- The Washington Times - Monday, June 19, 2006

New ‘Company’ for Chris

Chris O’Donnell has gone from “boy wonder” to CIA operative.

The actor has been cast as one of the leads in “The Company,” TNT’s upcoming limited series, Reuters news agency reports.

Based on Robert Littell’s best-selling book, the six-hour series traces the history of the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency during the Cold War. It tells the story of agents imprisoned in double lives, fighting an amoral, elusive, formidable enemy — and one another.

Mr. O’Donnell will portray Jack McCauliffe, an idealistic Yale graduate who is recruited into the CIA in 1954. The character is described as being fiercely loyal to America and the ideals it is based upon. Yet politics, betrayal and love will test his resolve.

The new show is scheduled to premiere in summer 2007.

Mr. O’Donnell, who appeared as Robin in two big screen “Batman” features, has segued from movies to television with mixed results. He recently made guest appearances on the hit ABC drama “Grey’s Anatomy” and on CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” but also starred in the Fox flop “Head Cases” last fall.

In 1992, he received a Golden Globe nomination for his supporting role in “Scent of a Woman” with Al Pacino.

Fichtner fits in

Character actor William Fichtner is going from fighting aliens to tracking down escaped inmates.

Known for his work on ABC’s “Invasion,” the actor now will star as a federal agent assigned to track down and apprehend the escaped convicts on the second season of “Prison Break,” Reuters reports.

The Fox drama will chronicle the manhunt for Michael (Wentworth Miller), Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) and the other inmates who broke out of prison at the end of the first season.

The search for an actor to play the role went down to the wire. Production on the show, which was shooting on location in Dallas, was postponed by a day until the deal with Mr. Fichtner was completed. Sources said the main issue was working around Mr. Fichtner’s commitment to the DreamWorks Pictures comedy feature “Blades of Glory.”

Mr. Fichtner most recently starred as Sheriff Tom Underlay on “Invasion,” ABC’s critically praised but now canceled drama. He also appeared in the big screen sci-fi thriller “Ultraviolet” — released earlier this year— and in the 2000 hit film “The Perfect Storm.”

The Couric touch

Like Katie Couric, NBC staffers once associated with the former “Today” show co-anchor are also finding themselves in demand by CBS.

The Tiffany network — which scored a coup earlier this year by enticing the perky host away from the Peacock to anchor its “CBS Evening News”— has hired Bob Peterson, a veteran producer on NBC’s “Today” and its newsmagazine “Dateline.” He also worked on Miss Couric’s prime time specials and served as a producer-editor on “The Road to Baghdad” with Tom Brokaw, along with an interview of President Bush by NBC News’ Tim Russert. In 1999, he won an Emmy for a report on the Columbine school shooting.

According to Reuters, Mr. Peterson will join CBS News as creative director, effective immediately. He will redesign the look for the “CBS Evening News” when Miss Couric starts on the air in September and will work with director Eric Shapiro on the newscast, CBS officials said.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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