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The Pretender: Saving Luke, comes out this April, joining last fall’s

The Pretender: Rebirth in expanding and enriching the original show’s narrative.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Fans of The Pretender TV series, which aired on NBC from 1996 through 2001, have long lamented the show’s untimely cancellation. A new generation of viewers, however, have taken to the internet in large numbers to interact around the archetypical characters and storyline of the series. They’ve created dozens of websites in many countries around the globe, to share their feelings and “peel back the onion” of the show’s multilayered story, the surface of which was only scratched in the weekly television series and movies. The fans’ high level of online interest eventually reached the creators of The Pretender, who, intrigued by the idea of extending the story and getting into the heads of their well-drawn characters, reached out to the worldwide fan base to gauge interest. The response was an enormous virtual appeal for more story, more character, and more Pretender. With the release of Saving Luke this April, Mitchell and Van Sickle continue to build on the original series’ lore, as well as the new characters and storylines debuted in their initial novel, The Pretender: Rebirth, taking the story to new levels that will both excite and satisfy their legions of fans both old and new.

Media Kit

October 2013
The Pretender: Rebirth
Saving Luke
April 2014
The Pretender: Saving Luke



Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle have written, produced and/or directed over two hundred hours of prime network programming, including such series as NCIS, 24, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Murder She Wrote, Medical Investigation, and Alien Nation. From situation comedy to drama, comic books to mystery, science fiction to action-adventure, their career has covered a broad and imaginative spectrum. Together they have also created numerous television series, most notably, NBC’s The Pretender, on which they served as Executive Producers for its entire five-year run of episodes, as well as several two hour movies. In addition to series television, Mitchell and Van Sickle have also written and produced numerous long form productions- both mini series and movies of the week, as well as feature films. In 2008 they were nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Mini-Series as the Writers/Executive Producers of Syfy Channel’s, Tin Man, an updated reimagining of The Wizard of Oz that, in addition to its critical acclaim, has broken ratings records both domestically and internationally. The team published their first novel, The Pretender: Rebirth in October 2013 and their second book in the series, The Pretender: Saving Luke, will be released in April 2014. Both Mitchell and Van Sickle reside with their families in the Los Angeles area and can be contacted through their web site,

Craig W Van Sickle
Steven Long Mitchell



The Pretender phenomenon, fueled by strong interaction with a global fanbase, has gained new life in an online community attracted by the series’ universal themes, archetypal characters, and rich multilayered backstory. Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle, the creators of The Pretender TV series have sought to address the groundswell of interest by providing a new avenue for advancing the story through two new novels: last fall’s The Pretender: Rebirth and its upcoming sequel, The Pretender: Saving Luke. The books have allowed Mitchell and Van Sickle to not only dig deeply into the story’s beloved characters, but also focus on many elements of the saga’s history that were too complex to delve into on television. The result, as the show’s fans have attested, is not only satisfying, but creates a whole new level of mystery and suspense to be enjoyed for generations to come.



  • Rebirth soared to #1 on the and #65 on sales ranking.
  • The novel has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 Stars on
  • The Pretender Creators interact with 7,000 fans each month via their official website and numerous social media networks.
  • In addition to the official website, there are over 10 approved Annex fan sites in the Pretender network, spanning over seven countries and translated to four languages.
  • In 2013, the sites in total received over 11 million hits.
  • There are nearly 10,000 Pretender Facebook fans interacting over several communities and groups.
  • The Pretender TV show Facebook page is liked by over 51,000 people.


I thoroughly enjoyed this first novel in the series.  The mystery and suspense build to an exciting and dramatic cliffhanger ending that left me wanting more.  Fans of the show will definitely want to check this one out.  And I’ll certainly be following this fascinating series.

Angela Schuch

Thanks so much again for working with us to make the contest so successful.  We had 130 re-tweets and over 30 comments on the blog entry.  Both of those are new records for us and I hope they’ve brought some good exposure to your endeavors to bring The Pretender back for all us fans.  You guys have re-ignited my love for the show.

Dave Post

It was a lot of fun revisiting these characters anew…this was a good start, and I can’t wait to see what else i s in store, and who…The Pretender is back, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Michael Lam


J.M Copening Mitchell and Van Sickle have put on paper a very fast paced and fun to read Pretender adventure. It is true to the essence of the show and we get to see into the thoughts of the characters like never before. Tricia Ebert This book is a page turner! I read it cover to cover in about 2 days because I couldn’t put it down! The story keeps you hooked from beginning to end with fascinating characters, an incredible plot and fast action. James D. Hill He’s back. The Pretender: Rebirth is an awesome retelling of the pilot show updated to modern times. As a long-time fan of the show I was super excited when I heard that the guys were releasing the book. Do yourself a favor and buy the book, you won’t regret it.

Mitchell and Van Sickle have put on paper a very fast paced and fun to read Pretender adventure. It is true to the essence of the show and we get to see into the thoughts of the characters like never before.

J.M Copening

This book is a page turner! I read it cover to cover in about 2 days because I couldn’t put it down! The story keeps you hooked from beginning to end with fascinating characters, an incredible plot and fast action.

Tricia Ebert

He’s back. The Pretender: Rebirth is an awesome retelling of the pilot show updated to modern times. As a long-time fan of the show I was super excited when I heard that the guys were releasing the book. Do yourself a favor and buy the book, you won’t regret it.

James D. Hill

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Site History

Site History

The Site History records the evolution of

July 2013

the first designs

September 2013 goes live


The Books

Saving Luke

saving luke



14 february 2014

site is down for maintenance

19 feb 2014

site with facelift revealed

The Pretender Rebirth

The Pretender novels are here

Find all about Rebirth, Saving Luke and the future.


2nd special edition recommended by Michael T. Weiss

There are Pretenders among us, geniuses with the ability to become anyone they want to be. In 1983 a corporation known as The Centre isolated a young Pretender named Jarod and exploited his genius for their ‘research. Then, one day, their Pretender ran away… 

Read more
free first chapter
new places
new faces

In sum, “The Pretender – Rebirth” sets the bar high for what is coming next. It is a good novel, with plenty of action, well-plotted and nicely written. Whether you’re an old fan (I’m not really old, just 33) of the show or you know nothing about it, you’ll have a good time reading it.

