Jeffrey Donovan on ‘Burn Notice’: Being on the Show ‘Seemed Like a Prison Sentence’
The first season of Burn Notice aired in 2007. The hit USA Network TV show had been nominated for numerous awards by the time it ended in 2013, including multiple Primetime Emmy Awards, a People’s Choice Award, and recognition from the Writers Guild of America.
Burn Notice‘s ensemble didn’t always seem to embrace the espionage drama and the series’ pop-culture momentum, despite its popularity among TV critics and audiences. Even the show’s lead actor, American actor Jeffrey Donovan, was critical of his own show, which helped establish his Hollywood career.
The USA Network’s ‘Burn Notice’ aired for seven seasons.
The show’s title is based on the CIA’s real-life “burn notices,” which are issued when its agents can no longer be trusted. The show follows Michael Westen, Donovan’s covert operations agent, as he seeks to figure out who unjustly accused him and set off his own burn notice.
Westen’s ex-girlfriend Fiona Glenanne is played by English-American actress Gabrielle Anwar; Westen’s Hawaiian shirt-wearing best friend Sam Axe is portrayed by Bruce Campbell; and Westen’s chain-smoking mother, Madeline Westen, is played by actress Sharon Gless.
Westen, Glenanne, Axe, and Westen’s mother would usually undertake a mission or solve a crime case in exchange for information, money, or resources that Westen would need to solve his own burn-notice case.
According to Indie Wire’s assessment of the show, Burn Notice immediately became the highest-rated original show on the USA Network:
“Burn Notice is a constant, slickly crafted diversion that is just sophisticated enough to be entertaining while remaining basic enough to not be a bother to follow… Burn Notice gets a lot of credit for being exactly what it needs to be. There’s always a spot… This is a condensed version of the narrative. I hope you found it entertaining.