Wednesday, May 29, 2013

“Perception” Episode Synopses, Cast & Character Bios, Production Bios

TNT Press Release

America's Favorite Quirky Crime-Solver Returns June 25
In an All-New Season of Perception, 
Starring Eric McCormack

Class is back in session, and crime is on the as TNT's hit drama Perception returns for its second mind-bending season. Starring Emmy® and Screen Actors Guild Award® winner Eric McCormack (Will & Grace, Who Is Clark Rockefeller?), Perception ranked as cable's second-highest rated new drama of 2012, coming in just behind TNT's Major Crimes. The second season is slated to launch Tuesday, June 25, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), following the season premiere of TNT's hit series Rizzoli & Isles.

In Perception, McCormack plays Dr. Daniel Pierce, a unique and eccentric neuroscience professor whose paranoid schizophrenia helps him solve crimes for the FBI. Rachael Leigh Cook (She's All That) co-stars as FBI agent and former student Kate Moretti, who recruits Pierce to help her with her toughest cases. Unlike her colleagues, Kate is willing to look past Daniel's peculiarities.

As the second season of Perception opens, Pierce's personal life is even more complicated than usual. He finds it difficult to walk away from his imaginary friendship with Natalie Vincent, but he must do so in order to embark on a romance with his doctor, Caroline Newsome – both played by Kelly Rowan (The O.C.). Award-winning actor LeVar Burton (Roots, Star Trek: The Next Generation) returns in season two as Pierce's best friend, Paul Haley, who serves as dean at the university. Perception also stars Arjay Smith (The Day After Tomorrow) as Max Lewicki, Pierce's teaching assistant whose primary job is to keep Pierce in line and on task.

In season two, Scott Wolf (Party of Five, V, Everwood) guest-stars as Donnie, Kate's soon-to-be ex-husband – and colleague. A charismatic, fast-rising Assistant U.S. Attorney who recently transferred back to Chicago, Donnie seems less concerned with doing what's right than with doing what's right for Donnie. While he claims his transfer back to Chicago was completely random, it's clear he has a hidden agenda involving Kate.

Perception averaged 6.2 million viewers in its first season, ranking as cable's #2 new series of 2012. It also placed among basic cable's Top 10 new or returning original series.

Perception, which comes to TNT from ABC Studios, was created by executive producer Ken Biller (Star Trek: Voyager, Smallville) and co-executive producer Mike Sussman (Star Trek: Enterprise), with McCormack serving as producer.

About ABC Studios

ABC Studios is a leader in the development, production and strategic distribution of entertainment content across broadcast and emerging digital platforms. The studio is the key content provider for the ABC Entertainment Group, having produced multiple seasons of hit series, including Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Lost, Castle and Private Practice, as well as Army Wives for Lifetime and Criminal Minds for CBS. These hit series have supplied the company's distribution pipelines worldwide with programming and related product lines. During Fall 2012 (10 Complete Weeks from 9/24-12/02/12), ABC Studios claimed 7 of the top 15 broadcast dramas among Adults 18-49, the most for any studio, with Grey's Anatomy, Once Upon a Time, Criminal Minds, Revenge, Nashville, Castle and Scandal. In addition, ABC Studios delivered TV's Top 2 most-watched new comedies overall with Malibu Country and The Neighbors. ABC Studios continues to produce memorable television programming for the 2012-2013 television season, including Nashville, Malibu Country, Red Widow, The Neighbors and Family Tools and Mistresses, along with the drama Perception on TNT, the comedy Cougar Town on TBS and the new drama Devious Maids, premiering on Lifetime in 2013.

About TNT

TNT is television's destination for drama. Seen in 99 million households and ranking among cable's top networks, TNT is home to such original drama series as Rizzoli & Isles, Falling Skies, Dallas, Major Crimes, Perception, Franklin & Bash and the upcoming King & Maxwell, The Last Ship and Legends. The network also features dramatic unscripted originals like Boston's Finest and the upcoming 72 Hours and The Hero. In addition, TNT is the cable home to popular dramas like Castle, The Mentalist, Bones and Supernatural; primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards; blockbuster movies; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.

