Fox’s upcoming series Second Chance has nothing to do with the 1987-88 Fox show of the same name that starred Matthew Perry, despite a somewhat similar premise. The thriller/procedural/sci-fi show follows Jimmy Pritchard, a 75-year old hugely corrupt former LA County sheriff who is killed during a robbery but miraculously brought back to life thanks to a pair of tech billionaires (Adhir Kalyan and Dilshad Vadsaria). Now blessed with a younger, superpowered new body (and played by Rob Kasinsky), he fights crime and tries to make up for his ill-lived life.
That means working with benefactors who might not have his best intentions at heart, as well as Pritchard’s son (Tim DeKay), an FBI agent who deeply resented and loathed him. Occasional flashbacks to his old life flesh out just how flawed a person Pritchard was, so it’s sort of The Six Million Dollar Man meets Scrooged. The main cast and producers were on hand for a TCA panel that dug into the concept, the development of the show and how much the characters matter.
Fun fact: Second Chance started out as more of a straight, modernized take on the Frankenstein story but evolved into the show that premiered Wednesday. But creator and executive producer Rand Ravich insisted that the theme of the show remained constant. “Underneath it all, the one thing that was true,” he said, was the character of Pritchard “and the second chance he gets.”
As the series begins, the elderly Pritchard is played by the great Philip Baker Hall, who wasn’t able to attend the panel. Producers confirmed his continued involvement. “He’s in close to half of the order in the season,” says Ravich.
With Hall and Kazinsky playing the same character, the actors needed to find a commonality in their performances. Producers and cast said the young and old version of the character shared more than obvious signifiers like musical taste.
“Appetite, desire and regret,” said Ravich. “I think those are the three things that the two characters — obviously they’re the same character — have in common.”