NBC Passes on '17th Precinct': A Fandom Mourns - Jamie Bamber News
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NBC Passes on '17th Precinct': A Fandom Mourns
My feelings regarding NBC right now? See icon. Fitting it's Tricia.

Earlier this week, NBC began announcing pickups for the 2011-2012 season. While it didn't look good for 17th Precinct, it wasn't until last night, when NBC announced it was ordering Grimm to series, that 17th Precinct's fate was all but sealed. The Hollywood Reporter even stated it came down to one "fantastical drama" or the other. And today, via tweets from the cast and crew, it became official:

@Dennydenn: @JamieBamberNews that it was. And if true that it's not on, very sad. I was there every day and it was amazing watching them create 17thP :(

@17thPrecinct: No love from NBC. Thanks to all the #17thPrecinct fans for all your support! Don't worry, we'll be back with another fabulous project s...

@craiganderl: Very sorry to see you go 17th Precinct...

@trutriciahelfer: Yup, it's official folks. NBC passed on #17thPrecinct.

While many of the major media outlets didn't lament the demise of 17th Precinct as we do, I appreciated what News In Film had to say:

Unfortunately, NBC missed the potential appeal of “17th Precinct,” which had an expertly written pilot and was shaping up to be a “Battlestar Galactica” reunion with Tricia Helfer, James Callis and Jamie Bamber. It was a police procedural set in a world of magic, prophesies and necromancy. Perhaps NBC had it’s new cop shows for the season, but “Precinct” is infinitely more interesting than “Prime Suspect.”

While the pilot did not test well, given the superior casting and buzz generated online (Grimm has had little to none), NBC should have given 17th Precinct, imho, a shot. But as much as I'm disappointed we won't see this series, I'm equally bummed we'll never see the pilot. Unless there is a bit of magic left and it gets leaked online.

Feel free to discuss/vent/rant in comments, but still keep it nice. ;)

ETA: Not a concern to NBC, but Vancouver, losing series to cancellation (V, Human Target, Stargate: SVU...I could go on) or calling it quits (Smallville) were hoping for a 17th Precinct pick-up. Via The Globe and Mail:

The state of the local industry will be clearer next week, when the rest of the networks announce their fall line-ups. Finn is watching particularly closely, hoping NBC picks up his 17th Precinct.

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Comments
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: May 13th, 2011 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I know I'll have a LOT more to weigh in on once the comments start rolling in, but I'm cramming to get shit done before I leave work. To start:

- My number one concern all along was the network pilot process that this show would have to endure in order to make it to air. Sadly, feels like those concerns were well validated now.

- Hey, Ron: That's twice now from two out of the major four networks. If they're just not that into you, to hell with 'em. Aim higher, dude.

Also:
Leah1069 From: Leah1069 Date: May 14th, 2011 12:24 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Guerrilla tactics are what we need to employ here!! Get this thing online and watch it go viral. There are enough BSG obsessed fans out there (myself proudly among them) that would be willing to help spread the word just like a good old fashioned propaganda war campaign. Precinctre are enough schmucks at NBC passing on 17th Precinct there are more of us willing to flood their emails and online forums with video of the pilot and plenty of strong comments ;) .

Long Live 17th Precinct!!
Leah1069 From: Leah1069 Date: May 14th, 2011 12:27 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Oops...should read..If there are enough schmucks....
scifishipper From: scifishipper Date: May 14th, 2011 12:49 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I have been so disappointed for the last twenty-four hours or so. I was very much looking forward to both the anticipation of the show and the actual show. I am very much looking forward to John Doe as the buzz from dennydenn has been wonderful. There's also the French film and some new LOUK, so I am still going to see new Jamie on my screen sometime soon.

*sigh*

I guess this is the way the business goes, but I do not like it. :( And I'm pretty sure that the many tweets I sent were not even noticed.

:(
asta77 From: asta77 Date: May 15th, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I think the tweets were noticed. As was the buzz from various media sites. At least I got that impression from someone who knows someone...you get it. ;) But it seems that NBC chose to ignore that for Grimm, which I'm assuming tested better. Of course it did. It's Grimm's fairy tales! But I won't be watching. :p
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 17th, 2011 09:27 am (UTC) (Link Me)

New and confused

Sorry I'm new and this is my first post. I, too, am sorry to hear about 17th Precinct being nixed but am confused by the comments about "media buzz". I was tracking this new show with interest, but in recent weeks all the sites, posts and "insider takes" have been discouraging and negative. The one exception is the blog/website you mention. I guess my question is: has the pilot been shown? This would seem to be the case if people knew it to be good. And if so, I MISSED IT and would like to watch it.

