While cable channels like HBO and Showtime dominate, and basic cable channels like AMC are the new big boys of the block, TNT has also made some strides with original programming. Primarily, TNT has become a haven for female actresses to play tough, flawed police officers, like with Kyra Sedgwick in The Closer and Holly Hunter in Saving Grace. But TNT is trying a different approach in its new series, which like Saving Grace, has an Oscar winner at the center.
Timothy Hutton is the headliner for Leverage, set to premiere for TNT on Sunday night. Unlike TNT’s other shows about the police, Leverage and Hutton work on the other side of the law, though are still on the side of good.
Hutton plays Nate Ford, who is haunted by the death of his son and the failure of his insurance company to cover his extensive medical bills. To take revenge against the rich and powerful companies and individuals who strike against the needy, Nate puts together a group of thieves and grifters to con them back. Providing Leverage against the rich, as it were.
Promoted already as a kind of modern day Robin Hood, with elements of the Oceans 11 series and Mission Impossible thrown it, Leverage is TNT’s latest effort to stand alongside the cable and basic cable powers.
Hutton is headlined in all the ads and promotions as an Academy Award winner, although that was a long time ago. It was all the way back in 1980 when Hutton made his movie debut in Ordinary People, Robert Redford’s Oscar winner about a fractured suburban family.
As the guilt ridden son of Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore, Hutton was the year’s biggest new star and won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor at age 20.
Hutton later starred in the likes of Taps, Iceman, The Falcon and the Snowman and Everybody’s All American in the 80s. He later settled into supporting parts in movies like The Generals Daughter, Beautiful Girls, Secret Window and Kinsey.
Hutton is starring in his own series for the third time, after headlining in A&E’s A Nero Wolfe Mystery in 2001 and NBC’s critically acclaimed but short lived Kidnapping in 2006.
TNT premieres Leverage at 10 p.m. Sunday night, after the premiere of the TNT original movie The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice, starring Noah Wyle.
New York Daily News- “Timothy Hutton lends a hand in TNT’s Leverage” www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2008/12/01/2008-12-01_timothy_hutton_lends_a_hand_in_tnts_leve.html
IMDb.com- “Timothy Hutton” www.imdb.com/name/nm0000459/