Beyond the TV Grave -- Scoundrels (2010)

Written Stealing the Spotlight by Bridger Cunningham.

A family of con artists attempts to go straight after their patriarch is imprisoned?  This seemed like an entertaining premise, and a pity ABC relegated it to vain efforts to establish summer programming.  The series never made it outside of sumer 2010, along with companion piece The Gates.  Could Scoundrels have survived had ABC given it better scheduling?  Although this is the primary factor which caused this show to fail, the cast lacked chemistry and cohesion, two elements to guarantee an audience.

Cheryl West (Virginia Madsen) is dismayed when her husband Wolf (David James Elliott) is sent to prison for five years.  Evaluating her lifestyle and how her children materialized into adults, she lays down the law and demands the family go straight.  Eldest twins Cal and Logan (both played by Patrick Flueger in a dual role) only have DNA in common and contrast.  Logan is a successful, sleazy lawyer, while Cal has reverted to his father's shameless criminal activities.  Daughter Heather (Leven Rambin) is an aspiring model and actress, and youngest daughter Hope (Vanessa Marano) is an aspiring filmmaker and frequently skips school.  Wolf continues to corrupt his children behind bars, leading to a growing rift between himself and Cheryl.  Stories primarily focus on the characters' career woes as they attempt to attain work while refraining from criminal activities.
Why ABC Likely Passed on Furthering Scoundrels
In addition to the summer programming delivering soft ratings, Scoundrels was fleshing out its uneven tone and character chemistry.  The role of Wolf was initially slated to be played by Neal McDonough, whose charismatic delivery with his costars and convincing craft makes him a believable villain.  Elliot never commanded in his role as Wolf, as well as lacking chemistry with Madsen.  Flueger's dual role also remained poorly developed, as the unkempt Cal proved more entertaining than subdued Logan.  Rambin crackled in her sexpot role, while Marano was islanded.  Add a premise which required creative elbow grease to create longevity, and ABC determined the show was a risk factor in need of too many tweaks.  

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