Dennis Quaid stars in Crackle’s The Art Of More, about the dubious world of high-class art auction houses. And because Quaid is known for his movies and reporters who cover television can’t get over the fact they don’t cover the film industry, they asked him at TCA what prompted him to decide to do this series, and had he ever actually seen anything on Crackle. “I had seen the Seinfeld series, but I think what’s going on with Crackle and television is a revolution that is going on with television,” Quaid said this afternoon, somewhat baffled by the question. “It feels like the inmates are taking over the asylum, like movies in the 70’s…it was great,” he said, reminiscing fondly that era in film making when there was a “freedom to do stories not done before.” Quaid called it “an exciting time” to be working in television.”
“It used to be you had movies and television and you wouldn’t cross over – especially if you were doing movies. All that changed,” he said, and given the movies being made these days “it’s harder to get [indie] movies off the ground…and there is so much exciting material being done on television, it’ s a draw. Everybody wants to do TV now.”
The Art Of More is Crackle’s one-hour scripted drama, and is scheduled to debut its first season of 10 episodes on November 19. The series follows a blue collar young man, Graham Connor, played by Christian Cooke, who leverages his way into this exclusive world by exploiting connections to antiquities smuggling rings he was exposed to as a soldier in Iraq. Cary Elwes stars as Arthur Davenport, a shrewd and eccentric world-class collector of art and illegal antiquities who mentors Connor. Quaid plays charismatic real estate shark/collector Samuel Brukner. Kate Bosworth plays Roxanna Whitney, daughter of the CEO of one of the two warring auction houses—and a leading account executive.
The series looks both at the “upscale portion” of the art world and auction houses and “what’s hiding under the rock” said writer/EP Gardner Stern. Particularly the traffic in antiquities, has “blown open in recent years” with revelations ISIS is using money from the sale of antiquities to finance terrorism, added show creator/writer/EP Chuck Rose. The series will delve into “that dichotomy between the object and the story behind the object.”
Some art houses, Stern said, “are more complicit than others,” adding he’s “not saying all of them are complicit, but there are people who look the other way.”
“There are all kinds of stories about the illicit ways in which art enters this uptown world of very refined auction houses. That sort of conflict is always great grist for drama,” he said.
One reporter noted there is not much actual art, or creators of, shown in the pilot episode.
“We have to be very diligent about what we’re allowed to use, and the clearance people remind us if we’re not,” Stern said, explaining that if a work of art is more than 100 years old the rules are less strict. Those rules “tend to favor” the use of “older pieces,” Rose said, but it’s then not appropriate on the series to have an actor playing the creator of the piece “if they’ve been dead for 500 years.”
“It challenged us, there are pieces we would love to explore,” Rose added.