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The rich and powerful, they take what they want.  We steal it back for you.  Sometimes bad guys make the best good guys.  We provide… Leverage.

Some television series work because the cast has a chemistry that drives viewers back for more each week.  Even if they have a repeat framework, it doesn’t matter, and even if you swap out a character or two (or more) along the way, it still works.  If you watch police procedurals or crime dramas, it’s why you come back for more, whether it’s Law & Order, Castle, or Without a Trace, all the way back to The Equalizer or Dragnet, and even earlier… the list goes on and on.

One of the best of these this century featured the great, Oscar-winning actor Timothy Hutton, as the mastermind of a group of con artists on TNT’s Leverage More of a romp like Castle, less drama like Without a Trace, the key was the fun–the ride, the thrill of the path to the end, and the twisty path the players would take this time, even if the end itself (like the revenge on a fraudster, or giving a heartless CEO his comeuppance) got a quick wrap-up.  After four seasons, the series ended in 2012, Leverage is working its way back to television from the same team that gave us both Leverage and The Librarians.

Leverage Wyle Kane

As you know if you watched both Leverage and The Librarians, the creators, including episode director Jonathan Frakes, and actors Christian Kane (who most genre fans first noticed on Angel), Beth Riesgraf, and a host of crossover actors from Syfy’s Warehouse 13, provided a common level of fun for viewers across these great escapist series.  Unfortunately it doesn’t look like Hutton will be back (hopefully he’ll at least step in for an appearance or two), but as we saw in a similar leading role swap-out with The Closer and Major Crimes, this time Noah Wyle, lead of The Librarians, will be crossing over into the Leverage world.  He will join series stars Gina Bellman as Sophie the grifter, Christian Kane as Eliot the muscle (“hitter”), Aldis Hodge as Alec the techie hacker, and Beth Riesgraf as the crazy, crazy thief Parker.

Dean Devlin, John Rogers, and Chris Downey, who brought audiences both The Librarians and Leverage, will be back to take Leverage forward with Devlin as executive producer and Rogers and Downey as consulting producers.  Don’t look for the series on TNT–it’s being created for IMDb TV, Amazon Studios free streaming service known for things like airing all the episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for free.

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In hindsight, the creators of Leverage were lucky, as they knew the series was ending, allowing for a series finale with Hutton’s mastermind handing the reins of the team over to Parker.  So a seamless continuation is possible.

But the devil is in the details–the series will need to accommodate social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and more reason for delays is that filming is scheduled to begin this summer in the state of Louisiana, one of the states hit the hardest (so far) by the virus.  Will a production be able to even get together as early as this summer?  It seems unlikely, so don’t look for this until at least 2021 or beyond.  But the fact that it’s this far along should be good news for the series’ fans that Devlin & Co. is on the job.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
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