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The Dream won't die

Gail O'Grady appeared on the critics' press tour Friday to promote her new show, Hidden Palms, which debuts later this spring on The CW. There were plenty of questions about Hidden Palms, which is apparently a Veronica-Mars-Visits-The-O.C. cross-generational mystery. But I think O'Grady was surprised by the number of critics who asked her about American Dreams, her '60s-era drama that went off the air in 2005. The show never generated much Nielsen heat, but its fans -- including many TV critics -- were, well, fanatic.

In particular, O'Grady was asked about the great lost series finale of American Dreams, a 90-minute episode that followed the characters three years into the future and resolved a cliffhanger about a runaway teenage daughter. The episode was shot but has never aired because NBC wouldn't fork over the $100,000 or so for the necessary music rights. (American Dreams was packed with vintage 1960s rock.)

"I hear something every other month about what's going to be done with the conclusion of American Dreams," O'Grady replied when we asked her if there were any rumors about the lost episode. "The reason for that is Jonathan Prince, the executive producer. I talked to him just yesterday, in fact. He's the Barnum & Bailey of show-runners, more than anyone on the planet. He's always hatching a new scheme. He loved the show and he won't let it go."

O'Grady was quick to add: "Don't write that like I meant it in any negative way. Jonathan's great. And everybody who worked on American Dreams loved the show. It was a really, really special time for us. Those are the three greatest working years of my life."

I know exactly what she means about Prince. I haven't met many smarter producers in television, and none at all in love with a project as much as he was with American Dreams. He could talk about his characters for hours on end, and it was pretty clear that they were more real to him than most of the people standing in front of him. And I don't mean that in a negative way. Here's hoping he comes up with the right scheme.

Update: I almost forgot to mention that Gail O'Grady says that along with Hidden Palms, she's joining the cast of Boston Legal. She'll play a slutty judge who, once upon a time, was involved with James Spader's character. Counting her new adulterous role on Hidden Palms and the frisky real-estate agent of the short-lived Hot Properties, that will make three times in a row O'Grady has played women with an, um, adventurous sex life. "I'm getting typecast," she sighed.


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Suzy Q

I miss "American Dreams," too. How can NBC not cough up the dough for the finale? Are they that broke or just afraid of the backlash they'd get (again) for cancelling it?

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