Updated with statement from producers: Gotham co-star Jada Pinkett-Smith told Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan not to hold their breath on her character returning to Fox’s Batman prequel next season.
“I signed for a year, and the year is up,” the actress who plays Fish Mooney said this morning on ABC’s daytime talker Live With Kelly & Michael. Asked if she was returning, she added coyly, “I don’t think so,” triggering an avalanche of online reportage by The Reporters Who Cover Television.
“I did my year and I had a good time,” she similarly told Extra’s AJ Calloway today, and suggested Fish fans keep watching because, “the show is going to have an awesome finale!”
Indeed, sources confirm that Pinkett-Smith signed a one-year deal when she joined the Gotham pilot last year, so she has fulfilled her contractual obligations. There is no plan for her to continue as a regular in Season 2 though occasional appearances as Fish Mooney are not completely out of the question. Pinkett-Smith is expected to return to features and next has a showy role in the upcoming Magic Mike sequel.
Contacted for comment/clarification, Gotham producers came down with an acute case of coy:
“Fish Mooney’s storyline takes a lot of interesting twists and turns into the finale of season one of Gotham,” they said, adding they would have no comment beyond this.
In January, Fox TV Group chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman announced early renewals for next season on a select few series, including dramas Gotham and Empire and sophomore comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Gotham and Empire were, at the time, among the breakout new series this season, along with ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, CBS’ Scorpion and the CW’s The Flash.
Averaging a 4.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 10.6 million viewers, Gotham, from Warner Bros TV, became the season’s No. 1 broadcast drama overall among men 18-49 and men 18-34. Its premiere drew a 6 among adults 18-49 to become Fox’s highest-rated fall drama debut in 14 years.
Just last month, Heroes alum Milo Ventimiglia signed on for a major recurring arc on Gotham. Appearing first in Episode 19, Ventimiglia will play handsome, wealthy and seductive Jason Lennon, aka the Ogre — a serial killer who dispatches young women with abandon as he searches for his perfect mate, but only after they fail to live up to his impossible standards. Men and their “standards”!