During fi ve years on the air, Medium has attracted some big names … sometimes unexpectedly. Guy Davis looks over a stellar cast list.
Since it premiered in 2005, the supernatural series Medium, starring Patricia Arquette as a woman who can see the future, read people’s thoughts and communicate with the dead, has assembled a fairly impressive line of guest stars – some of whom appeared without actually being hired.
That was the case when UK comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, perhaps better known as the man behind the wildly inappropriate Borat, managed to sneak onto the set of the show in the guise of his latest character, fl amboyant Austrian fashion reporter Bruno.
Positioning himself as a member of the jury while a tense courtroom scene was being shot, Cohen cheekily interrupted the fi lming several times before security staff removed him from the studio.
It was only then that the identity of the intruder was revealed. “ No one had a clue it was Sacha playing Bruno,” a Medium source later told the media. “ It’s amazing he was able to infi ltrate the set and pull this off .”
While there’s no word as to whether Cohen’s antics will appear in the upcoming movie Bruno, scheduled for release this July, it’s highly likely that Cohen didn’t make the fi nal cut of the Medium episode he gatecrashed.
It’s also highly likely that Medium isn’t too concerned – after all, the show isn’t exactly short of interesting performers popping up in guest roles or playing recurring characters.
Of course, Arquette’s immediate family is chock-full of actors, so there’s no surprise her sister Rosanna and brothers David and Richmond have made appearances.
And while Arquette and former husband Thomas Jane separated earlier this year after two years of marriage, Jane played a pivotal role in the premiere episode of the show’s third season playing a former lover of Arquette’s character, Allison DuBois. Naturally enough, Jane’s character was a ghost who didn’t realise that he had died.
Series creator Glenn Gordon Caron hasn’t yet been able to entice Bruce Willis or Cybill Shepherd, the stars of his ’ 80s hit Moonlighting, into dropping by. However, he did get Allyce Beasley, who played Moonlighting’s dippy receptionist Agnes.
And Willis’s daughter Rumer recently had a guest role in an episode.
Executive producer ( and Frasier star) Kelsey Grammer has made a cameo, playing Death, no less.
There have also been appearances by ’ 80s stars like Molly Ringwald and Eric Stoltz and ’ 90s sensations like Party of Five’s Neve Campbell and Jason Priestley of the original Beverly Hills, 90210.
There have been nice TV dads like Family Ties’ Michael Gross and nasty TV dads like That ’ 70s Show’s Kurtwood Smith.
Even the late David Carradine made a one-episode appearance!
One of the biggest names to be part of the Medium cast, however, has come aboard in a recurring role. Oscar winner Anjelica Huston joined the show in its fourth year as Cynthia Keener, who appeals to both Allison’s better instincts and empty purse in recruiting her to help track down missing people.
“ To rely on movie work these days — especially if you’re an actress over the magic age of 40 — is to rely on something quite fl imsy,” said Huston, explaining why she took a regular TV gig.
Huston was drawn to Medium by Arquette. “ I’m her biggest fan!” she laughed. “ I fall back in admiration of her and the talent and energy she puts into the show.”
There’s a chance that their union will continue a little while longer, despite a period where it seemed like Medium was done for.
NBC, the US network behind the show, recently cancelled it, with co-chairman Ben Silverman calling it “ an ageing franchise, without a single fan letter, with no passion”. However, rival network CBS picked up it almost immediately.
CBS saw Medium as a show that “ has always performed with distinction both creatively and commercially. The awards and ratings speak for themselves. We believe the show has a signifi cant future and await developments.”
Roll call: Among the multitude of high-profi le Hollywood stars who have
guest-starred alongside Patricia Arquette in Medium are, inset from top, Thomas
Jane ( Arquette’s former husband), Neve Campbell,
Jason Priestley, Balthazar Getty ( Arquette’s co-star in the 1997 fi lm Lost Highway)
and Anjelica Huston.