'Castle's' poker game features real-life authors

Cannell: Died last week.
Cannell: Died last week.
Posted: October 04, 2010

The fictional Richard Castle may have had a real best-seller in "Heat Wave," but he's hardly the only author to appear on ABC's "Castle," thanks to an occasional poker game in which Castle (Nathan Fillion) plays with writers like James Patterson, Michael Connelly and Stephen J. Cannell.

(Cannell, the veteran TV producer behind such shows as "The A-Team," "The Rockford Files" and "21 Jump Street," as well as a best-selling novelist, died Thursday at age 69 of complications from melanoma. He'd appeared in at least three episodes of "Castle" and along with Connelly provided a blurb for the cover of Castle's latest book, "Naked Heat.")

Asked in July who else was on his wish list for Castle's poker game, show creator Andrew W. Marlowe, whose own taste in mysteries runs more to Agatha Christie and Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe, said, "I'd love to see Stephen King in one, I'd love to see Sue Grafton in one.

"The last time we approached [King's] reps, there wasn't that level of interest, so [there were] complications with scheduling. What people don't realize is that these guys are really busy and that selling books these days is a full-time job, and they're often on book tour."

The show's also attempted to get power couple Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, and "we almost had them at a particular point," he said.

But while Marlowe seems interested in a coed poker game, "Some of the ladies we have approached have not been excited about going in front of the camera," he said.

Fillion, who started reading Robert B. Parker's Spenser mysteries after getting the role, has his own wish list. (Parker, who died in January, is sadly no longer eligible.)

"I'd love to see - because I've been reading his book over and over again - Max Brooks [author of] 'World War Z.' That book gives me nightmares. . . . I'd certainly like to see Stephen King, and had he not passed away, Stieg Larsson [Swedish author of "The Girl" trilogy] would've been a great one," he said.

- Ellen Gray

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