Battle Creek Canceled—I’m So Unhappy

June 5, 2015


Above: Sketch of Dean Winters on "Battle Creek" as Russ Agnew. Purple Grape Prismacolor pencil on Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media paper.

Let's face it, Dean Winters acting in anything makes me happy.

I don't care if he is playing Liz Lemon's ne'er-do-well Beeper King boyfriend Dennis Duffy in "30 Rock," Johnny Gavin (Tommy's police detective brother) in "Rescue Me," or Russ Agnew on "Battle Creek." Even as "Mayhem" on the Allstate ads…

Seeing him act just makes me happy. As soon as the music for "Battle Creek" would start to play on Sunday nights, these past few months, I'd start to smile.

(What is wrong with CBS—putting a new show on Sundays after live events so it's overrun and people can't find it???!!!!)

(I'm really angry at CBS as you can tell. It's like the "Square Pegs" mess all over again—let's hide a show so no one can find it; though in that case they also moved it all around. Yes, I'm still upset about that.)

If you missed "Battle Creek" try to get the episodes via On-Demand or Hulu or any place you can find them. (You can buy the season on Amazon.)

The show, set in Battle Creek, Michigan, also starred Josh Duhamel as a squeaky clean FBI agent Milt Chamberlain, who gets assigned to Battle Creek and ends up working with Detective Rush Agnew—the cynical detective played by Winters. There's one line early in the season, when the two are driving and Milt is talking about something good he sees or expects of the people he is interviewing, and Russ says, "Do you even know people?" The delivery, with a slight beat between know and people is priceless.

The two work cases together with the help of a promising supporting cast, including an under-utilized Kal Penn. (I'm sure there would have been more of all the supporting cast if the show had lasted.)

The show had interesting back stories, and obvious character chemistry. A foul-tempered coroner, played by Meredith Eaton, hated Russ and would do anything for Milt. 

I could tell you more, but you really should seek it out and find out for yourself. Vince Gilligan and David Shore created the show. 

The cancellation of this show is a total loss to rich, enjoyable TV. I feel robbed.

I am very angry with CBS. They just killed a great show. My mood on Sunday nights is now decidedly grumpy.

Besides which, it was great fun to sketch Dean Winters. 

So again, I urge you to find episodes of "Battle Creek."  Watch the episodes in order because there is a progression to the characters' development that is fun to see unfold. And they do manage to wrap up some story lines in the final episode. 

And then go look at anything else Dean Winters is acting in, because he's that good.

In other news, and this news is good,  "Orange Is the New Black" begins its third season on June 12! (Only on Netflix of course.)

  1. Reply

    I had not heard that Battle Creek had been cancelled. Very sad to hear this.

  2. Reply

    This is a wonderful drawing, balancing fluid line with areas of texture – which can get tricky!

  3. Reply

    Thanks ellen, I just wanted to pick up a pencil, because I missed pencil (color pencil) so much. And of course Winters has one of those scruffy beards I love to sketch! (It got scruffier and more lovely each week!)

    I really like using color pencil on Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media paper but I rarely do. I just pick up the brush pen and start going.

    I’ve got a few spreads left in this journal and will have to do more pencil work. But no more Dean Winters. I’m bereft.

  4. Reply

    select episodes of OZ? He had a lot of face time there…

  5. Reply

    ellen, thanks for mentioning OZ. I couldn’t write about it because I gave up my premium cable channels sometime in there and didn’t watch it. I knew he was in it, but I’ll have to catch up on all that.

    Silly me to think I could give up TV and focus on other things! Actually it sort of worked. And I had Dottie to spend time with in the field back then.

  6. Reply

    HAHA: I lived w/o TV for a long while and missed nothing. But , once back in the swing it seems so strange. We rented Oz on disk and while it is very well done, Shakespearean in scope—-there is a violence that I needed to take in small doses. It is not a binge-watch. Dean Winters had the BEST ROLE ( humor/irony in there )and you could also sketch his twin bro, who had a pretty significant part of the early drama.

    BOARDWALK EMPIRE was my favorite sketching show this year. ABSOLUTELY beautiful lighting, set, and incredible character faces: Buscemi! Mol! DEPRESSION ERA JOES!

    • Carol
    • June 9, 2015

    Battle Creek was SO good – I love Dean Winter and really came to love Josh Duhamel, too (who I hadn’t seen before). Everybody in that show was good. They did a great last show, but I’m bummed there’ll be no more.
    Nice drawing, Roz …

  7. Reply

    Josh Duhamel is also great in the show and I’ve enjoyed him in other things as well. But he’s too conventionally “handsome” for me to have any interest in drawing him. Maybe he can still grow into his face.

    I really feel that Dean Winters has grown into his face over the last decade, and it’s a fascinating face.

    And yes, it was SO good.

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