Joel G.

new faces  ->>


Latest News

Special Promotion

Special Promotion

In anticipation of the release of The Pretender: Saving Luke, book one, Rebirth- Kindle Edition, is only $2.99 for limited time. Buy it now on! #thepretenderlives

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Blog Critics Review Rebirth

Blog Critics Review Rebirth

The Pretender may be best known (or remembered) for its four-season run on NBC from 1996-2000. The directors, Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle, have updated the story of our pretender Jarod, played by Michael T. Weiss, and have released the first novel...

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The Pretender Rebirth

The Pretender Rebirth

Written by the creators of the hit TV show the Pretender, Rebirth is a slick mystery thriller about a brilliant human chameleon named Jarod, who after escaping from the notorious Centre, plunges headlong into his newfound freedom. While also discovering the joys and...

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OSCAR IS COMING Meet him on October 7th when Rebirth will finally be released to the world.   Warning: Hide your cheese and your Nilla Wafers – he’s from Harlem and this rat’s always hungry. Thanks for the sketch Jacs.

read more


The Books



Saving Luke

saving luke

Graphic Novel Reviews

The Pretender – The Centre Chronicles

All the secrets about the origin of the Centre and all things Pretender.

I have never read or even seen a GN and wasn’t sure how this would go. I don’t mind it though, the pictures are catching, striking, bold and dramatic. The storyline is very interesting, a great way to start the GN off and I am excited for its release date so I can buy a copy to read. It is exciting to see a new medium for tP and I LOVE that its showing us the Centre’s past.


It’s looking very good. I love the character design and art direction. The writing seems top notch as well. I’m psyched for the official release now, can’t wait.


I liked it. Thanks!


This is great! I really can’t wait for the whole thing! The drawings are very good and the storyline so far is intriguing! Well done!


What a tease fellas and Jenna! I want more! Great job and great start to the story. I can’t wait to read it in its entirety. Something else Pretender-related to look forward to. Thanks for the preview! ♥


I haven’t read too many GNs, so I was a little unsure what my initial reaction to the Pretender: the Centre Chronicles would be. I was so surprised at how phenomenal it is- Jeffrey Henderson’s artwork is superb and Jenna Busch’s storyline is mysterious and historical- a wonderfully intriguing combination! I loved the multiple story lines present in the preview… it’s great to explore Little Miss Parker’s backstory (and, of course, the inclusion of the bunny is fantastic!) as well as the secrets and lies that form the foundation of the Centre. I really enjoyed how the story tied in with the tidbits of background we received in Rebirth and I am sitting on pins and needles waiting to read the rest! tP: tCC is a truly marvellous addition to the Centre Universe!


Off to an excellent start. As a comic book / graphic novel writer myself, I know the amount of work that went into each page, and it’s very well done. It’s hard to keep a story moving, but this clips along nicely, and the idea of having Little Miss Parker bookending the various stories of The Centre’s history is certainly enjoyable. Looking forward to the rest, and more to come beyond, I’m sure.


WOW! It’s short, but it sure takes you in the story in a heartbeat. Since the title was revealed, I could’nt wait to find out more about the Centre’s origins. These few pages hooked me to the story. I love Miss P earsdropping. Nazis involved? Eva Peron? So awesome. Catherine Parker sometimes made me think of Evita : charitable woman married to a very powerful man who built orphanages and hospitals, and who was taken away too young. Seeing her all Miss Parker-like is very interesting. Secret life of a role model?

Bravo Jenna Busch and Jeffrey Henderson. You truly deserve your place among the tP team. I love the illustrations. I was worried about the passage from tv show to comic book, but it looks like it won’t be an issue. And like I said earlier, the story is very promising.

Thanks for all you great work guys!!


Ten pages are not a lot, but it’s a great beginning. And it makes me want to read the rest of the graphic novel now. So mission accomplished. ;) Little Miss Parker (who is so cute with her bunny), Eva Peron, Nazis, the Centre’s origins… This will certainly make for a great story!


I love a good graphic novel. I’ve been looking forward to this series ever since I first heard it was going to chronicle the history of The Centre. The 10-page preview was short but I enjoyed reading it. Jenna Busch and Jeffrey Henderson have done an exemplary job of transferring The Pretender TV series into the graphic novel format. I know little of Evita Peron, other than that she really existed. She seems like an confident character and it’s fascinating that she has ties to The Centre. I am confused about one thing though – if this series covers the history of The Centre, why doesn’t it begin with the origins? Or, as I suspect, is this series going to feature non-linear storytelling? All in all, I found the preview intriguing and it piqued my interest for the rest of the story. Jenna’s writing skills are solid and Jeffrey’s artwork is well done. Great work! I can’t wait to read more!

Christian J – Tintinrulz

If this is the preview I can’t hardly imagine how the full thing is going to be – this is great. I’m hooked and I’m not usually a fan of comics. The story is intriguing and the art work is amazing. Congrats to the authors.


I love it. Great story and we only got the glimpse. I can’t wait to read the whole thing!


This really surprised me. As a non-GN person, I will admit to not being too excited about the prospect of a GN. After seeing this though, I might have to revise that opinion. This was very exciting and an intriguing start, cannot wait to see the entire thing! I absolutely enjoyed it. Only a single complaint: there wasn’t enough!


I am impressed with how much detail is revealed in only 10 pages! And the fact that it ties in with historical figures fixing The Centre’s back-story even more so in real-time makes it all the more intriguing. All in all, the visuals, narrative and characters revealed so far are well-written and definitely leave a thirst for more!


I too am not a GN reader! I too wasn’t a book reader! Is there something else that I’m not into that you’re going to pretenderize and have me do a 360 back flip and get sucked into? Totally can’t wait for more of both! Thanks for being soooo loyal to us fans!


