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The CBS continuation of Training Day has been adding actors right and left in recent weeks to fill out the cast of its pilot for the network. Now we know that a former Dexter cast member will be making some intriguing appearances in the show, should it get past the pilot stage at CBS.
Julie Benz, who played Dexter Morgan’s girlfriend and, later, ill-fated wife, Rita, on Dexter has, according to Deadline, signed on for a role in the Training Day pilot. Benz is probably best known for her four seasons on the Showtime series, but has had memorable roles on several TV shows since her debut in the horror film Two Evil Eyes in 1990. Among her recognizable appearances on TV are parts in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Desperate Housewives, Defiance and, most recently, Hawaii Five-0.
For her role as Rita on Dexter Julie Benz received a number of award nominations, including a joint Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama, which she shared with her fellow cast members. Benz’s work on the show was praised by critics in general, with the New York Post saying that her “Rita always felt like the light in that dark show” and that her character was “the vessel through which the audience could love Dexter.”
The new Training Day is a continuation of the 2001 film, in which a young LAPD detective (Ethan Hawke) is sent to ride along with a more seasoned detective (Denzel Washington) in order to be evaluated. The decorated older cop happens to be a narcotics officer with some questionable morals, which the rookie detective gets to witness first hand during his 24 hours riding with him.
The show will pick up 15 years after the movie, and center, again, on a rookie who’s partnered with an older, more experienced detective with no problem breaking the rules while working the mean streets of Los Angeles. Kyle Craig is the idealistic rookie in question, who’s taken a job with an elite unit of LAPD detectives and soon realizes that his partner, Frank Rourke (Bill Paxton), is into some shady dealings. Before long, Kyle will find himself charged with insinuating himself into Frank’s unit to put an end to his rampant corruption.
Julie Benz is set to play Holly McCabe, a proud Hollywood madam whose looks belie her actual age, and who is quite pleased with herself for treating the women in her employment well. Holly has an understanding with Frank which likely keeps her and her ladies from prosecution, and which probably stems from her romantic relationship with him.
Training Day will be executive produced by the director of the original film, Antoine Fuqua, who is also signed up to direct the pilot. It’s understandable that those who love the movie will be doubtful of this show, but it already sounds like they have a handle on things and can make Training Day into a dramatic and enjoyable series.