I also am a bit bummed that Ron Moore took this show to the networks. They are notoriously risk adverse and extremely focused on high ratings, and they also love to go with very well established actors with strong drawing power. Ron hasn't had much luck with the networks in the past so wonder why he took this gamble. SyFy and Showtime seems a better bet.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: May 17th, 2011 11:42 am (UTC) (Link Me)

Re: New and confused

The pilot was reported to have tested poorly and that is true. However, test audiences are just random groups of people and, in all likelihood, not the target audience for the show. My theory is Grimm tested better because the material is more familiar to the general public. And there have been shows that have tested extremely well and bombed and those that haven't, made it on the air, and were successful.

The only way we'll get to see the pilot is if it's leaked and available for download. The pilots for the shows picked up by the networks - as well as the pilots for those that were not - go out to the critics soon. We will, at least, be able to read reviews of the finished product. (Yes, I will post links. ;)

I can't blame Ron for his decision because if NBC picked it up and if it was a hit it would mean a lot more money to all involved. I've read some comments that have me thinking SyFy may have or will be taking a look at the pilot, but given their own production slate and that costs would need to be cut the chances of a a pickup by them is very slim.
falconer17 From: falconer17 Date: May 14th, 2011 09:46 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Nooooooooo! I'm really sad about this!
esmerelda_t From: esmerelda_t Date: May 14th, 2011 11:53 am (UTC) (Link Me)
That's interesting about Vancouver which has been such a centre for TV filming, are shows starting to film elsewhere in general now or is this just a bad luck year?

I'm mainly sad that for the first time since becoming a fan of Jamie's in 2007 I can't look forward to seeing him regularly on my TV. Hopefully he'll be able to get regular guest work in the next season.

I'm more ambivalent on the fate of 17th Precinct itself as we've so little idea of if it was good or not.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: May 15th, 2011 03:23 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I think more shows are starting to film in the US. Part of that has to do with tax incentives in various states, but the Canadian dollar is also about equal to the US dollar now, making costs about the same.

I'm confidant Jamie will be getting guest work. If he was able to get during breaks in BSG filming, it should be easier now. I still dream of him guesting on White Collar. ;)

I'm not convinced 17th Precinct would have run for years, but it would have been nice to have 13 episodes to watch and enjoy.


esmerelda_t From: esmerelda_t Date: May 15th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm crossing everything Ringer will indeed go to series and he'll get a guest spot on that!

The Walking Dead is airing here at the moment and I'm enjoying it, did we ever learn if the rumours he was a serious contender for Rick were true?
asta77 From: asta77 Date: May 15th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm crossing everything Ringer will indeed go to series and he'll get a guest spot on that!

HA! I was just thinking about that last night! ;D

I don't know if Jamie was ever in serious contention for Rick or if it was an idea generated by the fans/media. I would love to see him guest star on the TWD, but, after seeing the first season, I'm not sure he was right for Rick.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: May 16th, 2011 02:30 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I don't know if Jamie was ever in serious contention for Rick or if it was an idea generated by the fans/media.

I so wish someone would ask Jamie next time he makes a con appearance or something. ;) The one thing that makes me think it may be true is that he was mentioned in the same breath as Mark Pellegrino, who later confirmed in an interview that he was indeed up for the part.
bethpowell63 From: bethpowell63 Date: May 15th, 2011 02:58 am (UTC) (Link Me)
As much as I wanted to see Jamie every week again, my feeling is he is kind of relieved. He said in an interview he wasn't sure he really wanted to go back to commuting between Vancouver and LA and he had only agreed to this because it was Ron Moore's show. What I am hoping is that Dick Wolfe comes up with something for him that shoots in LA so he can be with his family everyday and will be really good so the networks will pick it up.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: May 15th, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I know, ideally, he wants to work *in* LA. The commute from Vancouver isn't terrible, but it's still five days a week he can't see his kids. It seems more and more shows are shooting in (or around) LA now, and I'm sure he'll be getting more work soon so he may end up getting the exact situation he desires. Maybe even with Ron again. ;)
charlsie_esq From: charlsie_esq Date: May 15th, 2011 12:46 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I hate to admit it but I am not surprised. I think about shows like White Collar, Mad Men and Damages. All amazing shows, well written, high concept, and somehow wrong for the major three networks. I don't see how either show would fit in with the stable at ABC for example, but they are great. I even wondered at one point if Jamie was unhappy on LOUK (he complained about the show not having enough money in a few interviews) and was looking for a way out. That being said (and since I live in So. Florida where leaving a job to work with one's friends is currently being hailed as the path to glory) I think moving to LA and working with Ron Moore was a powerful lure.