I’ve been curious like hell. The very beginnings of the Centre. Miss Parker in the middle of all the trouble to come – so it seems. The first ten pages made me even more curious and I’ll enjoy the wait ‘til I got my own exemplar in my hands. So far, I definitely like the style and the mood of the graphic novel. Great job done. And it’s quiet cool, that as I started over again with a change of place – moving in with my long-term distance relationship, tp is again there with me. Starting something new while keeping up with the past. Love that fact a lot.


Great start! This has me anxiously anticipating more! Thank you guys for bringing Jarod back!

Jonathan Rice

I must admit that i’m not a great fan of comics, but the story seems really interesting and intriguing and i love the art work, so sure i think i will buy a copy, ’cause i’m curious. Compliments to the passionate authors



The Books



Saving Luke

saving luke

Writer and Artist

The Pretender: The Centre Chronicles


Meet the writer and the artist of the graphic novels series.

Jenna Busch

Jenna Busch is the Entertainment Editor for Fan Voice and co-hosts ‘Cocktails With Stan’ with the legendary Stan Lee. She’s covered all things geek for sites like Zap2it, After Buzz TV, Screen Crave, Inside Horror, Huffington Post, AOL, Popeater, Newsarama, JoBlo, Blastr, UGO, IGN, Moviefone, SheKnows, Coming Soon, Screen Junkies, Famous Monsters and Geek Week, Inside Horror and more. Member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and a board member of the Broadcast Television Critics Association (BTJA). She has appeared on ‘Attack of the Show’ and the premiere episode of ‘Tabletop’ with Wil Wheaton, Grant Imahara and Sean Plott, a guest on ‘Geek DIY’ with Bonnie Burton and a winning contestant on Jace Hall’s ‘Fan Wars.’ She has two stories in the comic anthology, “Womanthology,” and is about to publish a full length graphic novel. She’s been a guest host on G4’s Fresh Ink, PODCrash, Full of Sith, GeekNation, Schmoes Know, My Geek Lady, ComiCenter, JoBlo Movie Podcast and more. A New York transplant living in Los Angeles, Jenna has been on many sides of the entertainment industry. Makeup artist (don’t stand too close, or she’ll glue something to you), actor (stopped because she felt that replacing body parts with silicone was the first step towards becoming a cylon), and finally writing, which allows her to work in her pajamas.

You can find Jenna on Twitter @jennabusch and on her blog at You can read her work at Voice.Fan.TV.

Jeffrey Henderson

An award winning illustrator and storyteller, Jeffrey Henderson’s career has included a wide- ranging assortment of comic book, videogame, animation, advertising and feature film projects. Some of Henderson’s major film credits include: ‘Twilight/ Eclipse’, ’30 Days of Night’ and the upcoming ‘Crossbones’ with David Slade, ‘Inception’ for Christopher Nolan and ‘After Earth’ with M. Night Shyamalan, to name just a few.

He has also worked with Sam Raimi on a number of projects, including ‘SpiderMan 3 & 4’, ‘World of Warcraft’ and most recently, ‘OZ, The Great and Powerful’.

He has taught courses on storyboarding and visual storytelling at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, as well as The University of the Nations in Kana, Hawaii.

Mr. Henderson is also an accomplished voice actor, (SAG/ AFTRA), and a successful singer/ songwriter, (ASCAP). He has contributed vocal performances, songs and music to a number of film, TV and videogame projects.

“Good Morning Kalifornia”, the debut record from his band, The Wrongway Saints, will be released this fall on !Viva La Biscuit! Records.

He lives in Los Angeles with two little super- villains disguised as housecats and entirely too many guitars.

You can find Jeffrey on Twitter @PlanetHenderson, on Tumblr at and at



The Books



Saving Luke

saving luke

View a Sample of Jeffrey Henderson’s Portfolio


Jarodisms from fans

Send us your Jarodism

8 + 5 =

Jarod: My mother is on this island. I have reason to believe she’s in danger. Now is not the time to play Centre bounty hunter!

Sydney: Do you know where you’ll go? Jarod: I have a good idea. Catch me if you can.

Jarod: Looks like another dead end.

Miss Parker: I know all I need to know.

Jarod: Do you? After all the deceit and all the betrayal we’ve both experienced, how do you know what the truth is?

Miss Parker: Fenigor had no reason to lie.

Jarod: Then you’re going to have to shoot me, because I’m going to find out the truth.

Hawk: Go to hell.

Jarod: You first.

Jarod Narrating: Second thoughts can be dangerous, but it quickly dawned on me that leaving Argyle and Dog would be like, well it would be like leaving two wounded animals in a trap. It just wasn’t in me.

Jarod: She felt consumed by a great void, a dark and silent abyss as terrifying as the grand palace around her. But somewhere in the chilling blackness she caught a glimpse of a light. She remembered a time, the precocious little girl with a heart full of fire, a soul inflamed by passion and a smile that could melt winter into spring. But the light was gone, the flame had died. Her past was taken from her by the soldiers of the great palace. She would continue searching, hoping to rekindle the fire. Until then, she would always be the Saddest Little Valentine.

Miss Parker: Got one. Magua Airport, Morocco. Can you make that?

Jarod: I better.

Parker: Don’t get Kwai Chang on me, Jarod.

Jarod: Ooh, I love that guy, wandering the earth, helping people.

Young Jarod: My mom’s gone too. I talk to her though. Her voice is inside me just like your mother’s is inside you.

Miss Parker: You look surprised to be here.

Jarod: Well, I’m surprised I’m still alive.

Miss Parker: Dead men tell no tales.

Jarod: I’m assuming since we’re here, this has nothing to do with Centre business.

Sydney: It was his grandfather’s. I thought Nicholas might like a piece of his past.

Jarod: It’s important to know who your family is, who you are. Give it back to him.

Jarod Narrating: Argyle’s situation put into focus for me something that I think I’ve known for a long time. That until I find my family, helping people like Benny and Argyle is the next best thing.

