Now and Again (TV Series 1999–2000)
|Creator||Glenn Gordon Caron|
|Genre||Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi|
|Content Rating||TV-14 (TV-14)|
|Awards||Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations.|
|Company||CBS Productions, CBS, Paramount Network Television Productions|
Now and Again
Now and Again is an American science fiction comedy-drama television series created by Glenn Gordon Caron that aired from September 24, 1999 until May 5, 2000 on CBS. The story revolves around the United States government engineering the perfect human body for use in espionage, but not being able to perfect the brain. In an attempt to get the project up and running, they take the brain of overweight family man Michael Wiseman, who is killed in a train accident.
Given a new life, Michael is kept in an apartment where he is trained by government experts, led by Dr. Theodore Morris, in the art of espionage. Despite his new life and new abilities, Michael longs to return to his wife Lisa and daughter Heather, who are themselves discovering that not all is as it seems with Michael's death.
Michael Wiseman (John Goodman in the pilot and flashbacks, and subsequently Eric Close) lives in suburban New York with his wife Lisa (Margaret Colin) and daughter Heather (Heather Matarazzo) and works as an executive at an insurance company. When passed over for a promotion, Michael and his friend and co-worker Roger (Gerrit Graham) go out drinking after work. While standing on the subway platform heading home that night, Michael is accidentally knocked off the platform directly into the path of an oncoming train. When he awakes, he sees Dr. Theodore Morris (Dennis Haysbert), the head of a top secret government project to artificially engineer the perfect human body. Unable to create a brain from scratch, Dr. Morris has rescued Michael's brain from his dead body and implanted it in the engineered body. The process allows Michael Wiseman to continue to live, but also forces him to work as an experiment for Dr. Morris and occasionally help fight terrorists. Because of the top secret nature of the project, Michael is told he may never have contact again with his wife or daughter, under penalty of his own death and the death of anyone he tells of his existence. Despite the threat, Michael finds ways to contact his family while keeping his true identity a secret.
Over the course of the series, Dr. Morris continues to experiment on Michael, testing the limits of his abilities and strength. Michael is occasionally used to complete secret missions or foil criminal activity. Lisa and Heather find themselves running out of money because the insurance company refuses to pay on Michael's policy leading Lisa to become a realtor.
- Michael Wiseman (Eric Close), an insurance executive who was killed in an accident; his brain has been implanted into a genetically-engineered body. John Goodman plays Michael in both pilot and flashbacks
- John Goodman plays Michael in both pilot and flashbacks
- Dr. Theodore Morris (Dennis Haysbert), the head of the top secret government project to engineer a human being
- Lisa Wiseman (née Slegermelge) (Margaret Colin), Michael's housewife widow who must learn to move on with life after her husband's death
- Heather Wiseman (Heather Matarazzo), Michael's teenage daughter
- Roger Bender (Gerrit Graham), Michael's best friend and fellow executive at the insurance company
- The Eggman (Kim Chan), a terrorist who uses eggs to contain a deadly poisonous gas
- Gerald Misenbach (Chip Zien), a lawyer who represents Lisa in dealing with Michael's insurance company, and later a potential suitor
- Craig Spence (Chad Lowe), Michael's scheming and corrupt boss at the insurance company who is dead-set against paying on Michael's policy
- Special Agent #1 (Mike Henry), Dr. Morris' right-hand man
- Ruth Bender (Christine Baranski), Roger's never-seen wife
Notable guest stars
- In the first episode and flashback scenes in later episodes, John Goodman played Michael Wiseman in his original body.
- Reiko Aylesworth appeared as Dr. Taylor, a physical therapist for Michael Wiseman, sent to test his romantic attachment to his former wife.
- Mick Foley appeared in the final episode as the Eggman's cellmate, and assists in the Eggman's escape from prison.
- Ian Somerhalder appeared as Brian in the episode "A Girl's Life".
- Mark Margolis appeared as Nicky Vordogov in the episode "Pulp Turkey".
In addition, beginning with episode 10, Charles Durning was heard reading a brief narration at the beginning of each episode summarizing the show's backstory.
