Now and Again
|Name:||Now and Again|
|Creator:||Glenn Gordon Caron|
|Date(s):||Sept. 24, 1999 - May 5, 2000|
|Country of Origin:||USA|
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Now and Again premiered on CBS television in September 1999 and focused on what would happen if a dead man's brain were removed and placed in a body with superhuman strength and mental powers. Michael Wiseman, now Michael Newman (played as the original character by John Goodman, and as the "created" superman by Eric Close), was drafted to assist a government scientist on a variety of projects by the brilliant, whimsical, mercurial, and somewhat sinister Dr. Theodore Morris (Dennis Haysbert) who created him. Michael's refusal to give up his family from his past life, however, proved extremely difficult for Dr. Morris and his team.
Build a man with the speed of Michael Jordan, the strength of Superman and the grace of Fred Astaire. A guy who's going to look good, be young, be omnipotent. Wild, huh? -- Dr. Morris, when he first talks to the brain of Michael Wiseman.
The series featured a unique concept and an incredibly strong cast, many of whom now appear in various popular series. (Haysbert went on to become the U.S. president in 24; Close went on to star in his third series for the network, Without a Trace.) The Wisemans' daughter was played by Heather Matarazzo, fresh off her success in Welcome to the Dollhouse. It was created by Glenn Gordon Caron, the mastermind of Moonlighting. The series was a hit for CBS at a time when they were fighting for the 18-45 demographic, and this was their first hit in that group in many, many years (they were known at the time for appealing primarily to a much older audience); unfortunately, a pissing match between CBS and the production company, Paramount, and CBS's desire to move the series' filming from NYC to less-expensive L.A., led to the surprise cancellation at the end of its first season. Numerous attempts were made to revive Now and Again or find it a home on a more open-minded network, but to this day, there is still no sight of the show being released on DVD. Sci-Fi channel picked up the series about a year or so later and ran the episodes for a while, but they (as usual) butchered it for time.
The series was funny, sweet, intriguing, and utterly unique, with great action scenes and compelling, emotional plots. It also featured a strong cliffhanger ending, one which there will likely never be a resolution to.
Now and Again Fandom
Much of the few fanworks created at the height of the show's popularity are now long gone. The Yahoo Groups email lists, some of which featured fanfic and meta discussions, are no longer available, and many of the web sites that focused on the show or provided fanfiction are gone, as well.
There is little source available for the series -- few taped copies were kept by fans in its initial CBS run, but more copies were made available through fannish networks when Sci-Fi began showing it, and when it aired in other countries. Most of these are cut down from the original eps as they aired, however. Only a small handful of vids were created during its height, probably because vidding was still done heavily on VCRs at that point and without source easily available, few vidders knew about it.
What fandom there was seemed to be divided fairly evenly among its slash, het, and gen qualities. Most slash featured Dr. Morris and Michael Wiseman; because of the unique nature of their relationship and its intensity, it often focused on the angst. Het was extremely popular because of Wiseman's undying devotion to and love for his former wife, and gen was a popular genre because of the family nature of Wiseman's past. Some episodes focused very strongly, in fact, on that family relationship, which was another aspect that made it unlike any other series on TV. A great deal of fanfic centered on the cliffhanger ending, which left resolution up to the fans -- Michael escaping Dr. Morris with his family, and the government and a furious Dr. Morris hot on their trail.
The fan campaign to save the show sent plastic eggs to the network, in reference to a character from the stunning premiere storyline and the series finale called The Eggman.