Ex List Doomed From The Start

Cliff Lipson

Toronto Star
Nov 11 2008

Montreal native Anne Bedian, right, with Elizabeth Reaser on ‘The Ex
List,’ which has now landed in the Axed List.

No one has said anything official yet, but it’s pretty clear that
The Ex List has become an ex-show.

After only four episodes of the single-camera romantic comedy aired,
CBS abruptly pulled it off the schedule, to be replaced initially by
the more successful NCIS, and this week by a Price is Right Salutes
the Troops game-show special.

Meanwhile, here in Canada, the show limps on for another week, if
only after midnight (12:37 a.m.) next Tuesday on the Newfoundland
"superstation," NTV.

The series would seem to have been doomed from the start – showrunner
Diane Ruggiero famously stormed off the set within days of its debut,
citing creative interference and vowing never to work for the network

The show, for those who haven’t seen it – and not many have, which
is essentially the problem – stars Elizabeth Reaser (Grey’s Anatomy,
the upcoming feature Twilight) as a 30-something florist who, on the
advice of a sarcastic psychic, played by Montreal-born Anne Bedian,
begins working her way back through all her ex-boyfriends in search
of her perfect soulmate.

Sigal Avin, the creator/producer of Mythological X, the hit Israeli
half-hour upon which Ex List is based, was brought in to oversee what
remained of the season’s ordered 13 episodes, which are apparently
still in production – anticipating an 11th-hour reprieve, or at the
very least, an afterlife on DVD.

"It was definitely a shocker for all of us," admits co-star Bedian
of the Ruggiero defection.

"I mean, we had no idea."

And this phone conversation took place weeks before The Ex List became
The Axed List. One can only imagine how shocked they all were at that.

But then, Bedian says the cast and crew were pretty much insulated
from the internal battles.

"We’re sort of removed," the actor allowed, "because we’re shooting in
San Diego and the writers are in Burbank. But there’s only maybe three
or four episodes left that were really blank screens when she left."

And now Bedian’s psychic will see blank screens in her immediate
future, which is doubly unfortunate for her, since the initially
incidental character was starting to play a considerably more
substantial role.

"In the Israeli version, I think, they had her on once or twice,"
she says. "But here they decided to make her a recurring character. So
I am very lucky and happy for that.

"It’s a departure for me in my work," adds the episodic veteran. "I’m
usually not, you know, doing comedy so much. So it’s something to
add to my resumé. It’s great."

Bedian invested a lot more in the character than was on the printed

"I stuck that accent in," she says, "which really helped the
character. I remember there was a big sign at the auditions that said
`No accents.’ But I went for Armenian, because I am Armenian."

The perpetually irritated attitude, she says, is part Golden Girl
Dorothy Zbornak and part Patsy Stone from Absolutely Fabulous, two
of her favourite shows.

She wouldn’t have known it when we talked (on the other hand, maybe
she would), but it is oddly appropriate that the show’s likely final
airings are coming out of Newfoundland.

Bedian was stationed there when she was in the navy.

You read that right. As commonplace as it may be now, at the time
there were few women serving.

"I was maybe the second or the third," she says.

"I was in for three years. Even got a medal for it.

"I was very young, just 17, so it was a bit traumatic. But in another
way that was a blessing. My petty officer had two daughters my age,
so he was extremely paternal. Since I was the youngest member of the
crew, most of these boys were like my big brothers, so they were very,
very protective of me."

Particularly when they sailed on NATO manoeuvres with other ships.

"The Canadian ships all had alcohol on board," she laughs, "so
everyone wanted to come aboard and party with us all the time. The
Americans would look over and be like, `Oh my God, they have girls,
they have booze.’ And the guys would always say, `They’re one of
us. You can’t touch them. You can’t treat them like they’re not
sailors or soldiers. Hands off.’"

–Boundary_(ID_axtgI/CXycGg8s8kd5QC0w )–


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