EVERWOOD Alum Moves to Africa

The TV Addict has just learned* that everybody’s favorite neighbor β€” Stephanie Niznik (Nina Feeny on EVERWOOD) has just replaced actress Judith Hoag in the CW’s fall pilot LIFE IS WILD. Not only does this casting change re-categorize LIFE IS WILD as a must watch, it sets up one really awkward situation. Is anyone else picturing what it would be like when Andy Brown’s ex-girlfriend (Dr. Linda Abbott) and current one cross paths in Africa? My money’s on Nina.

Thanks to loyal (and brilliant) reader Common Sense for the Tip!

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  • John

    I am happy for Stephanie Niznik and this does increase my interest in the show.

    Related to your earlier post about the casting merry-go-round, are the recastings happening more this year than prior years, or are we just hearing more about it because more people (but not I) see the pilots than in the past?

  • John, It’s funny you asked that question, because I was thinking the exact same thing this morning. I think our knowledge of everything TV has been heightened dramatically as a result of all the web sites, blogs, fan sites desperate for news.

    While I’m not 100% sure, I’m would guess that casting changes this season are on par with previous seasons. Only now they’re being reported far more often.

  • My two cents πŸ™‚ I think it has a lot to do with TV not having a summer vacation anymore. Less than five years ago a tv journalist/blogger could basically put up a post and say “see you in the fall”. Now there is just as much happening in the summer that TV coverage is 24×7 365 days a year. The coverage spills over into the new fall shows because people and their “tv minds” aren’t on summer break and they want to be fed more and more info.

    This year unlike any year in the past the new shows are going to be judged WAY before they ever air. Biggest reason, as I see it, is that the top tv watchers probably have a Tivo or a DVR and no matter how many good shows are on they still can typically only record two hours at a time. So the process starts really early picking your lineup. The problem from the networks is the shows aren’t ready, the casts aren’t set but viewers want to know what to watch NOW. They want to gear up to set their season pass and plan around TV their lives but networks are hesitant to put too much of their new non finished projects out there.

    The shows and the series that get the best content out their the earliest will have a much better chance of attracting viewers. The days of here is our new fall lineup and come watch in September are OVER. With blogs, tv sites and youtube people will decide their lineup prior to September and even scarier prior to even seeing most series. The result is unlike any other time in TV history we have shows that people dont feel comfortable jumping into if they aren’t there to start. It’s going to be limited to the rare exception these days to find a series that builds a fan bases slowly. Too many shows have serialized elements and you’ll get the “I wasn’t there when it started”.

    Here’s a quote from Ben Silverman ( new big whig at NBC ) β€œI hate the blog world. … It ends up interfering with people’s lives”

    I feel that the networks are slowly coming around to bloggers although there is a definite faction in the TV community that still views the word blog as a bad word. It’s the quickest medium to get information out to the masses and it’s being underutilized. Far too many network execs will say that someone who signs up on blogger today is a blogger and that someone like Daniel (tvAddict) is a blogger and we don’t deal with bloggers. They need to dig deeper and realize a lot of people like the tvaddict are using the medium of a blog to relay their take on TV and in my mind opinion are not “bloggers”.

  • shanna

    Good assessment. I see it as a great thing because it means that viewers are definitely wielding a bt more control and it illustrates just how outdated things like Nielsen ratings are. And it gives the Internet savvy a leg up. In the same respect until Internet is a widely distributed as it can be, there’s potential for the bloggers, etc. to become the ONLY source of audience participation and that would still leave a great many people out of the loop like the Nielsens.

    I, too, wonder if there’s always this many changes. I’ve only ever heard about character changes in the wake of a show becoming popular, like Alyssa Milano not being in the original pilot of Charmed, so it does seem extreme to me, especially for the CW which has already been running detailed promos for a lot of their new shows which are now having casting changes.

  • shanna– I think the changes coming fast and furious are the result of two things. They have a HUGE focus group with the blogs they do send out pilots to as well as their internal focus groups they run. Plus the internet with the tv site and youtube people are commenting on new shows. When they see patterns about a character or person in a cast they react. It all allows them to get a broader range of feedback much faster. That ties in with what I said about no margin for error. They screen these series and compile the feedback and say “what do we need to do to make this work RIGHT NOW”. Again they don’t have the luxury of a season or two to let the characters develop.

    CBS’s Moonlight was slow and not very hip. They bring in a top showrunner and totally recast and it’s a different show. Same thing happened last year with Rules of Engagement. The pilot lost 3 main cast members to what you see now…

    Still think it’s always been there just that it’s “news” now because something has to be since sites are 365 24×7 now.

  • Common Sense

    If networks are so “in tuned” with monitoring discussions on the internet, how on earth did we wind up with an 11th year of 7th Heaven—and no Everwood?? Outrage was nearly universal. Perhaps someone at The CW really NEEDS to begin listening to what fans are saying on the web. People said they wouldn’t watch Runaway…and they didn’t. They wouldn’t watch the Camdens…and they didn’t. (Conversely, the Veronica Mars vocal minority came out of the woodwork to get the show renewed, but, alas, it never had a solid enough base to grow from. Unlike Everwood, which had multi-generational appeal and many stories yet to tell.)

  • Common Sense β€” your love of EVERWOOD and bitterness towards 7TH HEAVEN never ceases to entertain me πŸ™‚ Dawn Ostroff, we’ll never forget!