Cheers to everyone who had the “August 15” square in their “When will Katherine Heigl’s new series find minor controversy?” office pool, for lady luck is smiling at you. Heigl’s upcoming NBC drama State of Affairs isn’t only suffering from a generic title, but it’s also missing a showrunner, now that Third Watch creator Edward Bernero has walked away from the project. Here’s where I fight the urge to completely succumb to the temptations of yellow journalism.
According to EW’s sources, Heigl doesn’t even have anything to do with his exit. It appears Bernero and State of Affairs creator/executive producer Joe Carnahan were having creative difficulties with one another, so the former stepped down. Trauma creator and The Bridge writer Dario Scardapane is reportedly in negotiations with NBC about taking over the showrunner position. Let’s hope this won’t be a major setback for what sounds like a decent premise.
State of Affairs stars Heigl as Charlie Tucker, a CIA officer who finds herself jettisoned into close proximity with the President (Alfre Woodard), serving as her advisor on critical threats affecting the nation’s security. Of course, such a high-profile professional life has its way of affecting one’s personal life, and Charlie’s downtime is anything but ordinary. Check out the trailer for the series below.
It’s not unheard of for shifts in showrunners to occur before a series goes to air, but it figures that it happens to a show with both Heigl and Carnahan involved. The latter, who also directed State of Affairs’ pilot, has had his comedic thriller Stretch in Hollywood limbo for ages now without a concrete release. And I’m sure we all remember Heigl’s departure from Grey’s Anatomy in 2010, which involved removing her name from Emmy contention due to the actress believing the show’s writing to be unworthy. She later went on to make disparaging comments about her comedic breakout film Knocked Up.
But if they say she didn’t have anything to do with Bernero leaving, then we believe them. I mean, we totally believed Heigl at last month’s Television Critics Association press event, during which the actress actually came out and said that she doesn’t see herself as being difficult to work with. (For what it’s worth, Bernero called “Rude!” on the press’ insistence in rooting that answer out of Heigl in the first place.)
Whichever way the showrunner situation turns out, State of Affairs is set to hit NBC’s schedule on Monday, November 17.