Fall TV Pilot Preview: The CW's 'Beauty and the Beast'
"Smallville" -- and "Life Unexpected"! -- reunions, pretty people and three more things to know about the network's upcoming drama.
The CW is adding another member to its array of supernatural mystery/romance series in the fall with Beauty and the Beast, a reboot of the 1980s series of the same name. The series was one of two takes on the classic fairy tale in development this past season, with ABC's fantasy reimagining from Jericho's Jon Steinberg failing to move forward.
The Hollywood Reporter screened the pilot -- which marks the return of Smallville's Kristin Kreuk to the network -- and has five things to know about the series before its fall launch.
1. It's a remake of the CBS series of the same name that ran on CBS from 1987-90. The Eye's version followed the relationship between Catherine Chandler (Terminator's Linda Hamilton) and the gentle and benevolent half-man, half-beast Vincent (Ron Perlman) who rescued her from an unprovoked assault. The CW version features a similar plot, however, it eschews Vincent's grizzly appearance of the '80s version, opting instead to make Vincent a brooding and handsome young man (played by Terra Nova's Jay Ryan)whose beastly nature only manifests in his outward appearance when he gets angry.
2. Smallville's Kreuk stars as Catherine Chandler (the "beauty"), a smart, tough and (shocker!) beautiful homicide detective who, as a teenager, witnessed her mother's slaying at the hands of two merciless gunmen. The attackers would have killed her had it not been for the mysterious part-man, part-creature who appeared out of nowhere and saved her from a certain death. As the female lead Lana Lang on the CW's long-running Superman drama Smallville, Kreuk is no stranger to the supernatural genre. In both series, Kreuk assumes the role of the innocent damsel who has won the heart of the swoon-worthy-yet-tormented superhero who fears that his affections for her endanger her safety. Unlike the demure and often submissive Lana, however, Kreuk's character in Beauty and the Beast possesses traits that better suit Kreuk's allure and aura of strength.
3. Beauty and the Beast has the typical pedigree of a CW series. With a dashing male lead whose tortured soul is reminiscent of The Vampire Diaries' Stefan (Paul Wesley), the series also has supernatural quality similar to the network's (aptly named) Supernatural. The supporting cast is also filled with gorgeous twentysomethings that resemble such CW favorites as Gossip Girl and 90210.
4. Beauty and the Beast is one big ol' Smallville (and Life Unexpected) reunion. Former Smallville showrunners Brian Petersonand Kelly Souders recently joined the first-year drama and will join executive producers Jennifer Levin andSherri Cooper (Brothers and Sisters).Other credited EPs include Bill Haber (Rizzoli & Isles), Paul J. Witt and Tony Thomas (A Better Life), Ron Koslow (Moonlight) and Gary Fleder (Life Unexpected), who reunites with the co-star of the former CW series Austin Basis.
5. The story arc that the series will take is not entirely clear from the pilot. With a relatively self-contained plot and introductions of only a few major characters, it's unclear whether the series will focus on the inevitable romance between Vincent and Catherine, the lightly breached mystery surrounding Catherine's mother's murder or the necessity to keep Vincent's identity secret. In all likeliness, all three plotlines will be dealt with.
Watch a trailer for the series below and hit the comments with your thoughts. Beauty and the Beast will bow Thursdays at 9 p.m. following The Vampire Diaries.