Jarod: The Centre wants us to believe that finding the truth is a mistake, that looking for answers about who we really are is futile, and finding any kind of …connection outside their control is wrong. I know you don’t want to hear this, but you can feel it. You’ve been a Centre prisoner all these years, just like me. And with every discovery, you find you- you’re every bit the outcast. Just like me.

Miss Parker: Why is it that the one person that I’ve been trained to distrust, to hate, to capture…is always with me during the most difficult moments of my life?

Jarod: Maybe…it’s supposed to be that way.

Jarod: I was stolen from my parents as a child and I was raised by a place called the Centre. Think hell, with nicer furniture.

Jarod: I’ll tell you about the powers that be. When they can’t get to you they go after the people that you love. That what they did to Neil. The PTB’s try to rip these people out of your life, your guts right along with them. But that’s where they make their mistake because the people that you love may be your weakness, but they’re also your strength. They keep you fighting. They keep you one step ahead of the demons who breathe fire into your soul.

Jarod: You spend way too much time in cemeteries, Miss Parker.

Jarod: It’s a crazy world.

Sydney: You’re not. You’re just lost Jarod.

Jarod: For now. But somewhere out there I’ll find my way. I’ll find out who I am.

Miss Parker: How is it that this guy was still alive and I didn’t know about it?

Jarod: Well, I guess that Daddy keeps some secrets from you. Did he tell you about those letters?

Jarod: Trust your heart Miss Parker. Don’t let them take away your happiness.

Jarod: You think you can bribe me?

Lyle: Jarod, it’s not a bribe.

Jarod: Mr. Lyle, do you want your last breath on his planet to be a lie?

Lyle: So is this how it’s gonna be? An execution without a trial?

Jarod: You didn’t give my brother a trial.

Lyle: I didn’t. It was self-defense.

Jarod: So is this.

Parker: I never- I never told Tommy that I loved him.

Jarod: And now your heart and your mind are raging a war against each other.

Parker: I would trade everything for one minute with him. Just to say those words and have him hear them.

Jarod: Tell him. Let your heart win the war.

Jarod: Why is Mr. Lyle tailing me?

Miss Parker: Mr. Lyle?

Jarod: Yes. He chased me through Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Although, I don’t see much hitchhiking in his future.

Mr. Parker: Give and take. For a cause bigger than both of us. Oh hell, I don’t expect you to understand it, but in the end it does all add up.

Jarod: You steal children. You create them. How does that add up?

Jarod: I thought it took blood to bond people. But I’ve learned it also takes something else. It takes love.

Jarod: That’s the wonderful thing about life, Miss Parker. If you change the story, the ending is up to you.

Jarod: Look under the tree next to you. I left you a little present. Don’t stop searching for those missing pieces, Miss Parker. If you do, you’ll never find what you’re looking for.

Jarod: I guess as much as we’d both like to deny it, we’re just two pieces of the same puzzle.

Jarod: How do you face your past Sydney?

Jarod: It’s too late! If we’re lucky, this train will slow down enough for us to jump off but I can’t stop the explosion. This is your brother Miss Parker, our brother. It could be a beginning, don’t make it an end.

Raines: Flight crew’s dead, and the controls are damaged! What the hell do we do now?

Jarod: Well, I would suggest that you un-cuff the one person who can fly this thing and save your life!

Jarod: I’m a little confused about something. Now, if Santa Claus were to deliver a present to every child on Earth, he’d have to visit 830 homes a second. Which would mean his reindeer would have to travel about 700 miles per second and he’d have 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, to crawl down the chimney, to pass out the presents and to eat cookies and milk. And for a middle-aged, overweight man, that’s quite a feat.

Jarod: My mother wore it. I could smell it when she tucked me in bed at night. Maybe that’s a lie. Because I can barely remember even if I had a mother. The ingredients in perfume, they’re known as notes, did you know that? The perfumer, he acts as composer. Now me, I always went for the heart. Some people, they could only smell the top notes. I went deeper, searched for the soul. Perfume. Sparkling citrus notes like lemon! Dark, resonant notes like balsam.

Miss Parker: I can’t let you leave Jarod, you know that.

Jarod: Is this what your mother would have done?

Jarod: Aside from the chipped molar, sounds like you survived. Miss Parker: No thanks to you. Jarod: Well, actually, everything you needed was there all along. All you had to do was open your eyes and see. Miss Parker: What exactly was it I was supposed to see? Jarod: That survival comes down to knowing the difference between your friends and your enemies. Miss Parker: I suppose you’re trying to tell me that Lyle is my enemy and you’re my friend. Jarod: Maybe. And you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to survive. You can sure bet that Lyle will.

Miss Parker: “P-47.” What does that mean to you?

Jarod: Nothing- yet.

Jarod: It’s okay. You know, when I was your age, I never left the house either. I stayed in for about 30 years. It’s a long story. When I got out, I realized what I was missing. Trees, fresh air, sunlight. Life’s a gift. Nothing is worth missing out on it.

Miss Parker: The vent. How was it down there?

Jarod: Let’s just say I’m hoping my next pretend isn’t as a sewer worker.

Sydney: Jarod this is getting serious. They brought in Miss Parker.

Jarod: Uh oh. Well you’d better watch your back too, Sydney.

Jarod: Now, you’ve already met Edna, who despite being locked in an asylum for decades by her loving husband, Mr. Raines, is an amazing historian of the Centre. Edna knows things about your mother, Miss Parker. Things she won’t tell to anyone but you. She wouldn’t even tell me. Edna wants to come home, but she can’t. There’s an army of Sweepers out there looking for her. She told me her redemption will be to tell you what she knows before they catch her. So you better hurry. Be careful. And know that Edna said no matter what happens, she wants you to keep digging. That the secret your mother wanted to tell you when you were little is buried out there, and you need to find it.

Jarod Narrating: I was suddenly face-to-face with my toughest pretend- becoming Argyle’s friend.

Jarod: I don’t know exactly what happened. But I do know that I’m sure of one thing. Love transcends death. That the people we love touch our lives even after they’re gone.

