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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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On TV: ‘Grimm’ rejects Fred Armisen as extra

Fred Armisen wanted to be an extra on "Grimm." The director of "Grimm" didn’t want him anywhere near the production.

Not surprising, because that director didn’t have a clue who Armisen ("Saturday Night Live," "Portlandia") was.

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"Portlandia," IFC’s offbest little comedy, shoots in — you guessed it! — Portland, Ore. So does "Grimm," NBC’s supernatural detective show.

"A lot of the crew is the same crew," Armisen said. "They will sort of work on ‘Grimm’ and work with us a little bit. They’re a much bigger operation."

At one point, the two shows were shooting just down the street from each other. Armisen was in costume — mustache, moppy hair — as a pedicab driver.

"They were shooting a scene, so I thought: This is my opportunity," Armisen said. "I want so badly to just be an extra on their show. I really did. So I went, and I got off the bike, my pedicab, and I just waited for them to say ‘Action!’ I actually made my way onto the set."

But his plans to "walk through really nonchalantly" were foiled. "This poor guy had to come up to me and go, like, ‘Yeah, they really want you off the set.’"

Turns out that Armisen wasn’t as undercover as he thought he was. "Grimm" crew members recognized him and were laughing; the episode’s director ordered him off the set.

Which pretty much spoiled Armisen’s hopes that cast members from "Portlandia," "Grimm" and TNT’s "Leverage" — which also filmed in Portland ‚ could just wander from set to set.

"I wanted it to be in a situation where people just sort of appeared by mistake in each other’s shows," he said.

Well, "Grimm" is out. And "Leverage" has been canceled. Probably not going to happen.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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