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Is there a 'Lone Star' curse?

September 27, 2010 |  9:45 am

Lonesta
It's tough being James Wolk.

This should have been the month of the young actor's life. His buzzed-about primetime show "Lone Star," in which he plays a boyishly charming Texas con man, debuted on Fox. And "You Again," in which the Michigan native plays the lead male character in a sea of female ones, got a big push from Disney.

A primetime debut and a major studio release in the same month would have been an achievement for any actor. For a 25-year-old who just two years ago was scrounging for parts on soap operas such as "As the World Turns," it was a milestone.

As it turns out, September might leave Wolk hankering for a daytime love triangle. In its debut last week,  "Lone Star" managed an un-Texas-like 4.1 million viewers. Despite an outpouring of media affection, the show is on the brink of cancellation.

At least "Lone Star" got good reviews. "You Again" landed an awful 13% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and struggled to gross $8.3 million this weekend -- which, based on the number of screens it played, means that an average of just a few dozen people went to any given showing. 

But Wolk shouldn't be too despondent. He's in good company on the "Lone Star" set....

Wolk's co-star and wife on the show, Adrianne Palicki, has it worse. She has a lead role in the upcoming "Red Dawn" remake. Well, it was upcoming, until MGM announced that it was delaying the November release indefinitely while it worked out its financial problems.

Nor is it just the people in front of the camera. "Lone Star" creator Kyle Killen -- who sent out that plaintive missive last week begging for a miracle -- has been touched by bad fortune too.

Killen landed atop the industry-sanctioned Black List with a hot script two years back. Every Hollywood A-lister wanted be involved, and eventually some were. The movie was made. The film in question? It's the Jodie Foster-directed "The Beaver," and it, too, is caught in limbo as Summit decides how to release a movie with Mel Gibson in the starring role. If "Lone Star" could be off the air very soon, "The Beaver" has the opposite problem -- it may be months or even years before anyone sees it.  The "Lone Star" curse strikes again.

If we're Jon Voight or David Keith, we're worried right about now.

--Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: James Wolk and the rest of the cast of 'Lone Star.' Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Television

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