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It will be 30 years to the month since Remington Steele went off the air when Pierce Brosnan returns to TV as the star of AMC’s western drama The Son, and the former James Bond star says his small-screen comeback was a long time coming.
“I’ve been looking for something like this for the last four or five years,” he told reporters Saturday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “I really had a yen to go back to TV. I was watching all these great shows appear on the horizon year after year.”
Long before he became a household name for films like Mrs. Doubtfire and his many turns as James Bond, Brosnan was first introduced to American audiences as one of the two stars of NBC’s detective drama and romantic comedy that launched in 1982. The show ran for five seasons and 94 episodes before airing its series finale in April 1987.
Brosnan was the first to acknowledge how much things have changed since then. “The writing is so fertile and robust now for writers, and directors and actors. It’s a different landscape than when I joined back in the early ‘80s,” he said. “It’s a different beast.”
Although Brosnan had been looking for a TV vehicle for several years, he admits The Son “came out of left field.” Brosnan was offered the lead role of Eli McCullough, the patriarch of a three-generation family as he transforms from innocent to calculating killer, after Sam Neill abruptly exited the series.
“I was very happy to jump in,” he said. “This found me at a good time in my life, at the right age.”
Despite his clear affection for the medium, don’t expect Brosnan to return to broadcast television and the 22-episode grind anytime soon. “No, I couldn’t do that. I don’t really have the heart or the wish, the desire, to do such brutal episodic TV like that,” he said. “[These] 10 episodes is very manageable and doable.”
Brosnan was equally doubtful about his potential involvement in any possible Remington Steele reboot or revival. (NBC most recently circled a potential half-hour sequel series back in 2013.)
“That would be another man’s job,” he said. “I’m now into my kind of gray beard acting. I’m looking further down the road, God willing, to playing these sort of roles.”
Looking down the road, Brosnan acknowledged his seemingly limited tenure on The Son. The best-selling book on which the series is based spans 150 years as Eli’s ruthlessness and quest for power trigger consequences that span generations as the McCullough family rises to become one of the most powerful dynasties in Texas.
“I signed on for three seasons of this show so I don’t know, we shall see where the wind takes us. There will come a time to bow out. You can only go on so far,” he said. “I leave it up to these good folks to carry the banner.”
The Son premieres Saturday, April 8, at 10 p.m. on AMC and SundanceTV.
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