LOS ANGELES — According to results from network focus groups and Nielsen studies, TV audiences are just proud of comic actor Rainn Wilson for getting back out there.
“Seeing him in those promos filled me with hope,” said Kristy Aufrecht, a 39-year-old mother of two from Eagle Rock. “It’s a tough business and I’m glad he’s giving it another shot, again.”
Wilson is starring in Backstrom, a new series for FOX where he plays an ornery detective who struggles with “self-destructive” tendencies, and is part of a team of eccentric criminologists.
“Sure it’s just a bad retread of FOX’s more popular show House, subbing in the Dwight guy for Hugh Laurie,” said patent lawyer Miguel Suarez, “but the point is he hasn’t given up. He’s still trying even though he surely knows his fate.”
Wilson has mounted multiple attempts to break into the big time with roles in My Super Ex-Girlfriend and The Last Mimzy, as well as his own star-making vehicle, the 2008 big budget comedy The Rocker, and we all know how that went.
“I think we could learn something from Rainn Wilson’s never-say-die attitude,” added Aufrecht. “Some might think it’s sad, but I think it’s inspiring.”
Many focus group participants were surprised to learn that Wilson is already 49 years old and holds an MFA in acting from NYU’s prestigious Tisch School.
“49, really? Yikes,” said Carri Flynn, an account manager from Santa Monica. “I guess that’s even more inspiring.”
Despite Backstrom‘s disappointing debut and lukewarm critical response, TV analysts took note of how favorably Wilson is still viewed by network audiences.
“Dwight looks different in this show,” said Greg Fitzpatrick, 61, of Calabasas.
Cole Moser similarly applauds Jenna Fischer for giving up.
Image by Fox.