Back in February, we announced that the CW had signed Smallville‘s Green Arrow, Justin Hartley, to a talent holding deal. We had hoped this was a sign that the network was moving toward creating some sort of Green Arrow or Justice League spin-off, but that was just wishful thinking. Instead of giving Oliver Queen his own action-adventure showcase, the CW has cast Hartley in a new pilot called Austin Golden Hour. The real-time medical drama will find the actor donning blue scrubs instead of green leather. Another recent Smallville veteran, Michael Cassidy, has also landed a new series on the network. He was last seen playing Lex’s clone gone wrong, Grant Gabriel, earlier in season 7.
Austin Golden Hour sounds like a particularly weird move for the CW. The network is known for genre shows such as Supernatural or Reaper, as well as teen soaps like Gossip Girl. I’m baffled as to how they decided to produce a medical drama that takes place in real time, a la FOX’s 24. To make things even more bizarre, it’s being produced by Simon Fuller, who is the man behind shows like American Idol and The Next Great American Band. I have no idea how this series will turn out, but at least the CW is branching out and trying something new.
On the show, Hartley will be playing a member of a tight-knit group of emergency room surgeons and EMTs living in Texas. The series will focus on the medical issues, but also promises to have plenty of soapy personal drama as well. Lance Gentile, who is a former writer for ER, co-wrote the pilot episode.
As for Michael Cassidy, he’ll be starring in something that sounds right up the CW’s alley. The actor, who has formerly appeared on Hidden Palms and The O.C., will be starring in How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls. The series, which is based on a book by Zoey Dean, revolves around a young woman who’s fired from her job as the assistant at a glossy tabloid mag. She’s then hired to serve as a live-in tutor and life coach for the catty teen granddaughters of a cosmetics magnate. Cassidy will play the boyfriend of the main character. For his sake, I hope this job lasts longer than Hidden Palms.
Both shows sound like they have the potential to be interesting, but we’ll have to wait until the fall to find out if either of them succeed.