TNT is part of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company. Turner Broadcasting creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

Episode Synopses Season 2

Season 2 Premiere: "Ch-Ch-Changes" – Tuesday, June 25, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
FBI Agent Kate Moretti asks Dr. Daniel Pierce to determine the mental competency of a man being retried for murder. But the trial takes a shocking and unexpected turn when Pierce’s findings question whether the person standing trial is the same person he was six years ago. Meanwhile, Moretti is unpleasantly surprised to discover that the Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case is her soon-to-be-ex-husband Donnie Ryan (guest star Scott Wolf).

Directed by Greg Beeman
Written by Ken Biller & Jason Ning
Created by Ken Biller & Michael Sussman

"Alienation" – Tuesday, July 2, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Pierce and Moretti take on an extraterrestrial case when a woman reports that aliens have abducted her husband. When Pierce and Moretti arrive to investigate, however, they make a startling discovery. Meanwhile, things heat up between Pierce and his real-life girlfriend, Caroline, but his relationship could be jeopardized if he can't get his imaginary girlfriend, Natalie, out of his mind.

Directed by Greg Beeman
Written by Michael Sussman
Created by Ken Biller & Michael Sussman

"Caleidoscope" – Tuesday, July 9 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Pierce and Morretti plunge into virtual reality to solve the murder of Kurt Simpson, a man who spent most of his time in a massive multiplayer online game called Caleidoscope. After creating an avatar of himself to investigate the crime, Pierce struggles more than ever to distinguish between reality and fantasy.

Directed by Chris Misiano
Written by Jonathan Abrahams
Created by Ken Biller & Michael Sussman

"Blindness" – Tuesday, July 16, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
When a series of bizarre public murders occur, Pierce realizes that the killer is trying to send a message about inattentional blindness, but Donnie doubts this theory. But Pierce has a trick up his sleeve that can prove his point, and they must scramble to piece together the clues before the clever killer can make any more examples out of innocent victims.

Directed by Jeff Woolnough
Written by Nicki Paluga
Created by Ken Biller & Michael Sussman

"Toxic" – Tuesday, July 23, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Pierce accepts an invitation to work on a case from a renowned environmental activist concerning a chain of abnormal neurological reactions in a group of young girls. However, upon examining the girls, Pierce discovers that a dark secret is at the root of their ailments. Meanwhile, Moretti questions Pierce’s motives in working on a case without her.

Directed by Jeff Woolnough
Written by Warren Hsu Leonard
Created by Ken Biller & Michael Sussman

"Defective" – Tuesday, July 30, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
A new brain device to control tremors seems to have a defect that turns out to be far more serious than a technical malfunction, and Pierce partners with Donnie to investigate. Their unlikely alliance is tested when the case escalates to murder. Meanwhile, Lewicki learns a valuable lesson about dating.

Directed by Andrew Bernstein
Written by Raf Green & Charley Dane
Created by Ken Biller & Michael Sussman

"Neuropositive" – Tuesday, August 6, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
When Moretti receives a deathbed confession about the hit-and-run murder of a teenager from 1992, she calls on Pierce to determine the ailing man's credibility. The case becomes complicated, however, when the alleged killer's physician, Dr. Hutchins (guest star Reid Scott), reveals that his patient’s tumor has mysteriously disappeared. Pierce and Moretti must dig deeper into the past to uncover the truth behind a shocking series of apparent homicides.

Directed by Andrew Bernstein
Written by Sean Whitesell
Created by Ken Biller & Michael Sussman

Cast Bios

Eric McCormack
Dr. Daniel Pierce

Eric McCormack was born in Toronto and spent his 20s in theatres across Canada, including five seasons with the Stratford Festival. He made his Broadway debut in the title role of The Music Man, headlined the American premiere of Neil LaBute’s Some Girl(s) and this spring returns to New York to star opposite James Earl Jones and Angela Lansbury in Gore Vidal's The Best Man.

McCormack’s film work includes Alien Trespass; the cult film Free Enterprise; My One and Only, opposite Rene Zellweger; and The Sisters, for which he and Maria Bello won Best Actor and Actress at the Atlanta Film Festival. His upcoming films include Barricade and Knife Fight, opposite Rob Lowe.

