Catching up with ‘The Fugitive’;
Tim Daly recalls short stay in Everett

  • Wednesday, July 19, 2006 9:00pm
  • Life

It was just one season, 22 episodes. But people in Everett still remember when Tim Daly was running around the streets as “The Fugitive” in the 2000 remake of the classic TV and movie drama on CBS.

But what does Daly remember?

He was at the TV Critics Association press tour Wednesday night to promote his new ABC show, “The Nine,” which also looks very good. I caught up with him at the ABC party to see what stood out from his short time in the Pacific Northwest.

I gotta say, the first memory wasn’t the greatest.

“I remember there was yet another serial killer up there, they had uncovered a lot of bodies in somebody’s basement,” Daly said. “I know that area is, like, the serial killer capital of the world, I guess, and suicide capital of the United States. So there’s obviously a dark underbelly to that region.

“But, Everett … I guess my most vivid memory is not in Everett itself, but Seattle. I was living in the W Hotel (in downtown Seattle) and I was on the 24th or 25th floor and I had this beautiful suite with this picture window with beautifully framed Mt. Rainier. And I was there during that big earthquake. And I remember standing in my hotel room, swaying back and forth, and I was convinced that I was going to get a front-row seat of Mt. Rainier erupting. I was sure it was gonna blow, and I was very disappointed.”

So, anything besides the serial killers, earthquakes and volanic disappointments?

“I thought it was a really cool and, honestly, a very interesting area,” Daly said. “Because it was really beautiful. It felt like it was growing out of control. Like, there were these people who were experiencing traffic for the first time and the beginnings of road rage were starting to creep into people’s consciousness. But there were great restaurants and I played golf at some amazing places. You know, there was so much water and it was just very big. The people seemed very sweet.”

Daly’s next big shot at primetime was the shorter-lived “Eyes,” a slick, stylized drama that just didn’t stick with viewers when it premiered about a year and a half ago.

“Everybody that saw ‘Eyes’ loved it,” Daly said. “I guess not enough people saw it. There are a lot of things that happened that actors aren’t privvy to that are behind the scenes and you never know who to believe or what happened. But, I’m sad about it. It was a great show.”

Daly was cautious about knocking his current employers at ABC, who also picked up and canceled “Eyes.”

“Obviously, I have to be careful here, because here I am at ABC, obviously they liked me, they’re employing me and (“The Nine”) is a fantastic show, and they’re paying me well and, so I don’t want to step on any toes and I really don’t know all of the business stuff that goes into it,” Daly said, pulling up a sushi metaphor that indicated viewers just weren’t ready for the style that “Eyes” was presenting, even though they hadn’t tried it. “When a new flavor comes along, it takes a while for people to catch on to it. And, for whatever reason, it didn’t catch on quickly enough to hang on the air. But I really don’t want to be contrued as being bitter. I just know that every critic at this place has come up to me and said, ‘I loved ‘Eyes.”

“But, then again, a few years ago, I had a similar experience with ‘The Fugitive.’ Everybody kept saying, ‘I love this ‘Fugitive.”

And he opened the door to one final story:

“I think it’s been far enough in the past now, and (former CBS President) Les Moonves is a friend of mine, but I was at the affiliates dinner in Las Vegas the year ‘The Fugitive’ came out and there were 3,500 affiliates there, or something. They showed a few clips of all the CBS pilots and they showed the entire pilot of ‘The Fugitive.’ And it got a seven-minute standing ovation. And I was standing next to Les Moonves, and everyone was taking our picture and everyone was happy and we were all going to go to the moon together.

“And, a few months later, I was sitting by the coat check and Billy Peterson (now William Peterson of ‘CSI’ fame) was sitting next to Les, and it was … that’s the way it happens. You never know what people are going to get in to, how they’re going to respond, or whether people are going to get behind it or not. You just never know.”

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