LEADOFF VS. LEGACY
A Tale of Two Identical Shows
We just can’t help but compare. And no, it’s not just because Casey Mulreed decided to name her show Legacy, which is strikingly similar to Tom Vogel’s Leadoff. And it’s not because of the possible rivalry between America’s Former Sweetheart, Miss Mulreed, and America’s Unofficial New Sweetheart, Amanda Nathan, who has been hired to the writing staff of Leadoff and whose resumed friendship with filmmaker Ian Marsh is said to have complicated relations with Mulreed.
No, it’s because both shows were picked up at the same exact time, will premiere on the same exact date on heatedly rival networks and both center around beautiful, young people on their tumultuous paths to fame in New York. And while ZINC, which picked up Leadoff, boasts 29 million subscribers to their top ranked premium cable network (a good 9 million more subscribers than Legacy’s network, Cinereel), word has it that network presidents are livid over the fact that Cinereel finally has a probable smash hit on its hands.
For so long, ZINC has kept Cinereel in a perpetual second place in premium cable network rankings, but with Cinereel’s recent surge in subscribers thanks to its new online streaming package, network president, Lyle Simon, perhaps has a reason to feel threatened. Especially since ZINC has recently been accused of failing to adapt to the new generation of viewers and being too “old-fashioned.” What was once seen as classy programming is now deemed slow-paced, tedious and a little boring.
Perhaps it’s time for Cinereel to be top dog? Let’s make predictions based on an early comparison.
PLOT: Legacy is said to be an outstanding script by those who have had early access — a very distinct and different voice, not one that people knew Mulreed was capable of writing since she’s never written before. Vogel’s script is also said to be outstanding, but slow-paced and deliberate compared to Mulreed’s drama-at-every-turn story.
VERDICT: A virtual tie. The styles are vastly different but both are very good.
CAST: Both productions have casted Hollywood newcomers to give the show a very real vibe. The leading ladies of Legacy, who are the alleged depictions of 19-year-old Casey Mulreed and best friend Jamie Nasri, are unknowns but absolute stunners. Meanwhile, Erick Laurie, who plays Milo in Leadoff, is likely to make the ladies squeal and swoon all throughout the Fall season. The one up that Vogel’s show has this time around is the recent casting of Bond girl and Hollywood veteran, Zoe Mercury as Milo’s on-and-off girlfriend.
VERDICT: Leadoff 1 Legacy 0
HYPE: Obviously, everyone has been talking about Mulreed’s Legacy as it is likely a true-to-life portrayal of her own road to addiction — an addiction that she only recently came out with, though not on her own terms. Some may remember that Mulreed’s rumored ex-fling, Ian Marsh, released a video of her confession to alcoholism and addiction, which was vicious but actually quite timely considering the buzz that it’s created for the premiere of Legacy. Over at ZINC, we hear the marketing budget for Leadoff is quite low considering the show’s staggering $8 million per episode budget, so not a whole lot of buzz unless you count tabloid stories about Amanda Nathan. Which actually do count, considering everyone’s wondering what’s going on between her and Mulreed, especially now that they’re working on rival TV shows. We need answers!
VERDICT: Leadoff 1 Legacy 1
SHOWRUNNER: This is very basic. It’s veteran vs. Rookie in the battle of showrunners, and despite the Oscar nominations and royal Hollywood blood and the ability to eventually do it all, Tom Vogel gets the point against Casey Mulreed when it comes to running a show. The man’s been pumping out hits since Casey’s middle school days.
VERDICT: Leadoff 2 Legacy 1
Looks like Leadoff will take the cake. Does this mean that industry rookie Amanda Nathan actually has some sort of career advantage over Casey Mulreed? She already stole the title of America’s Sweetheart — is she set to steal another? Next big TV writer, perhaps? Will Leadoff vs. Legacy ultimately become Nathan vs. Mulreed?
Time will only tell. As far as premieres go, thank God we only have to wait till September.