member in theory, Heigl has taken two leaves of absence this season: one allowed her to shoot Killers with Ashton Kutcher, the other allotted bonding time with her recently adopted daughter. All in all, she’s only appeared in 7 of the 17 hours that have aired in this sixth season. Heigl was supposed to return to the set on March 1 to film the season’s final five episodes . . . but then didn’t. According to EW, it seems that Heigl and ABC have decided to part ways a bit earlier than expected, and her effective farewell has already aired.
Heigl has often been embroiled in controversy on the Grey’s set. In 2007, she was the most vocal supporter of her friend TR Knight, when cast member Isaiah Washington referred to the then-closeted Knight with a homophobic slur. In 2008, following an Emmy win the prior season, she removed herself from the supporting actress category because she “did not feel I was given the material . . . to warrant a nomination,” a remark which surely offended the Grey’s writing staff. Prior to the start of this season, she groused to David Letterman, “Our first day back was Wednesday, and it was-I’m going to keep saying this because I hope it embarrasses them-a 17-hour day, which I think is cruel and mean”; yet, rumor has it that the grueling schedule was planned to accommodate her Killers shoot. In other words, the parting has been a long time coming, and may not be so amicable.
In lighter news, Betty White will continue to dazzle after four decades on the airwaves, as, according to an ABC press release (via TV By The Numbers), White will play a “school librarian” on the season finale of The Middle. This news comes on the heels of the announcement that, per Facebook demand, White will indeed host the Mother’s Day-themed episode of Saturday Night Live on May 8th. Her wholesome charm will never cease to be endearing, and I hope she continues to get paid for its display well into her nineties and beyond.