Robert Wagner was going to play the voice of Charlie on ABC’s “Charlie’s Angels” re-boot, but he’s out now, and no one has been named to replace him but someone “but will be coming shortly,” exec producer Al Gough told TV critics at Summer TV Press Tour 2011.
Wagner is out because of “scheduling issues,” Gough decided to try out on critics in a ballroom at the Beverly Hills Hilton.
“Scheduling issues for a role that requires just a couple voice lines a week? I mean, how could there be a scheduling issue with that?” one critic wondered, as did others in the room.
“You’d have to talk to Mr. Wagner,” Gough dodged.
On the bright side, Wagner still has an ownership stake in the project.
Whoever replaces Wagner, he said, will have to have a voice that oozes mystery, “paternalness,” and authority.”
One critic asked Ramon Rodriguez, who plays Bosley in the reboot, if there would be any backstory to his character that explains “Why someone who speaks like you do has the name ‘Bosley’?”
“How do I speak, by the way? I’m just curious,” Ramon asked with some hostility.
”Like my father,” the critic shot back.
“Where is he from?” Ramon said like he meant it to sting.
“There you go!” Ramon said.
Rachael Taylor, the reboot’s token blonde Angel, described the new “Charlie’s Angels” series as, “if Jack Bauer and Carrie Bradshaw had a love child.”
And yet, she boasted that her knowledge of the original “Charlie’s Angels” is “quite limited.” She has, in fact, not watched the original TV series because, she said, it’s important to respect the incredible legacy of ‘Charlie’s Angels’,” — and what better way to respect the legacy than by knowing nothing about it?
This way, the actress explained, she can “do something fresh.”
On the other hand, how does she know she’s doing something fresh?
But the most important thing about the new series, and the thing of which she is most proud, Rachael told the TV critics, is that, “there’s a genuine chemistry and a genuine warmth between the four of us, and you really can’t fake that – it kind of bleeds into the screen. And that’s why I’m part of -- we’re part of -- something really special.”
“What does Rachael have that is comparable to Farrah?” one critic asked Leonard Goldberg, who did the original series with Aaron Spelling.
“I want to hear this,” Rachael said, which was surprising given that it might have led to her learning something about the original, which could make her performance less fresh.
“That’s, you know, kind of hard to say,” Goldberg began, very cautiously.
“Farrah is Farrah, and Rachael is Rachael,” he continued, even more cautiously.
“And Farrah brought a special quality. And Rachael brings a special quality.”
Then he stopped, before he committed himself to saying, you know, anything.
“Blondeness. I bring blondeness,” Rachael added, helpfully.
Goldberg, sensing the hotel ballroom of TV critics was not going to put this show on their “Must See” lists of new series for the new TV season, noted that when the first “Charlie’s Angels” debuted decades ago, publications like the New York Times and Time magazine gave it bad reviews, “but as soon as the show hit, they were very quick to put us on the cover of everything they could find.”
One TV critic thought he saw “the previous Bosley” in a fleeting cameo in the pilot episode and wondered if that was the actor David Doyle.
Doyle, who originated the role, died in 1997.
“That was not the previous Bosley. That would have been amazing if he was,” Gough said. “He’s passed away or, as they say in Hollywood, he’s technically unavailable.”