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TCA Press Tour: 'Human Target' brings the action hero to TV

August 6, 2009 |  6:41 pm

Ht_walkthree_plates_113.rc.b The plan for Fox‘s midseason drama “Human Target”: Put the “action” in action hero.

Based on the comic book and graphic novel of the same name, the one-hour series centers on Christopher Chance (Mark Valley), a bodyguard-for-hire with a special skill set: He can integrate himself seamlessly into his clients’ lives to become the human target.

The Fox news release describes a scenario as such: If a bank president is tipped off to a potential heist, Chance will morph into an unassuming bank teller.

Writer-executive producer Jonathan E. Steinberg, an action movie junkie, said his goal was to create a hero for television that would bring the mind the ones he grew up watching on film. Among them, Indiana Jones and “Die Hard’s” John McClane.

Valley said the action is real. The show‘s stunts have already claimed some casualties too. Like his pants. “I never ripped my pants on ‘Boston Legal,’ ” he said.

Danny Glover even turns up for a scene in the pilot -- the result of pleading from Steinberg himself. “We wanted it to make the show like ‘Lethal Weapon’ and ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ ” he said. “So I wrote him a fan letter and he came and he did an episode, which was pretty cool.”

Chance has also got a dark past and two sidekicks to go with it: business partner Winston (Chi McBride) and hired gun (Jackie Earle Haley). Haley, who next stars as Freddie Krueger in “The Nightmare of Elm Street,” said he made the leap to TV so he could work on something his 10-year-old could watch. Haley also said he was floored by the screenplay.

-- Denise Martin

Photo credit: Fox