Billy Baldwin Pleads for Return of Dirty Sexy Money

Actor William Baldwin is half of one of TV’s most groundbreaking couples -- his Dirty Sexy Money character is in love with a transsexual, played by Candis Cayne -- but it’s one plot that may not get to play itself out, as the show is in danger of cancellation. Baldwin sat down with Advocate.com to talk about rumors that ABC is "de-gaying" its lineup, what the future holds for Money, and whether network heads ever interfered with his controversial story line.

BY Kyle Buchanan

November 26 2008 12:00 AM ET

 WILLIAM BILLY BALDWIN CANDIS CAYNE DIRTY SEXY MONEY X390 (ABC) | ADVOCATE.COM

Your relationship with Candis Cayne on the show has
been a groundbreaking story line, but at the same time,
ABC has come under fire for firing Brooke Smith at
Grey's Anatomy. She was playing a
lesbian character, and there are accusations that ABC
has "de-gayed" that show. Do you know anything
about that?
No, but I know Brooke pretty well and love her,
and her mother, Lois, used to be my publicist. I did
see something pop up on the Internet about it and I
wasn't sure what it was about. I mean, ABC has been better
than all the other networks to the LGBT audience, by a
considerable margin. If there's pressure behind the
scenes, I haven't heard if that's true and where it
might be coming from. I can't imagine that the network's
going in and cleaning stuff up -- I think pushing the
envelope and being racy in that way has worked to
their advantage and I don't know why they wouldn't
continue to do that. With Grey's Anatomy, had
you heard about any religious groups that were
protesting the network or something?

I haven't, but I know people were confused by how
abrupt Brooke's firing was.
What words did they put out on the street about
it?

They said the character had run its course, but
then Brooke gave an interview saying it came out of
nowhere and they only told her she'd be let go
just before she was about to shoot what became her
final episode.
Wow. My friendship with her is such that we bump
into each other at restaurants, but I'm curious to
know what happened, what her take on it is.

So you never felt any network interference with
your story line?
No. I've read production drafts that weren't
released to the actors yet that were sent to the
network for notes, and I've seen the differences
between drafts after their notes, and I didn't notice any
significant difference in my story line. Sometimes
when I saw a production draft, I wouldn't even read
the whole script, I'd just read the scene I was in, so
I don't know if there were changes with other story lines,
but if they were going to change any of them it would
probably be mine. And I didn't notice any significant
changes at all.

How many episodes of the second season have you
filmed so far?
We're in the middle of the 13th... I think
you're in a tough position as a showrunner when you're
writing a show that feels on some level like an
audition for the "back nine" [episodes of the season]. If
you don't have to be burdened by that or restricted
like that... I don't think it affected the overall
quality of the show, though. I dug the show, people
dug the show, and I hope we get a shot to continue. I really
do. I would do anything, I really would. I wouldn't even do
nine [episodes] if they wanted, I'd do six! Just let
them run in succession.

Tags: television

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