On television, McCormack has starred in countless series, miniseries and movies over the last 20 years. Highlights include The Andromeda Strain, Borrowed Hearts, TNT’s Trust Me, the title role in Who Is Clark Rockefeller?, The New Adventures of Old Christine and two seasons as Col. Clay Mosby on Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years. But it was his eight seasons as Will Truman on NBC’s Emmy®-winning sitcom Will & Grace that earned him a Screen Actor’s Guild Award, five Golden Globe® nominations and the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Prior to starring and co-producing Perception, McCormack co-produced the series Lovespring International and the TNT pilot Imperfect Union.

McCormack has hosted Saturday Night Live and the VH-1 Music Awards and sang both national anthems at the NHL All-Star Game. In 2010, he received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. He currently splits his time between Los Angeles and Vancouver with Janet, his wife of 14 years, and their son, Finnigan.

Rachael Leigh Cook
Kate Moretti

Rachael Leigh Cook’s memorable and riveting performance in the 1998 anti-heroin “kitchen smashing” public service announcement (“This is your brain...”) led to her first starring role in Miramax’s breakout hit She’s All That, the enchanting teen comedy co-starring Freddie Prinze Jr. Cook next put her comedic ability to work in the title role of aspiring rock star Josie McCoy in Josie and the Pussycats, alongside Parker Posey and Rosario Dawson.

Cook starred with Hilary Swank and Colin Hanks in New Line’s dark comedy 11:14 and with Sylvester Stallone in Get Carter. She also starred in The Big Empty, opposite John Favreau, and the romantic comedy Blow Dry, with Josh Hartnett. In Living Out Loud, Cook played the younger version of Holly Hunter's character. And in The House of Yes, she played a younger version of Parker Posey's Jackie-O character. More recently, Cook starred in the Warner Bros. feature film Nancy Drew, in which her character, Jane Brighton, is the subject of Nancy Drew’s most pressing case.

On television, Cook co-starred as Clara Wheeler in TNT’s award-winning miniseries Into the West. She has also played a recurring role on the hit series Psych. Cook resides in Los Angeles with her husband, actor Daniel Gillies, as well as their three dogs and two cats.

Arjay Smith
Max Lewicki

Arjay Smith is known to moviegoers for his performance in the blockbuster movie The Day After Tomorrow and to TV fans for his recurring role as Cadet Finley on the award-winning sitcom Malcolm in the Middle. He has also appeared in the films First Sunday and Be Kind Rewind, and guest-starred on such series as 24 and TNT’s Saving Grace.

Smith began his career starring as the adorable alien in the series The Journey of Allen Strange. Among his memorable commercial work, he played the driver in the Snickers commercial featuring Aretha Franklin and Liza Minnelli. And in January 2011, he was the house-sitter in the Doritos ad that premiered during the Super Bowl.

Kelly Rowan
Natalie Vincent

Kelly Rowan became a familiar face to television fans with her performance as Kirsten Cohen in the hit television series The O.C., which earned her a Prism Award for Best Actress. More recently, she starred in the television movie Cyberbully. Her other television credits include Flashpoint, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami and Boomtown.

On the television movie front, Rowan won critical acclaim and the Gemini Award for Best Actress for her performance in Adrift, opposite Bruce Greenwood. After winning a CTV International Achievement Award in 2005, she went on to produce and star in the television films Eight Days to Live and In God’s Country. Rowan’s other television movie credits include The Good Times are Killing Me, The Man Who Saved Christmas, It’s a Girl Thing, The Truth about Jane, Shattered Trust and Anya’s Bell.

Rowan’s big-screen credits include starring opposite Samuel L. Jackson in the thriller 187. She has also appeared in the movies Jack and Will vs. the World, Assassins, Hook and the gripping drama Mount Pleasant.

When not on screen, Rowan is an active executive producer with her producing partner, Graham Ludlow. In 2007, they won a CFTPA Indie Award for Outstanding Independent Producers for their work on In God’s Country. They have also produced She Drives Me Crazy and are currently developing numerous television and feature film projects.

