Eliza Dushku - of recent Dollhouse fame - has landed a leading role in a new pilot for TNT called Bird Dog. As a result, many fans of the actress, as well as television critics examining the forthcoming slate of new dramatic programming, believe this could be the role that finally launches Dushku into a higher echelon of celebrity status that has, until now, eluded her.
Bird Dog is the brainchild of longtime TV writer and director Mike Robe. If the pilot gets picked up, the series would mark Dushku's first cable series.
The central premise of the series focuses on Gail McGrath - a police officer played by the 29-year-old Dushku - who trailed her father into the world of law enforcement - the only mutual interest she shared with her estranged old man. With time, McGrath would leave the big city she once called home in order to settle out West. A piece of home, however, soon finds McGrath as her father turns up at her house to announce that he is her new partner.
Bird Dog puts a dramatic twist on the buddy-cop storyline of both old-school and contemporary film and television projects. What little is known of the plot is just enough to leave some thinking that there's an awful lot of potential for either television gold or an unwatchable father-daughter cop drama destined for the monologues of late night comedians. But if Eliza Dushka's record is indicative of her future, the former - luckily - will most likely be the result.
Dushku, who has also appeared in such films as True Lies, The New Guy, Bring It On, Wrong Turn and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, landed her breakthrough television role in 1998 as Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She later joined the cast of the Fox mystery series Tru Calling, which lasted two seasons. Last year, Dushku was once again tapped by Buffy creator Joss Whedon to return to television for the sci-fi series Dollhouse, which similarly lasted two seasons.
The actress recently appeared in a highly-rated episode of The Big Bang Theory. Many television viewers may also recall seeing Dushku in the live audience of Dancing with the Stars this past season, as the she was on hand to support boyfriend Rick Fox, who was ultimately eliminated in the seventh round.
If Bird Dog gets picked up, expect to see it this fall, on TNT.