Hollywood dream is over for ex-EastEnder Michelle Ryan
Hollywood dream is over for ex-EastEnder Michelle Ryan By MARK COLEMAN Last updated at 17:49 14 February 2008
She thought her dreams had come true after landing the lead role as TV's Bionic Woman.
But after a few short months, Michelle Ryan has accepted her bid for U.S. glory was not to be and is back in Britain. The former EastEnders actress, 23, has failed to impress as the lead character in the much-hyped remake of the 1970s science fiction show.
Now, with the Hollywood writers strike coming to an end, producers at America's NBC/Universal network have decided not to renew the show for a second season, the Daily Mail can reveal.
A source said: "Barring a last-minute miracle, the show won't be coming back. Inside the network, there's just no appetite to see more episodes, and it was an incredibly expensive show to make week in and week out.
"Producers are sick of throwing good money after bad at this series."
The former soap star was tapped last year to play robotically-enhanced Jaime Sommers in an updated version of the science fiction hit.
She beat out thousands of hopefuls for the part, which made actress Lindsay Wagner a star in the original series.
But the show was panned by critics and received dismal ratings. Reviewers called it "clichéd", a "total loss" and "dark and depressing".
The source said: "Frankly, the bosses at the network decided to blame Michelle for the show's failure. Their bet was that American viewers would fall in love with her looks, personality, and the character she played.
"But that just didn't happen. She went back to England because the writing was on the wall."
Miss Ryan, who found fame as Zoe Slater in EastEnders, returned to London in recent weeks, according to the source.
It is claimed she is "defeated and depressed" by the outcome of her efforts. And it seems she is turning back to the old comforts of Eastenders - tuning in on the night she arrived home and watching it religiously since her return.
The source added: "She lobbied quite hard to play the Bionic Woman, but even when she finally got the role she allegedly expressed real uncertainty about whether or not she could pull it off. She had no martial arts training and not a lot of experience doing action scenes."
The source claimed: "Her career in the U.S. is over right now. She'll still work plenty in England but she has to do something that really breaks out for her to get more American jobs. She's back to square one."
The show's failure is a costly one for NBC. The network invested up to $6m into each episode, spilling large amounts of cash on special effects.
In addition, more than $15m was spent marketing the show's launch appeal last summer.
The ad campaign seemed to hinge entirely on Miss Ryan's sleepy-eyed sex appeal and the brand recognition of the title.
Bionic Woman was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, although its writers and producers were based in Los Angeles, where Miss Ryan performed her initial screen test for the role.
Many members of the creative team behind the show were veterans of NBC's more successful Battlestar Galactica series remake.
But despite a highly rated premiere last September, the action drama haemorrhaged viewers on subsequent airings and never caught on with the fickle science fiction audience that has embraced hits like Galactica, Lost and Heroes.
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