USA Network's new spy series, Burn Notice
, has turned out to be one of the biggest hits of the summer. The show, which airs on basic cable, averages 4 million viewers every week, and was recently renewed for a second season. It has also received glowing reviews from a number of critics, with the Los Angeles Times
comparing series star Jeffrey Donovan
to big-time Hollywood actor Bruce Willis.
Donovan's acting prowess and obvious charisma has earned him much praise, but he seems genuinely embarrassed about the attention he is getting. When the Palm Beach Post
asked him about being television's newest sex symbol, Donovan simply replied, “I don't even know how to respond to that. It's all in the writing. I only wish I was as charming as Michael Westen."
Michael Westen, a blacklisted international spy, is the character Jeffrey Donovan portrays in Burn Notice
. To prepare for the role, Donovan said he communicated with a real fired spy.
"He was in Lebanon at the time we were shooting the pilot, and he was very helpful with specifics on how you hide what you truly feel in every situation," Donovan said. "You become a little paranoid about everybody. I wanted to bring that to Michael Westen so that every conversation he has, you always see him thinking about some other thing going on in that moment."
Aside from Donovan, the cast of Burn Notice
also includes Gabrielle Anwar
as Fiona Glenanne, Bruce Campbell
as Sam Axe and Sharon Gless
as Madeline Westen.
Gless, whose character is known to be a needy hypochondriac, was, unlike Donovan, more than willing to comment on Donovan's popularity.
"He's very, very appealing," Gless told the Palm Beach Post
. "You just want to pinch his cheeks. He's sexy in an off-center way."
It is clear that Jeffrey Donovan is one of the main reasons why viewers tune in to the series, but the show's success can also be attributed to its ingenious mix of drama and comedy, which sets it apart from darker crime dramas and the continuous stream of reality series.
"It combines all the things that people watch television for," Jeff Freilich, one of the show's co-executive producers, said. "It's got action, it's got humor, it's got simple stories, it's got a beautiful look. And because it's not a bloody show, it's a show the show family can watch together."
Campbell, made famous by his work on the Evil Dead
films, has a different theory with regards to the success of Burn Notice
"The whole show is good guys messing with bad guys instead of bad guys messing with good guys. I think the average citizen is going, 'Yeah, take him down! Hit him! Hit him!' It's a little bit of Robin Hood. It's a little Bourne Identity,” Campbell said.
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Palm Beach Post
(Image Courtesy of USA Network)