By this time,USA Networkseries White Collar would normally be deeply in preproduction, getting ready to start filming in March. But not this year. It’s already mid-February, and there is still no decision on the future of the buddy crime drama whose most recent fifth season ended two weeks ago. I hear there has been some communication between USA and White Collar producer Fox TV Studios but no meaningful dialogue so far. Given the way Season 5 ended — with a cliffhanger involving the abduction of Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) — it is safe to assume that there will be some sort of continuation, likely a conclusion for the series. The question is what that sixth and final installment will be. I hear the network has been mulling a short miniseries to wrap the story in the vein of Showtime’s The Big C, while the studio would prefer a traditional final season.While Collar‘s status as one of USA’s signature series would weigh in favor of the second option. All of USA’s other established series – Monk, Burn Notice (also produced by FtvS), Psych and In Plain Sight — have received a proper send-off with a final season. Moved to fall for the first time since its first season, White Collar got dinged up against in-season competition but rebounded in January when the conclusion of Season 5 averaged 2.8 million viewers in Live+Same Day, up 22% from fall, and 955,000 adults 18-49, up 32%.
With ratings still solid, the focus turns to the show’s economics and creative vitality. At this point in the run of a series, a network is responsible for the full production cost. With a well-known cast and extensive location shoots in New York, White Collar is an expensive show. What’s more, it is not owned by USA. USA parent NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment has made owning content a priority with the appointments of Jeff Wachtel and Dawn Olmstead to spearhead in-house production efforts. The network has a lot of projects in the pipeline with a slew of pilot orders, and has been going through a portfolio changeover, replacing its older shows with new ones. From a business perspective, continuing White Collar at the current price tag may not make a lot of sense for USA. But from a legacy standpoint, the show, which boasts one of the network’s most recognizable stars in Bomer and is one of few USA shows to receive critical praise, deserves a proper conclusion. I hear FtvS is willing to shoulder the cost of a final season and is open to a lower license fee, while USA brass are intent on bringing the show back in some form. The two should be able to find middle ground as they have a lot of business together, with FtvS emerging as one of USA’s top suppliers having produced Burn Notice, White Collar, Graceland, new comedy series Sirens as well as Complications, the pilot from Burn Notice creator Matt Nix. [x]
TVLine: What did you think of the finale cliffhanger? And does it feel like the show is nearing the end of its run? Season 6 is a safe bet, but perhaps it should be the final season. The strength of the show has always the terrific push-and-pull chemistry between Peter and Neal. But if trying to find ways to keep them together also keeps the characters from moving on and evolving, maybe it’s time to to take Neal’s advice and stop running from the truth: After all, everything good must come to an end. [x]
Series co-starring Tiffani Thiessen and Willie Garson faces a cliff-hanger on extension by USA
Fans of USA’s “White Collar” can contemplate two cliffhangers when the fifth season wraps up Thursday night at 9.
On the screen, one major character will end the season in straits that are unexpected, mysterious and seemingly dire.
“We always end the season with a cliff-hanger,” notes executive producer/writer Nick Thiel.
The second cliff-hanger is off-screen: whether USA will renew the show for a sixth season.
“We’re waiting,” says Thiel. “We had good ratings and we have a loyal fan base. I’m hoping we’ll get the go-ahead to put the next season in motion soon.”
Unlike some cable shows, such as “Sons of Anarchy,” Thiel says “White Collar” wasn’t plotted for a specific number of seasons.
“When you start, you always hope for seven,” he says. “That’s a really good run. But we feel like we’ve got a lot left.”
Creator Jeff Eastin does have the show’s final scene in mind, says Thiel. “When we know we’re winding down, we’ll write to that scene. But we’re not there yet.”
“White Collar” is one of several breezy, likable and amusing dramas that have made USA the most-watched basic cable network.
The series stars Matt Bomer as a brilliant, hunky criminal and Tim DeKay as the FBI agent who now employs him as a consultant.
Fans have also embraced Tiffani Thiessen as DeKay’s wife, and Willie Garson as Mozz, a con man with a good heart.
“We couldn’t do the show without Mozz,” says Thiel. “Mozz and anyone is a great scene.”
“White Collar” also employs offbeat twists like female villains. Bad girl Bridget Regan sparks tonight’s story, and Thiel says she’s done an “incredible job.”
But as with all TV drama, there are always matters unresolved.source : nydailynews.com
From a Sharif Atkins interview at the chicago tribune
It’s a good finale until the final minutes make it a great one.
The final scene is such a jaw-dropper that it seems unlikely that the series wouldn’t be renewed. Still, though, this is TV and it wouldn’t be smart to count on anything until the title sequence starts rolling on next season’s premiere.
“USA wanted it to not be (an) ambiguous (ending) at all,” Thiel [WC executive producer] said. “Originally, we left it ambiguous about what happens as far as whether it was the end or not the end and they didn’t want it to be that way.”
Atkins, who is well versed in the ups and downs of the Hollywood casting roller coaster, would, of course, like to see the show continue for “two of three more seasons,” he said with a laugh.
Then, pausing, he offered astutely: “I think you want to get one more season out of it to bring a proper close to the story that has been very well told and very well woven. It would do the show justice and the characters and the relationships … It would do everyone justice to really have an opportunity to finish the story out.”