Jarod: You might want to strip search this one. She could be palming chips.

Miss Parker: Oh you bastard.

Jarod: Just doing my job, Ma’am. Head of Security, you know.

Miss Parker: I will get you.

Jarod: You wanna bet?

Jarod: Trust your inner sense Miss Parker. I do.

Miss Parker: What?

Jarod: How well do you know your father?

Miss Parker: Better than you know yours.

Jarod: Yes, well, I’m working on that one.

Jarod: Here, take my seat.

Daniel: No, no.

Jarod: Look, I’m not in a hurry. It’s not like anybody’s chasing me… today. Take it.

Jarod Narrating: There are certain times in life when you need to think with your heart, not your head. This wasn’t one of those times, but I thought it was, so I made the following mistake.

Argyle: Please?

Jarod: Get in.

Jarod: You miss her?

Miss Parker: Yes.

Jarod: She misses you too.

Miss Parker: How can you be so sure?

Jarod: Read the card.


Miss Parker: And what exactly am I looking for?

Jarod: Missing pieces, Miss Parker. Missing pieces.

Jarod: Valentine’s Day. Specifically, Cupid. A corpulent infant who happens to be an archer goes around shooting arrows into people, and suddenly they’re in love?

Foreman: That’s about it.

Jarod: And to show that love people buy each other chocolates and other sweets. Do they want to be fat like the infant?

Jarod: So let me get this straight. This starts out as a part of this, but then you punch it out and then you sell it as a separate product?

Waitress: I think you got it. Donut. Donut hole.

Jarod: I don’t mean to belabor a point, but if the hole is here, why do you call this the hole?

Miss Parker: My father kept you in the Centre your entire life Jarod. Why would you want to help him?

Jarod: Because if he dies, my answers die with him. And so do yours.

Jarod: Love can change people Miss Parker.

Jarod: No. It’s Champs de Nuit.

[He sits at the piano and begins playing Debussy’s “Clair de la Lune,” speaking somewhat manically as he plays.]

Melina: If you’re so interested in teenagers, maybe you should become a school counselor.

Jarod: I already tried that once. I mean, the hours were great, but… the food was terrible.

Jarod: It’s not exactly the monks’ brandy, but Ocee says it’s good for emotional upheaval.

Miss Parker: Can she back a truckload of it up to my house?

Jarod: Let the storm rage outside, Miss Parker…not inside you.

Nia: And before the Rangers?

Jarod: Test pilot, thoracic surgeon, lieutenant commander on a destroyer. The usual.

Jarod: Your gun won’t work. I took the firing pin out last night.

Parker: I sleep with this under my pillow.

Jarod: And you drool out of the left corner of your mouth.

Jarod: You know something? You’re right I don’t have the heart to kill. Or the hate. Have fun rotting in prison.

Jarod: Let me ask you a question. Did you ever love her? Because what little affection you’ve given her over the years, she craves.

Eve: None of this was real?

Jarod: Nothing. Except your confession. And that’s a lifetime of real.

Miss Parker: Why did you save my life?

Jarod: Because I still remember the little girl who gave me my first kiss.

Jarod: And how is Igor?

Miss Parker: He’d better not snore.

Jarod: Oh, it’s not the noise he makes that keeps you up. It’s those sharp toenails.

Argyle: Mona’s the one.

Jarod: You spent six minutes with her.

Miss Parker: So, what are you trying to tell me?

Jarod: That you have to see people for what they are.

Miss Parker: Keep my eyes open.

Jarod: To all possibilities because in the end we all get what we deserve.

Jarod: According to the odds your chances of winning the jackpot are one in thirteen million nine hundred and eighty-three thousand, eight hundred and sixteen. That’s the same odds as… getting hit by lighting in a submarine.

Ethan: I’m glad you’re alive.

Miss Parker: I’m glad you’re alive too.

Jarod: Don’t you know that nobody dies at the Centre?

Miss Parker: What?

Jarod: At least we put one family back together.

Miss Parker: While mine got ripped apart again.

Jarod: I know the feeling.

Miss Parker: You know, Jarod, maybe Lyle’s right. Maybe the world is changing.

Jarod: It doesn’t seem to matter how much it changes. It’s still the same for us. We’re still alone in it.

Jarod: You were right in putting your trust in your mother. She knew the importance of family. Of helping people. If she kept any secrets from you, it was to protect you.

Miss Parker: Protect me from what?

Jarod: The truth. Keep searching, Miss Parker. But remember. You can’t believe everything you see. After all, life is a mirage. Sometimes the things that scare you the most can be the things that save your life.

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Saving Luke

saving luke



Jarod: It doesn’t have to be this way. New blood for the Centre. Your mother would be so proud of you.

Miss Parker: Save it!

Jarod: I saw your face when Angelo gave up his last treatment for Davy.

Jarod’s voice: Hello, Sydney, Broots, and, as always, Miss Parker. I assume since you’re listening to this recording you’ve figured out my current location. I realize things got a little fishy along the way, but you realize timing is everything in the run-for-your-life business. I won’t keep you longer than necessary. I realize you have a plane to catch. I just ask two things. First, bring along the wax head; I think you’ll find it enlightening. And second, don’t forget to buckle your seatbelts. Happy landings!

Miss Parker: How could a man destroy his family just for his pursuit of greed and power?

Jarod: Why don’t you ask your father?

Jarod: Lyle, you have to choose carefully!

Miss Parker: In other words, guess?

Jarod: And pray that he’s right.

A Note from Jarod: “There’s no place like home. Everyone deserves one. So why don’t you leave me alone and let me find mine?”

Jarod: Miss Parker reached out to help someone.

Miss Parker: Spare me.

Jarod: Your mother would be very proud of you.

Miss Parker: You put on quite a show today. Sydney taught you well.

Jarod: Sydney taught me to believe that you can be anything you want to be.

Jarod: It’s so good to see you, the real you.

Angelo: It’s good to be me. Thank you Jarod.

Louis: Hey. That lady with the legs? She throws a wicked right hook.

