Cynthia Littleton in her "On the Air" blog on Variety reports on the status of the latest Jesse Stone movie. Tom Selleck, who plays Jesse Stone, is currently in Nova Scotia filming Innocents Lost, the seventh made-for-television movie based on the character created by Robert B. Parker. Selleck, who is a longtime devotee of Parker's work, has an active role in shaping the scripts and producing the films in the secluded environs of Halifax. And if Selleck had his way, he'd be making two Jesse Stone movies a year.
"We don't do cliffhangers. The movies stand on their own. But with regular viewing the audience gets the bonus of a continuing backstory," Selleck said in an interview just before he headed north earlier this month. "People want to know what's going to happen with this guy. He's basically a decent guy with a lot of flaws. He's his own worst enemy ... but he's a guy you want to root for."
Though ratings for the previous movies have been solid, CBS (the network on which they've originally aired) has a mixed record of scheduling them in a timely manner. The first film, Stone Cold, which was based on the 4th book in the series, aired in February 2005. Two more movies based on existing novels followed in 2006 and a fourth in 2007. But it was over a year from the time the fifth movie, Thin Ice, the first not based on a Parker book, finished production and its air date in March 2009. A sixth film, No Remorse, wrapped up production last November, but has yet to be scheduled by the network.
We're thrilled that CBS has enough confidence in the series to continue ordering more. But we agree with Selleck, who said, "There's a market for us. We're proving that the network TV audience does want to see movies -- they just want to see good movies." We just want to see them soon after they're completed, and more of them!
(MBN note: All five Jesse Stone movies that have been televised are available on DVD from Mysteries on TV: Jesse Stone.)
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