Jay Mohr (Jerry Maguire, Go) stars in Columbia TriStar Television International Television’s new piercing and irreverent satirical half-hour comedy ACTION. Mohr portrays Peter Dragon, an egotistical Hollywood hot-shot producer who has a track record of huge box-office hits. Unfortunately for him when you have been on top for so long the only other way to go is down. From executive producers Chris Thompson (The Larry Sanders Show) and Joel Silver (The Matrix), Hollywood and its cast of characters are the intended targets of this impertinent look at the entertainment industry.
Mega-producer Peter Dragon has an inflated sense of self — even by Hollywood standards. He is Tinseltown’s boy wonder with his own production company, Dragonfire Films. He has a track-record of huge box-office hits starring the best of Hollywood’s box-office stars. He is a Xanax popping mover and shaker and is the stereotypical over-the-top producer who everyone loves to hate. His record of box office hits was perfect until his last aptly named cinematic bomb, Slow Torture placed him on Hollywood’s ‘Injured Reserve.’ He is now learning the lesson, “you’re only as good as your last film.” Peter believes any behavior is acceptable as long as it’s in the interest of his movie and himself. Although he can be ruthless, he is at his best when he is seducing the unwary.
Although Slow Torture is not a blockbuster Peter is determined to remain on the Hollywood “hit” list. With the help of his entourage who range from a prostitute to his chief of security, the odds are in his favor. Under Peter’s watchful eye is Uncle Lonnie (Buddy Hackett,) a former old school LAPD detective. After retiring with a full pension, Lonnie has joined his nephew Peter Dragon as his head of security. Lonnie serves as Peter’s “Man Friday” and his police contacts make him invaluable. Lonnie is loyal above all else and would not hesitate in laying down his life to protect Peter.
As Peter Dragon is on his way to his premiere of “Slow Torture,” he has a chance encounter with former child actress turned prostitute Wendy Ward (Illeana Douglas.) Wendy fell from the good graces of Hollywood due to her early sense of entitlement. Wendy’s innate intelligence and her early years in the “biz” have given her a certain instinct that makes her an asset to Peter and it’s her honesty that proves the rarest commodity. She is in the process of mulling an offer to take an enormous pay cut and become Dragonfire’s head of development.
Peter’s staff includes the ambitious and opportunistic president of production for Dragonfire Films, Stuart Glazer (Jack Plotnick). Stuart’s sexual orientation makes him an asset because it gives Peter access into the gay power circles that are so dominant in Hollywood. Stuart is motivated by the fact that he is just one step away from becoming the next Peter Dragon.
By virtue of a case of mistaken name and identity, Peter’s career savior is Adam Rafkin (Jarrad Paul,) the writer of Beverly Hills Gun Club, Peter’s next project and follow up to the dismal Slow Torture. Adam is a sitcom hack who honed his skills on such shows as Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. With the sale of his script, he is on the brink of making the transition to the motion picture circles. Adam is a bit neurotic and craves some sort of affirmation that his work has merit and Peter plays on this need by refusing to satisfy it.
Rounding out the cast of characters is Peter Dragon’s intimidating boss, head of the studio, Bobby Gianapolis. Not only is he his boss but he is married to Peter’s ex wife Jane and he is gay. Although it is only a “beard marriage” it gives Bobby some legitimacy and also allows him to play dad to Georgia, Peter and Jane’s 10 year-old daughter as well as his yet unborn son.
A true satire on the in’s and out’s of the entertainment industry and Hollywood in particular, ACTION has an insight into the world of money, fame and lies.
This season marks Joel Silver’s first venture into the world of half-hour comedy. The transition is a natural one as the show is based on Hollywood. Mr. Silver brings his vast expertise and knowledge of the film business to ensure the realism of the show. The crossover of other Hollywood producers from film to television is becoming more evident. Chris Thompson’s currently executive-producing two half-hour comedies for Columbia TriStar International Television, Action as well as Ladies Man. His other television credits run the gamut from the classic Bosom Buddies and Laverne and Shirley to the landmark series The Larry Sanders Show.
Joel Silver, Chris Thompson, Don Reo and Barry Katz are the executive producers of ACTION for Silver Pictures Television and Christopher Thompson Productions and is distributed by Columbia TriStar International Television.