Jarod: It’s difficult to distinguish between her bite and her bark.

Jarod: Maybe it’s time you gave yourself that gift he never gave you- the truth.

Miss Parker: I hope you find your mother.

Jarod: And what about…us?

Miss Parker: You run. I chase. That choice was made for us a long time ago.

Jarod: Maybe that is the Parker curse.

Anne: I had a dream last night. My son came to me, and he said it would be all right. He said he didn’t want me to be alone anymore. Does that sound crazy?

Jarod: It sounds perfect.

Jarod: Love can change people Miss Parker.

Miss Parker: Hello Jarod.

Jarod: With instincts like that, you’ll catch me yet.

Miss Parker: Not if you keep throwing me off the trail.

Jarod: Oh, I didn’t throw you off, I just put you on a different one.

Miss Parker: Is that all you do Jarod? Dig up the past?

Jarod: That’s easy for you to say. You have one. Although, it’s not quite what you thought it was, is it?

Jarod: That is what they do. They kill anyone who’s remotely interested in the truth. And then they take away the people that we love the most.

Miss Parker: Why?

Jarod: To control us. To use us to do their dirty work.

Luther: You’re not even a doctor!

Jarod: Technically, you’re right, but I do enjoy that ER program.

Jarod: That is what they do. They kill anyone who’s remotely interested in the truth. And then they take away the people that we love the most.

Miss Parker: Why?

Jarod: To control us. To use us to do their dirty work.

Jarod: Karma…ain’t it a bitch?

Zoe: Where you headed?

Jarod: Nowhere. Anywhere. I’ve already been somewhere.

Jarod: If you don’t question you don’t learn.

Jarod: I’m not big on brides in black leather. Although there is a certain enjoyable irony in it.

Miss Parker: Funny, I’m not seeing it.

Broots: Why are you doing this?

Jarod: Doing what?

Broots: I try and catch you every day. I mean it’s my job. But, why are you helping me?

Jarod: Because… I respect you.

Broots: Me?

Jarod: I can only hope that one day I will be half the father that you are.

Jarod: I’d just hate to see anyone miss a turning point when one is staring them right in the face.

Jarod: Intimidating, isn’t it? I took it off this rancher in Montana who was abusing his cattle. I know, you’re thinking it’s not the same thing. And you’re right. The cattle didn’t deserve it. Shall we make that phone call?

Jarod: Patience has never been one of your virtues has it, Miss Parker?

Miss Parker: You got quite a set showing up here.

Jarod: Well, even you wouldn’t pull a gun in a bank

Dr. Goetz: Who’s Sydney?

Jarod: Pavlov to my dog, provider, protector, patriarch. He created me.

[Elvis Impersonator] Bernie: You think it’s easy being the idol of millions?Jarod: I would guess – no.

Miss Parker: Jarod? I think you should tell us where you are, we can protect you from him.

Jarod: Although I really do appreciate your concern, I’ve gotten sort of used to taking care of myself. Well, I really gotta go; I’m late for work. Ciao!

Jarod: I recommend the Monte Cristo. You can’t beat a sandwich with syrup. It is a little bit fattening. What the hey, you could stand to put on a few pounds.

Miss Parker: How would you know?

Jarod: Oh, you never know who might be peeking over your transom. Ah, ah, ah- setting back the bathroom scale three pounds, that’s cheating.

Sheriff: Those are Cam’s kids.

Jarod: I had them brought in.

Sheriff: To get under his skin?

Jarod: To get into his heart.

Jarod: Sometimes, the risks we take are worth it. Well, I’ll see you next time on “The Feud.”

Jarod: Look, I know you’re angry but there’s more important things in life than vengeance. Let me show you how good it feels to save a life instead of trying to destroy one.

Jarod: I try to be strong, but sometimes all I see is darkness, fragments of who I am. Will I ever feel whole?

Sydney: I don’t know Jarod. I hope so.

Jarod: Me too.

Miss Parker: So Jarod, why the YMCA?

Jarod: I was watching retro night on VH1. And they were doing the 70s, which as you know I missed. There was this singing group that was extolling the virtues of staying at the Y. So here I am.

Miss Parker: Cute, not funny, but cute.

Broots: Hey, I can’t talk to you about this. We’re – we’re supposed to be trying to catch you!

Jarod: I know where you live, Mr. Broots.

Ethan: It seems like Miss Parker’s always watching you and following you.

Jarod: Your half sister. She’s quite a consistent piece of work, I’ll give her that.

Ethan: She wants you back, you know?

Jarod: Some things never change.


The Creators' blog

Read every post. In each one, we write about something that appeals to us. We hope it will appeal to you too.

The Pretender Creator's Blog
Friday the 13th Series

Friday the 13th Series

When people hear Friday The 13 they immediately think 80’s slasher exploitation movies; a madman with a machete chasing girls in crop tops. And that’s what we thought when we were approached about reimagining the series of movies into a televisions show.   And yes, –...

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Just as I was leaving to Trick or Treat on Halloween when I was 3 years old, we got the call.  I had a baby brother and his name would be Steven. My grandmother, whom we called 'Mom' (which would prove to be confusing to say the least to have both a mother and a...

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Where Did You Go, Little One?

Where Did You Go, Little One?

Where Did You Go, Little One? Like many dads and moms, when my children, Aridae and Wills, were each wee tots, I’d tuck them into bed. Just before I’d sing or hum The Beatles’ lullaby to end all lullabies, Good Night, I would playfully throw the sheet over their heads...

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People often ask how it is that we can come up with some many twist and turns, ups and downs, ins and outs when writing the Pretender.  Well, this is a subject that we have been reluctant to discuss for fear of our methods would be copied and duplicated by others. ...

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The Votes Are In!

The Votes Are In!

The auditing team in SL-1 has analyzed, categorized, and scrutinized the votes for the Saving Luke cover… and the results are in!

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  I’m not sure what it was, but something really weird happened to me last summer. It started like this: I’m taking a sip of coffee when the woman smiles at me, slightly tilts her head and answers my question by saying, “When I tell people what I do for a living...

