The late-night debacle that went down at NBC earlier this season could fairly be called a bloody mess. “Castle” takes that idea literally in its next episode.
The ABC murder mystery will take on the cutthroat world of talk-show hosts Monday (April 12) when Castle (Nathan Fillion) is a guest on a show hosted by late-night veteran Bobby Mann (“Dancing with the Stars” host Tom Bergeron) — and Bobby insists that “They want me dead.” Which, sure enough, happens — giving Bergeron his first chance to play a dead body.
“That was thankfully very comfortable,” Bergeron tells Zap2it. “They put a warm blanket on the metal table before I climbed onto it, and I was able to keep my jeans on under the sheet. So being dead was fairly comfortable.”
The episode also guest-stars Fred Willard as Bobby’s long-time sidekick, Hank. Willard says the episode featured a first for him too — he’d never been a possible suspect on a crime show before. “You have to walk a fine line when they’re investigating who killed [Bobby],” he says. “You don’t want to hint any one way that you may be guilty or that you’re definitely not guilty.”
The episode also features Bill Bellamy as a younger talk-show host who’s gunning for Bobby’s job, Beth Broderick as Bobby’s producer, Dan Cortese as a network exec and Kelly Carlson (“Nip/Tuck”) as an actress and fellow guest on Bobby’s show who catches Castle’s eye.
Both Bergeron and Willard say they followed the Jay Leno-Conan O’Brien-NBC mess, and it left both of them scratching their heads.
“I just felt for Conan,” Bergeron says. “I thought, here’s a guy who for five years has been told, ‘This is your future’ and has planned for it, and then circumstances consipred to never really give him a fair shot. … So many things were working against him doing ‘The Tonight Show’ for the long term; I just thought that was unfortunate. And he was never funnier than those few weeks before he left.”
Willard, who’s been a guest on both shows, says he thought both Leno’s 10 p.m. show and O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” “unfortunately became bigger than they were, and they lost something.”
“I think it will be perfect if it settles back to the way it is now and Conan gets a show on another network,” Willard says. “Then everyone will be happy.”
Here’s a preview of the episode, called “The Late Shaft.” It airs at 10 p.m. ET Monday.
Photo credit: ABC