I'm hoping that John Doe opens the door to a lot more film work for our Jamie.


asta77 From: asta77 Date: May 15th, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I don't think Jamie was unhappy working on LOUK. I do think he was unhappy with the British TV industry as a whole and is happier working within the US industry, even with it's own set of problems, though money isn't one of them. Jamie's contract was up (as was that of all the LOUK actors) at the end of filming of the third series. I always assumed he would choose not to renew his contract (IF ITV decides to commission more series) and, when Ron approached him with 17th Precinct, it led to him asking for a early release from his contract.
charlsie_esq From: charlsie_esq Date: May 15th, 2011 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I know it's wrong of me but I blame Ron Moore for taking Matt Devlin away from me! :-)

I am comforted by the idea that he wasn't unhappy on LOUK. And I'm hoping that he gets a recurring role on something I love like White Collar, then he can stay stateside and wear yummy suits or something gritty like Game of Thrones, he could play one of the beautiful, screwed up Lannisters. . . .

I am off to sulk.
bethpowell63 From: bethpowell63 Date: May 15th, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Everything I have read and seen he loved doing Law and Order UK. The problem with British television is that ratings don't mean anything. Something can have high ratings and they will still cancel it if they decide it cost too much and that show (like it's American cousins) was 85% location.

I do hope he ends up starring in something on USA, AMC or one of the paid cable channels. In all honesty I never felt that Moore used him all that well on BSG until the last season then of course it was too late. I was very captivated by Matt Devlin and can't help but think Moore was too since apparently Jamie was the first person he cast.

He's a gem he will shine soon enough! =)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: May 16th, 2011 02:38 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I think about shows like White Collar, Mad Men and Damages. All amazing shows, well written, high concept, and somehow wrong for the major three networks.

There's no denying that cable networks are really leaps and bounds beyond the major networks with regard to taking chances with higher-concept material, although we've really reached the point now where the networks will occasionally reach beyond their comfort zone... but ONLY if someone else has been successful at it first. Take, for example, "Playboy Club" - NBC wouldn't have greenlit that show in a million years had a show like "Mad Men" not been a huge hit. In the end, though, it doesn't make them any less chicken-shit to really take chances, does it?

There are exceptions to the rule - "Lost" was one, although the chances of seeing another "Lost" on network TV anytime soon are pretty slim.

(Also, I should point out that I'm still terribly delighted we're getting another season of "Fringe", but that has less to do with an uncharacteristic lack of vision; Fox has always green-lit far more high-concept shows than the other 3 networks, it's just their nasty habit of cancelling them that has earned them a lousy rep. ;) )
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: May 16th, 2011 02:42 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Actually, I should amend the bit in my first paragraph about taking chances - "Awake" does seem to be rather a bit risk-taker for a weekly series. At face value, it applies. And the script was very well-reviewed, but the many comparisons to "Inception" make me feel as though the wild success of that movie helped seal that pitch.
onyxrose81 From: onyxrose81 Date: May 16th, 2011 12:01 am (UTC) (Link Me)
TBH, I never thought NBC would go for the show. Even if it was a go, it had early cancellation written all over it. I can't say I'm broken up about it either. I do hope that Jamie can find work in another quality show that will really utilize his talents.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 16th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I have to admit that I'm not heartbroken, the concept really sounded a bit weird to me. They lost me at "CSI with magic". I would have watched for the Jamie/James partnership though, so I'm bummed about the loss of that and the fact that Jamie won't get any major network exposure. Maybe next year, or he'll do a cable show. I think Katee Sackhoff had two failed pilots in a row and then went for a cable show this year...

As to why: I read on a board that a supposed insider said the special effects let them down. They thought about retooling the pilot but ultimately didn't trust them not to have the same problems with the episodes. I suppose it would have been more expensive than some other shows too.

Also I think they're a bit cautious with the scifi/fantasy shows. Grimm may have fantasy elements, but it's rooted in our reality. 17P had a whole worldbuilding theme to it, which I usually find more interesting, but I think is a greater risk to take because networks may feel it's not familiar enough.
Anywho, I'm ready to move on!
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