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Saving Luke

saving luke

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About the Creators

The Authors

Meet the Pretender Creators and the guest authors too.


For us, many of these bio things come off as self-serving smoke blown up the skirts of the artists whose names are atop the page. They usually entail the what we have done – the accomplishments, awards, blah, blah, blah (and yes, we’ve put that in here too, ‘cause we are proud of it and a little smoke up the skirt always feels good), but more importantly for us is the why we do it.

We love to entertain – been doing it our whole lives – and for the past 30 years have made it our passion, our career path.

Nothing we have done has reflected that passion more than The Pretender.

Some people say, we do weird. Which is true – but the weird we do is from our hearts to yours and we have so much fun doing it. We write for thinkers, creators, innovators and the curious who love to unravel a tale and enjoy the odd and unexpected, people who, like Jarod, know that ‘life is a gift’ and we are lucky to share it with one another – the Miss Parkers of the world be damned.

If you are reading this you are one of them – you are one of us – and we are truly thankful to be a part of this club with you.

Okay, enough of the why – now for the what.

Steve Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle have written, produced and/or directed over 200 hours of prime network programming. From situation comedy to drama, from comic books to mystery, sci-fi to action-adventure, their career has covered a broad imaginative spectrum. Together they have created numerous television series, most notably, NBC’s The Pretender, on which they served as Executive Producers for its entire four-year run of episodes, as well as a series of two-hour movies.

In addition to series television, Mitchell and Van Sickle have also written and produced numerous long-form productions – both mini series and MOWs, as well as feature films.

In 2008 they were nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Mini-Series as the Writers/Executive Producers on the SyFy Channel’s, Tin Man, an updated reimagining of The Wizard of Oz that, in addition to its critical acclaim, broke SyFy’s ratings records both domestically and internationally and as of this date, remains its highest rated program ever.

Most recently the team has completed work on a one-hour primetime pilot script for A&E and are currently developing Stephen King’s Insomnia for television.

read the creators’ biographies! click the pic to read them.


The Genesis of the Pretender

In 1996, the Pretender was born, long before there were books and graphic novels in the works. If you have just arrived, get to know a little bit of the history behind the Pretender Universe.

 Read our story below.

Start here: how it all started
1. how it all started
From genesis to DOA
4. from genesis to D.O.A.
2. let there be light
3. the pilot
The Pretender Novels
5. welcome to 2013
Miss Parker
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1. how it all started
Start here: how it all started
Young Jarod

We love The Pretender. It has always been the most passionate expression of our life’s work. We hope our feelings have been reflected in the stories so far — and the ones yet to come. The creation and series were labors of love – the story of which we are thrilled to be continuing now in novels, graphic novels and eventually on film again. So forgive us if we ramble as we put down overall thoughts about the background and origin of the series.

2. Let there be light

What if there was a hero who could be anyone he wanted to be?

Miss Parker

We often like to say that we were there when they turned the lights ‘on’ at the beginning of The Pretender and we will be there to turn them ‘off’ at the end (but with your support we think that won’t be for a very long time).

The Genesis for The Pretender started something like this – we were sitting at a bar one day (it was happy hour, can you tell?) and one of us looked at the other and said, “What if there was a hero who could be anyone he wanted to be?” And the other answered, “Yeah, but didn’t know who he was?”

It was that simple.

But of course nothing of quality or worth having is really that simple, and years of sweat, blood, passion and happy hours followed until the idea of tP truly jelled.

Three ingredients of thousands were also thrown into the mix we called tP.

First, we’d always been fascinated by something we’d read about once called the CIA Genius Project. We’d gladly link you to the article, but it’s since vanished from sight. The upshot of the project and what was so inspiring was the fact that the CIA recruited prodigies from grade and middle schools across the U.S. and brought them into headquarters for special educational exercises. In the morning the kids would attend classes like Trigonometry, Biology, and the like, and then in the afternoon they had them work on brainstorming games like, Stealth Invasion Techniques and Thermonuclear War Simulation. There was no mention of how long recess lasted.

Second, we were both fans of the movie The Great Imposter, and the book by the same name, at, which is the true story of Ferdinand Waldo Demara, Jr. a man who ‘pretended’ to be people he wasn’t. We found his exploits fascinating.

Third, we both also loved the television show The Fugitive – TV Series. The series was about a good man on the run being pursued while searching for a deeply emotional and personal truth while at the same time helped others along his way. The creator of that show, Roy Huggins was one of our heroes. He was a television genius and we are proud to have paid him just a bit of homage in our series.

We did evolve one aspect of what he did though, and that was in the characterizations for our pursers.

Unlike The Fugitive’s Inspector Gerard, we wanted the people who were chasing Jarod to be multi-dimensional human beings who had personal attachments to him. We created Miss Parker and Sydney with the idea that if they both had interesting pasts and strong emotional ties to Jarod then their pursuit of him would cause them inner and mutual conflict as they story progressed.

And are we glad we did that.

So after years of talking and countless happy hours later, we came up with the story of Jarod and the rest is truly history. One that changed our lives.

We walked out of the happy hours into the light of the future and boy was it bright.

3. The Pilot

Under the best of circumstances, it is a hell of an experience to write the first episode of a series.
So many people to please- the studio, the network, etc.- that it’s impossible to please them all.

Under the best of circumstances, it is a hell of an experience to write the first episode of a series.

So many people to please- the studio, the network, etc.- that it’s impossible to please them all.

So we decided that the pilot script for this series couldn’t survive in that system, so we wrote it on spec. For those who don’t know, a spec script is one writers write without having pitched it to or being paid by a network to write it.
Very few series get their start this way (Desperate Housewives, written by a long time and dear friend, Marc Cherry, being one of the few we know of).

The great thing about a spec script is there is no interference – the creators can do what ever they want and that is exactly what we did with tP.