Rowan has studied theater as such noted schools as the British American Drama Academy and the Neighborhood Playhouse. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

LeVar Burton
Dean Paul Haley

The multi-talented LeVar Burton has been capturing the attention of audiences and peers for over two decades, and has catapulted to a new level within the industry. Whether acting, directing, producing or writing, LeVar proves he can do it all. This spring he launches the Reading Rainbow App through Apple and brings one of the most cherished and revered children’s programs of all time into the millennium.

Currently, he is co-starring in the animated cartoon, Transformer and Rescue Bots. He recently played himself on the hugely popular CBS Series The Big Bang Theory and guest starred on NBC’s Community.

LeVar’s first career choice was not in the field of entertainment. At the age of thirteen he entered a Catholic Seminary to study for the priesthood. For him, being a priest would fulfill his need to express himself spiritually and to be of service to his community. However, four years later, he decided that an acting career would better fill those needs, so he left the seminary and accepted a full academic scholarship to the University of Southern California to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

LeVar’s first professional audition, at the age of nineteen, led to his being cast as Kunta Kinte in the acclaimed miniseries Roots. The phenomenal success of Roots launched his career as an actor, and earned him an Emmy nomination for Best Lead Actor in a Mini Series. What followed were starring roles in a string of television movies, including Dummy, Grambling’s White Tiger, The Guyana Tragedy and The Ron Leflore Story. Among his early feature film credits are Looking For Mr. Goodbar and The Hunter, with Steve McQueen.

LeVar is internationally known for his portrayal of Lt. Commander Geordi LaForge in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. He starred in the box office hits Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: Generations, and recently co-starred in the fourth feature film in the series, Star Trek: Nemesis.

LeVar has directed numerous episodes of all four Star Trek series. His first dramatic television movie, The Tiger Woods Story, which he directed for Showtime, received great critical acclaim as well as three Emmy nominations. He also directed the Disney Channel original film Smart House. LeVar’s production company, Integrity Entertainment, is developing a variety of projects in both television and feature film arenas.

LeVar’s first honor of the new millennium was a Grammy Award for his narration of the book, The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr. Included in the titles LeVar has recorded on tape are The Watsons Go to the Birmingham, The Miles Davis Story and The Jackie Robinson Story.

He is currently celebrating his twentieth season as host and executive producer of the highly acclaimed PBS children’s television series Reading Rainbow. Thus far, his role in producing and starring in the series has garnered him a total of ten Emmy Awards, five NAACP Awards and multiple nominations. He is most proud of Reading Rainbow’s ability to use the medium of television to help create “human beings who are passionate about literature”. As a staunch advocate for children’s literacy, LeVar is frequently called upon to lecture on the subject by organizations around the world.
LeVar made his debut as an author in 1997 with his novel Aftermath. This science fiction thriller from Warner Books takes place in the year 2019 and chronicles the efforts of four individuals who are struggling to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of a race war that all but destroys America. With phenomenal reviews from critics and colleagues, Aftermath is still in bookstores nationwide.

LeVar is currently national co-chair with First Lady Laura Bush of PBS’s literacy campaign, Share-A-Story.

The Characters

Dr. Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack) is an eccentric professor of neuroscience struggling with schizophrenia. Because his intimate knowledge of human behavior and masterful understanding of the mind give him an extraordinary ability to read people, he is frequently recruited by the FBI to help solve complex cases. Pierce has an uncanny gift that makes him able to see patterns and look past people’s conscious motives to find what lies beneath. But Pierce’s schizophrenic hallucinations and less-than-stellar social skills often complicate his work. While his hallucinations sometimes reveal solutions his conscious mind hasn’t yet been able to process yet, his offbeat manner makes it difficult to forge the close friendships and intimate relationships he craves.

FBI Agent Kate Moretti (Rachael Leigh Cook) is Pierce’s former student and the person responsible for recruiting him as a consultant to the FBI. Her sharp mind and intuition made her one of Pierce’s star pupils. Now she uses those skills to solve crimes, and Moretti looks to Pierce for help with solving difficult cases involving psychiatric or neurological components. This season, Pierce and Moretti's mutual attraction causes friction between Moretti and the Assistant US Attorney – who also happens to be her soon-to-be ex-husband (guest star Scott Wolf).

