Featuring Christopher Gorham (Popular, Odyssey 5), the premise of Jake 2.0, as according to Paste Magazine‘s article, “10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Shows That Were Canceled Too Soon,” in which it makes #10:
Before Chuck, there was Jake 2.0. The similar concept was as follows: Your normal, everyday computer genius gets infected with nanorobots and gains superhuman abilities. The show starring Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs) aired on UPN for only 10 episodes before being canceled due to low ratings. While the network wasn’t really known for high quality entertainment (besides the genius Veronica Mars, which moved to the CW following a merger with the WB), the show had an intriguing concept that was never fully realized.
A typical superhero origin story where the skinny, lowly nobody is accidentally infected by material that gives him superpowers. In this case, said nobody is Christopher Gorham as Jake Foley, who works IT for the NSA, and the infectious materials are nanobots which endow Jake with physical and mental superpowers (superhuman strength, enhanced vision and hearing, the ability to fix computers with his brain, etc). Infectious Jake is quickly made a special agent, giving the NSA full access to his abilities while they also try to figure out how to remove the nanobots from his body.
Around the time of the series’ promotion, Gorham recalls his one-off appearance on Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, “I Only Have Eyes For You,” as according to the Orlando Sentinel article, “`Jake 2.0′ Star Fondly Recalls `Buffy’“:
Former Popular and Odyssey 5 regular Christopher Gorham now has a show of his own, Jake 2.0, premiering Sept. 10 on UPN. But even with the excitement of all that, his eyes light up when he recalls his one-episode stint on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which ended its run on UPN last year.
It came in April 1998, during season two of Buffy, when the show was still on the WB. The episode featured Gorham as a Sunnydale High student from the 1950s who has an ill-fated romance with a teacher.
The duo’s tragic end continues to haunt the school, and as preparations for the Sadie Hawkins Day dance approach, the couple’s spirits possess people in the school, forcing them to re-enact a murder/suicide.
The last two possessed are Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and the vampire Angel (David Boreanaz).
“Sarah Michelle Gellar was unbelievable to work with,” says Gorham. “I played this character that possessed Buffy. There was a big breakup scene where my character ended up shooting and killing his teacher accidentally and then killing himself.
“On one of the days where we were actually working together, she comes up to me and says, `Chris, listen, how do you want to play this scene?’ Blown away. I was so floored. I couldn’t believe it.
“I was like, `OK . . . yeah, this is how I was going to do it.’ But I couldn’t believe she would even ask. She was going first that day, and she asked me how I would want to do it. It’s totally the right way to do it, but coming onto a series where she’s already a huge star, you don’t expect her to do that. She was unbelievable, just great. Nothing bad to say about her.”
In one of TV’s interesting coincidences, David Greenwalt, who was a producer and writer on Buffy at the time Gorham did his guest shot, is now the show-runner on Jake 2.0. Further, Jake faces off against the Buffy spin-off, the WB’s Angel, starring David Boreanaz and co-created by Greenwalt, on Wednesdays this fall.
On January 16th, 2004, it was announced that the show was cancelled, as according to Trek Today‘s article, “‘Jake 2.0’ Is Cancelled“:
The freshman drama Jake 2.0, which followed up Star Trek: Enterprise on Wednesday night, has been cancelled.
Variety reported today that production had been halted on the show. Reruns of America’s Next Top Model, which airs on Tuesdays at 9pm Eastern time, will be taking the place of Jake 2.0 at 9pm on Wednesdays.
Jake 2.0 struggled in the ratings. The show debuted with a 4.2 rating/6 share, lower than last season’s The Twilight Zone, which opened with a 4.6/7. The last airing of Jake 2.0, a rerun on January 7th, attracted only 1.52 million viewers and landed in last place for the week of January 5th at #119. The last first run episode of Jake 2.0 aired on December 17th and scored a 2.4/4 to come in 5th place in the hour, ahead of a rerun of the WB’s Angel.
America’s Next Top Model debuted to high numbers for UPN on Tuesday night. The second season of the reality show drew in 4.9 million viewers, the highest ratings in that timeslot for the net since 1995.