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Shawn Ryan surprised a lot of people when his FX show The Shield turned out to be the best television series outside HBO (back in the days when HBO was known for great television and before Denis Leary found his sweet spot with Rescue Me and grabbed the FX drama greatness crown), and now, a few years down the line, while he works mainstream, producing The Unit over at CBS and The Shield winds down to the day that Michael Chiklis can stop sucking in his gut, there’s talk of a spin-off. A Shield spinoff, featuring a not-so-bad detective.
Jay Karnes, who plays Dutch Wagenbach, the straight-arrow detective who was slipping it to rival Vic Mackey’s wife in season four, has let it slip that producers are kicking around the idea of a Dutch series– after season seven brings The Shield to an end in 2008.
Incredibly, Karnes isn’t jumping at the chance for a starring gig.
“Scott Rosenbaum, one of our writer/producers, actually wants to do it,” he tells Terry Morrow at the Knoxnews blog. “I don’t know. I guess if they throw enough money at me. It’s a little on the nose. It’s kind of Beverly Hills Buntz for The Shield. That’s why I find it amusing. I’m not sure it would be something that America would tune in for.”
Funny he’d mention Buntz, the Hill Street Blues spinoff that starred Dennis Franz years before he found his mojo on NYPD Blue. Like Hill Street creator Steven Bochco, Shawn Ryan created his own police world with The Shield. Like Bochco, who inflicted his wife, Barbara Bosson, as the ex-wife of Hill Street’s top cop, Ryan’s missus, Cathy Cahlin Ryan, portrays Mackey’s now-estranged wife. And as Bochco hired a lot of his old college buddies as actors on Hill Street, Karnes got the
A full-blown sixth season of The Shield, which was originally planned as a Sopranos-style extension of season five, kicks off January 16th. Production on the final season is set to begin in the middle of next year.