All across the L.A. basin, pilots for new TV shows are in the planning stages. Hoping to get a shot during the second half of the current TV season, or perhaps a shot at next fall's lineup, producers, writers and actors concoct what they hope will be a winning formula. At the heart of the process is the cast. Unfortu-nately, the pool from which they draw is often replete with retreads, has-beens and just plain untalented people. Nothing is more unsettling than seeing a promo for a show starring someone we thought we were rid of.
For this column I have compiled a list of 10 celebrities who we don't need to see cast in a TV show ever again. In no particular order I give you:
Shelley Long. Isn't it amazing this hasn't happened already? A string of abysmal movies, but a record that includes a very popular sitcom. Geena Davis (sadly) made the leap. Why not Shelly?
John Larroquette. Like Dabney Coleman, Larro-quette will be cast in a hideous sitcom in which he'll play a lout. He could fall off this list if there were any chance of him being put into a drama. Early in his career he was one of "Pappy" Boyington's Black Sheep in Black Sheep Squadron and was OK. Doubtful anyone will gamble.
David Faustino. Another surprise in that he hails from a popular, if not great, sitcom that's very prevalent in reruns. Let's hope he's living comfortably on his residuals and won't bother us.
Judith Light. The real danger here is that she'll be cast in some sort of safe, family-style show, because, well, she's safe and family style.
Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier. The three dopes from Full House. Tragically, there is something cool about each of these guys, yet they are things that will never be drawn out. Saget actually had a fairly vulgar, but amusing stand-up act in the '80s. Stamos has drummed with The Beach Boys and produced a fine miniseries about the popular surf band. OK, so it let his buddy Mike Love skate by untouched, but a good effort overall. Coulier, a talented voice guy who would be great in a primetime cartoon, is allegedly the subject of Alanis Morrisette's "You Oughtta Know." Again, nothing that will save them from a tedious return to TV. Stamos, for the record, had a show in development last year.
Jenny McCarthy. A complete phony. Yeah, yeah, she's pretty and she can act funny. So what? Hundreds just like her are walking off buses in L.A. right at this moment.
Clea Lewis. Ellen's annoying friend, Audrey. Likely she'll be cast in a supporting roll, as, of course, an annoying friend neighbor. Not her fault.
Anthony Michael Hall. Here's a guy who should be given a chance, but like his peers, Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald, he'll be saddled with mediocre support. Great name recognition, with not enough star power to draw quality help.
Any current/former SNL member. Jay Mohr's Action, in retrospect, wasn't all bad, but you have to play the percentages. A Will Ferrell sitcom just sends chills down my spine.
I invite you, dear reader, to submit names. E-mail them to me with the subject line "Celebrity No Shows." Include your reasons we don't need these folks on TV, if you're so inclined. Start paging through those TV listings now.
contact P.f. wilson: firstname.lastname@example.org