Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TV coverage.
The CW isn’t the kind of network that might have a propensity to assault its audience with ugly characters, which is why some were puzzled when it picked up a reboot of the 1980s CBS drama Beauty And The Beast for fall. But those attending TCA and have watched the pilot quickly learned that the home of Gossip Girl and young adults with flawless skin hasn’t deviated much from its focus on the physical. In fact, with stars Kristin Kreuk and hunky New Zealand native Jay Ryan, it was difficult to tell during a morning panel which of the two was supposed to be the beast. It more closely resembled Beauty and the Beef. The only real physical tipoff that something might be amiss with Ryan’s character Vincent is a small scar on his cheek. When this was pointed out to the show’s producers, they stressed that, well, the guy’s beastliness is supposed to be more…internal. “When we were first thinking about this, it was about the beast in our lives”, said exec producer Jennifer Levin, “and most of the beasts in our lives don’t look like an actual beast. They might be charming. There’s something that might draw us to them. So there is that thing of what happens when you do fall in love with a beast, which is what we related to much more than somebody who obviously was beastly from the outside. It was more beastliness that was on the inside. That was more interesting to us”. (more…)