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Topic: The Takedown
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Dec 11, 2006 03:20AM)
after watching several episodes (with you, Jason England & Handsome Jack) of The Takedown on Court TV, I half expected to see a second season. Obviously that didn't happen. Can you shed a little light on some of the behind the scenes stuff and perhaps tell us ultimately what happened to end the show?
Message: Posted by: R P Wilson (Dec 11, 2006 04:02AM)
Court TV put the show on at 10.30 and, in that time slot we faired well in comparison to other shows on the network. We actually had some great ratings for many of the shows but overall we held our own.

A season two was always promised but a lot of changes happened in court tv. At one point they actually announced "Takedown 2 starring Paul Wilson" but this turned out not to be what we expected.

Real Hustle has been a big hit for the BBC and, earlier this year, Court TV bought the rights from the UK. Around that time they made that announcement. It might be that they intended to market Real Hustle as Takedown 2 but the shows are very different formats. Whatever happened they had stopped talking to my LA production company so they immediately pointed out that, contractually, court tv had to make any follow up or sequel to Takedown with them.

Court TV's stand was that Real Hustle was a different entity but my presence made all of that a bit hard to argue.

Suddenly the network was saying that Takedown was a disappointment and they were moving on. We tried to buy back the rights, but between the situation with the bogus announcement and court being taken over by WB, nothing came of it.

I was directly involved with the US Real Hustle and in the frame to star in the show until, ultimately, the decision was made to go with an all American cast. I understood that decision completely and, besides, TRH UK has never stopped filming so I would not have had time to do it!

Court TV will be airing their version of Real Hustle (possibly with a new title) next year. I've seen a few bits of the show and it looks great.

As for Takedown, who knows? It may come back some time simply because TV people love it when they see it. To this day I think it was just on the wrong channel. Court has a great audience but we were almost the only show on their network without an autopsy.

With the right advertising and the right channel, Takedown could do very well.

At the moment I'm negotiating with several sources about two other formats, based in the cheating world. that said, if Takedown came back, I'd be very interested in doing more (there are 16 already written up).

Message: Posted by: R P Wilson (Dec 11, 2006 04:19AM)
Behind the scenes on Takedown? You don't want to know.

Takedown one and two were shot back to back and was my first time producing, writing AND starring in a TV show. It was extremely stressful and difficult.

Mondo Magic was also a stressful learning experience but I never had to worry about getting in front of the lens - it makes a huge difference.

I learned a great deal by the time we finished the series but it was trial by fire.

The other guys in the show were incredibly important to Takedown's success. Sometimes things just didn't go our way but, because the other cast members were creative and talented, we managed to come out of every episode with some great material. Once we had done the hit we would have to decide which aspects of the story to concentrate on. Jason, Lovick, Michael, Jennifer, Derek, Rob and I would then make sure the interviews had all the material needed to put together a fast moving show. Without them, Takedown was just me getting arrested every week!

Takedown was always about entertainment but we tried to be as real as possible within the legal and practical constraints. Sometimes this meant we got caught and that was all part of the show. Sometimes we had to make sure someone got caught so that the episode wasn't just a hit and run!

Sometimes, what actually happened and what gets squeezed into 22 minutes of television is very different but mostly it was as you saw it on the show.

That said, there are two things you never want to see getting made: sausages and Takedown episodes!

Message: Posted by: Bizarrist (Dec 11, 2006 11:03AM)

I never got to see all the episodes of The Takedown. Is there any chance that the first season will come out on DVD?

Will the Real Hustle ever be made available on DVD for the bloaks in the States to enjoy?

Message: Posted by: R P Wilson (Dec 11, 2006 11:14AM)
The US series uses the scams we wrote for the UK - so you'll see the same scams pulled by Apollo Robbins, Ryan Oakes and a lovely girl named Dani...

Message: Posted by: Bizarrist (Dec 11, 2006 02:12PM)
Well, it won't be the same without a Scotsman at the Helm!

I look forward to seeing your work on the lastest Movie project. The last time I saw one, it made a cardaholic out of me!