Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Fall TV Preview

Seasonal Star Turns

He's Turning Back The Dial To Tv's Golden Age

September 05, 2004|Elizabeth Jensen

This year, actor Richard Dreyfuss has jammed his schedule with Broadway (starring in "Sly Fox"), London's West End ("The Producers") and John Sayles' forthcoming film ("Silver City"). To that heady mix, he managed to add a dual role for a labor of love, a "PBS Hollywood Presents" production called "Cop Shop."

Produced by Los Angeles public station KCET, "Cop Shop" is an unusual project for public television: It's an original drama about the personal lives of New York City police officers. Dreyfuss, 56, stars opposite Rosie Perez in one of two 45-minute episodes, called "Blind Date," playing a cop on his first sober visit to a brothel.

The project originated at cable's A&E but was orphaned when that network moved away from original drama. When PBS expressed interest, Dreyfuss not only agreed to act in an episode but also took on an executive producer role for what the backers hope will become a regular series. The first two episodes air Oct. 6; in addition to "Blind Date" there is an episode called "Fear," starring Blair Brown.

Dreyfuss was drawn to the project's format of tightly scripted stories filmed "live to tape" in a single 45-minute sweep (each episode was taped three times and the best version was chosen). The format hearkens to the earliest days of live television, giving the actors an experience closer to stage acting and -- by limiting them to a narrative that unfolds without a break and in a single location -- lets the writers explore the characters with depth and intimacy, he says.

As an actor, he adds, filming the episode was "thrilling," with the several dozen people in the room all "holding their breath.... It was like a great tennis match, and when it was over, we were 3 feet off the ground."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|