Production and broadcast
The show ran for one season. Airing on Friday nights, the show garnered only fair ratings. The reasons cited by CBS for its cancellation included the unjustifiable expense of the program and the low ratings.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"Origins"||Glenn Gordon Caron||Glenn Gordon Caron||September 24, 1999|
|Michael Wiseman's brain is taken from his dead body to be implanted inside the "perfect man", created by the U.S. Government. Dr. Theodore Morris, his caretaker, instructs him he will never see his family again.|
|2||"On the Town"||Christopher Misiano||Glenn Gordon Caron||October 1, 1999|
|Desperate, Michael breaks free and kidnaps his old business partner, Roger, forcing him to drive to his old house. Roger, however, is unaware of who this young man is.|
|3||"Over Easy"||Alan Taylor||Glenn Gordon Caron||October 8, 1999|
|The city receives a threat from "The Eggman" who claims he will release a poison gas. Dr. Morris takes Michael to try and stop him, unaware that Roger and Lisa – joined by Heather – are following Michael to find out who he is.|
|4||"One For the Money"||Susan Seidelman||Hans Tobeason||October 15, 1999|
|Michael is given a mission by Dr. Morris but his moral feelings on the issue don't help his relationship with his captor; and Lisa and Heather run into money troubles.|
|5||"The Insurance Man Always Rings Twice"||Vincent Misiano||René Echevarria||October 22, 1999|
|Michael learns that Lisa is selling his house and pleads with Dr. Morris to find out what is happening, and to save his wife by "convincing" his former boss Craig Spence to pay his insurance policy.|
|6||"Nothing To Fear But Nothing To Fear"||Tim Van Patten||Michael Angeli||November 5, 1999|
|Michael is stunned when Lisa shows up at his apartment to ask him out, but Dr. Morris forbids his involvement; while a wave of seemingly random acts of dangerous nonchalance sweeps the city.|
|7||"A Girl's Life"||Bryan Spicer||Marlane Emily Gomard||November 12, 1999|
|When Heather is struck by lightning, a distraught Michael convinces Dr. Morris to let him go to her bedside where she wakes and sees him outside her window, leading her to claim that an angel saved her.|
|8||"Pulp Turkey"||Harry Winer||Ted Humphrey||November 19, 1999|
|Three separate Thanksgivings collide into one eventful evening for Michael, Dr. Morris, Lisa, Heather and Roger.|
|9||"By The Light Of The Moon"||Vincent Misiano||René Echevarria||November 26, 1999|
|Dr. Morris is replaced by a new doctor, Dr. Taylor (Reiko Aylesworth) who intrigues Michael; while Lisa considers her romantic feelings for her suitor, Gerald Misenbach.|
|10||"I've Grown Accustomed To His Face"||David Jones||Story by : Marlane Meyer|
Teleplay by : René Echevarria
|December 17, 1999|
|On the morning he is supposed to be doing a 'survival' test, Michael wakes to find his front door open and his apartment empty. Unsure if it is a test or the result of some kind of accident, Michael is given the chance to flee into the outside world.|
|11||"Fire And Ice"||Vincent Misiano||Ted Humphrey||January 7, 2000|
|While doing dangerous tests on Michael, Morris approaches him for help in wooing a lady colleague.|
|12||"Disco Inferno"||Jace Alexander||Marlane Meyer||January 14, 2000|
|Michael investigates a church that is seemingly the nexus of an apparent spontaneous human combustion.|
|13||"I Am The Greatest"||Vincent Misiano||Michael Angeli||January 28, 2000|
|Lisa starts her daunting new job in real estate; while Michael and Morris track down the first man the government experimented on: the one who got away (Charles Malik Whitfield).|
|14||"Film At Eleven"||Ronald L. Schwary||Debbie Sarjeant||February 11, 2000|
|While out in the park on Valentine's Day, Dr. Morris is called away to meet with the President. Michael, to save a life at a bank robbery, uses his super-strength, which is caught on film by a security camera.|
|15||"Deep In My Heart Is A Song"||Vincent Misiano||Thomas Edward Bray||February 18, 2000|
|General Irving (James Rebhorn) visits just as this time Michael slips into an apparent coma. While Dr. Morris desperately attempts to discover what is wrong, we see flashbacks to Michael before he became superhuman and a similar health scare that occurred then.|
|16||"Everybody Who's Anybody"||Stephen Cragg||Dan E. Fesman & Harry Victor||February 25, 2000|
|Roger invites Lisa to a reception when his wife is unavailable, and General Irving makes a request of Michael which rubs him the wrong way.|
|17||"Boy Wonder"||Vincent Misiano||Ted Humphrey||March 10, 2000|
|A mentally-challenged teenager follows Michael home after he sees him using his super-strength; Roger's investment portfolio becomes the subject of Craig Spence's envy.|
|18||"Lizzard's Tale"||Bob Balaban||Deborah Sarjeant||March 31, 2000|
|At a medical conference, an old colleague of Morris's – trying now to recruit him into his organ-harvesting business – becomes very interested in Michael.|
|19||"There Are No Words"||Aaron Lipstadt||Thomas Edward Bray||April 14, 2000|
|The country slowly devolves into madness after a mysterious virus which removes the words from books begins appearing in places Dr. Morris frequently visits.|
|20||"The Bugmeister: Part 1"||Sandy Smolan||Michael Angeli||April 21, 2000|
|Roger is kicked out by his wife and comes to stay with Lisa, soon getting on her nerves; Heather befriends an insect expert with a secret; and Morris takes charge in investigating a plague of mosquitoes who seem very specific in their targets.|
|21||"The Bugmeister: Part 2"||Vincent Misiano||Michael Angeli||April 28, 2000|
|Dr. Morris and Michael desperately attempt to thwart a series of attacks by a bug expert.|
|22||"The Eggman Cometh"||Ronald L. Schwary||René Echevarria||May 5, 2000|
|For a brief period, Michael is without a tracking device and he is determined now more than ever to flee and take his family with him. The Eggman plots to escape from prison and get revenge on Michael. Lisa discovers more information than she expected on Dr. Morris and Michael and, determined to prove what she believes, decides to confront Dr. Morris.|
In 2014, CBS DVD released Now and Again: The DVD Edition on region 1 DVD in the US. The 5-disc set features all 22 episodes of the series, two featurettes and a nearly two-hour long retrospective documentary. These include interviews and full participation from almost all of the leading cast and crew, bar John Goodman. According to the packaging the "music has been changed for this home entertainment version."
In 2016, an identical set was released on region 4 DVD in Australia by Via Vision Entertainment (VVE), though it was slightly retitled Now and Again: The Complete Series.
In 2000 Now and Again won three Saturn Awards for:
- "Best Genre TV Actress" – Margaret Colin
- "Best Genre TV Supporting Actor" – Dennis Haysbert
- "Best Network Television Series"
Now and Again was also nominated for an Emmy in 2000 for Outstanding Main Title Design.