One of our primary motivations with The Pretender pilot script was to change our perception in the TV industry. Hollywood loves to pigeonhole writers. Work on a cop show – you’re a cop show writer. Write Sci-Fi, you’re on the SF list for life. After years of bouncing from one list to the next, we decided to create a series for which there was no list, was no pigeonhole – a script no one had read before and one we dared the reader to be able to put down.

Each scene was designed so that the reader/viewer was so hooked in that they couldn’t possible ‘click’ the remote and leave the story for something else. Every scene, every act break and even the last words and image of the story were designed to make you say – what’s going to happen next?

Up until that time, not a lot of scripts were written that way.

We love the idea of not only respecting the intelligence of the audience, but challenging them with fresh storytelling and mysteries they have to pay attention to and solve, instead of the characters merely solving them for them.

The script was fast paced and written in a way that, by the very end, you were forced to ask yourself – What the hell just happened? Was that guy really not a doctor? Who are those people after him? Was he lost or stolen or bought? And where is his mom and dad? Oh and of course – Was Miss Parker’s skirt really that short?”

Once finished, the script was sent to the four major networks (at that time there were only four) and to their credit, NBC was the first to say, “can we have a meeting about this?” That experience deserves its own story and will be saved for another time, maybe its own book, if anyone’s interested.

At the meeting, they told us they loved the script and if we would rewrite it and tell them who exactly all the characters were, what exactly the Centre was, exactly what Jarod’s origins were, how exactly he was able to be a Pretender, and essentially answer all the questions we posed – they would buy our script and make the pilot.

We looked at each other and said something few if any in Hollywood say; “You can keep your money, cause if we answer all those questions right now – there is no series.”

Silence. Stunned silence.

We stood to leave, all the while feeling like we were going to faint (since Hollywood also likes to pay well and we were walking away from it). Meanwhile, they were thinking they were going to faint, since nobody in Hollywood passes up so much money. And then to their credit the NBC executive said “Wait – we want to make it.”

As a side note – the two executives we met with that day both went on to stellar careers. Steve McPherson went on to run ABC (and was the man responsible for buying Desperate Housewives as a spec), the other was David Nevins who went on to run Imagine Television overseeing hits like 24 and who now, as of this writing, is running Showtime).

4. from genesis to D.O.A.

We’re not going to tell you the story of producing the pilot on these pages. That too is part of the story for another time – if and when you guys want to hear it. What we will say is, as hard as a pilot is to write and sell and get a network to green light, it’s even harder to produce (akin to landing on D-Day during a hurricane).

But the long and short of it is, after surviving what was also a story of epic proportions that caused at least one of us to start losing large quantities of hair, we ended up with a pilot that NBC didn’t know what to do with.

After all the hard work of writing and producing this work of passion, we were literally dead on arrival – NBC literally walking out of the first cut – because they just ‘didn’t get it’ and felt they’d made a big mistake.

The problem was, The Pretender wasn’t like anything else. It didn’t fit into a mold NBC was comfortable with. It was safer not to program it.


Not willing to give up on tP or the network, the two of us re-cut the show exactly how we thought it would work best – all of which is another amazing story. Hell, maybe we should just write the definitive guide book to The Pretender and tell the whole story. With literally only minutes to spare, we turned in our final cut and promptly went looking for our next job.

Then something happened, something wonderful.

NBC, who had already paid for the testing, let real people watch The Pretender. Then they tested it again. And again.

Then all of a sudden we received an interesting phone call.

It was from a very excited David Nevins telling us they had tested the show over and over – and that “America loves The Pretender – and we don’t know why.”

Got to love the honesty of a network exec smelling a hit.

NBC was ecstatic. The Pretender in front of live audiences had tested higher than their current hit, E.R. had as a pilot.

In fact, it tested higher than any pilot they had produced for over 30 years – since Bonanza.

Saturday night was to be rebuilt, with The Pretender as the tent pole series after its debut in the coveted Thursday E.R. time slot.

And the rest, as they say, is all a part of the bizarre history of TV.

The next five years of our lives were a wonderful thrill ride working with some of the most amazing people we have ever had the opportunity to know. Every day was a blessing and we are thrilled that one day many years ago at a happy hour bar one of us looked to the other and said – “What if…”

NBC was ecstatic. The Pretender in front of live audiences had tested higher than their current hit, E.R. had as a pilot.

In fact, it tested higher than any pilot they had produced for over 30 years – since Bonanza.

Saturday night was to be rebuilt, with The Pretender as the tent pole series after its debut in the coveted Thursday E.R. time slot.

And the rest, as they say, is all a part of the bizarre history of TV.

The next five years of our lives were a wonderful thrill ride working with some of the most amazing people we have ever had the opportunity to know. Every day was a blessing and we are thrilled that one day many years ago at a happy hour bar one of us looked to the other and said – “What if…”

Jarod as Pilot

Life is a gift.

There are Pretenders among us, geniuses with the ability to become anyone they want to be. In 1983 a corporation known as The Centre isolated a young Pretender named Jarod and exploited his genius for their ‘research. Then, one day, their Pretender ran away… 2nd edition with a special foreword from Michael T. Weiss, who played Jarod on the TV show!

More info →

The second in the exciting Pretender series of novels, Saving Luke is an edge-of-your-seat mystery thriller about Jarod, a child prodigy, stolen and raised by a clandestine organization that exploited his gift for their nefarious activities.

More info →

read what Jarod and Miss Parker have to say
Parkerisms from fans
Jarodisms from fans


The authors

Find more about the creators behind the Pretender
Meet the Pretender creators

Rebirth and Saving Luke

The new Pretender books are here
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Pamely Gidley

Pamely Gidley

The day Pamela Gidley came in to read for the part of Brigitte she gave what is perhaps the worst performance in the history of auditions. She was sexy, quirky, odd and I don’t think she performed even one line the way we’d written it. But we were totally captivated....

Major Overhaul

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We have just completed some major maintenance work on the Centre's mainframe. If anybody has any trouble, primarily with logging in, we apologise for any inconvenience and you are more than welcome to take this up with Mr Raines. Otherwise, try a password reset, and...

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