Max Lewicki (Arjay Smith) is Pierce’s teaching assistant whose primary job is to keep Pierce in line and on task, in the classroom and at home. Lewicki handles Pierce’s demanding schedule and takes care of his domestic demands. More importantly, he keeps Pierce centered and stable, alerting him when his intuitions are off-base or when he seems to have trouble distinguishing reality from hallucination. Although Lewicki likes and respects for Pierce, he begins to question whether his employer is holding him back from achieving his own career goals.

Natalie Vincent (Kelly Rowan) is Pierce’s hallucinatory best friend and every bit his intellectual equal. According to Pierce's recollection, they met in grad school and although they dated briefly they have remained close platonic friends ever since. When Pierce meets Natalie's real-world counterpart, Dr. Caroline Newsome (also played by Rowan), the imaginary relationship he's always known becomes very real. But the line between reality and fantasy continues to blur as Pierce juggles relationships with the two identical characters.

Paul Haley (LeVar Burton) is Dean of the Faculty, making him Pierce's boss, but they have also been best friends for over twenty years. While he has tremendous respect for Pierce’s brilliant mind and academic prowess, Haley’s responsibilities to the university often leave him torn between doing his job and protecting his friend.

Production Bios

Ken Biller
Creator/Executive Producer

Ken Biller has written, produced, and/or directed over 300 hours of television for most of the major networks and studios. His many credits include serving as executive producer and head writer for E-Ring, starring Benjamin Bratt and Dennis Hopper on NBC; Six Degrees, starring Hope Davis and Campbell Scott on ABC; and Star Trek: Voyager on UPN. He also served as co-executive producer of the series North Shore, Smallville and Dark Angel, starring Jessica Alba. He has served as executive producer and head writer for the action-fantasy series Legend of the Seeker, which he developed for television. In addition to his role as executive producer and showrunner on Perception, Biller has future projects in development at ABC and TNT.

Mike Sussman
Creator/Co-Executive Producer

Mike Sussman's career in television drama was launched when he was hired as a story editor on the Paramount television series Star Trek: Voyager. He stayed with the Star Trek franchise for five seasons and was promoted to producer on Star Trek: Enterprise, starring Scott Bakula. Sussman's other television credits as a writer-producer include the CBS drama Threshold, starring Carla Gugino and Peter Dinklage, and the syndicated Legend of the Seeker for executive producer Sam Raimi and ABC Studios. Previously, Sussman served as a writer and producer for KCAL-TV’s Emmy®-winning Prime Nine News and shared the Best Newscast Award at the New York Festivals Television & Film Awards. He is a graduate of the Writers Guild of America's Showrunner Training Program.

Sean Whitesell
Co-Executive Producer

Michael Katleman is a film and television producer and director. He made his directorial debut on the critically acclaimed series China Beach. From there, he established himself in the industry by directing such hit shows as ER, Northern Exposure, Dark Angel, The X-Files and Smallville. With his exceptional work and positive attitude, Katleman quickly became a sought-after pilot director. To date, three of his five pilots have been picked up to series.

In 2002, Steven Spielberg recruited Katleman to direct the two-hour finale of his Emmy®-winning miniseries Taken. This opportunity provided him the footing to take his next step into the feature world. Disney and Hollywood Pictures approached him to direct their action-adventure film Primeval, a visual-effects-driven film shot entirely on location in South Africa.

Since directing Primeval, Katleman has continued his success on the small screen and is one of the most in-demand producing/show-running directors in the business. He has worked on Big Shots, Life on Mars, Eastwick, My Generation and TNT’s Memphis Beat.

Amanda Green
Co-Executive Producer

Amanda Green began her career in law enforcement and transitioned into television writing. She specializes in crime dramas, which allow her to draw upon her wealth of experience in the criminal justice system. Green was a writer/producer for the first eleven seasons of NBC's long-running crime drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, starring Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni, for which she wrote and/or produced more than 250 episodes.

In addition to SVU, Green has written for Trial By Jury, Outlaw and Blue Bloods, and developed projects for major networks including FOX, HBO and TNT.

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