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Trivia / The Pretender

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  • Actor Allusion:
    • Miss Parker is played by Andrea Parker, who previously was cast in the pilot of JAG as Lieutenant Pike. Doubles as The Danza, obviously. Interestingly, both are unintentional, as the character of Miss Parker was named before she was cast.
    • In the first-season episode "Jaraldo!", Lisa Howard plays a reporter who befriends Jarod. In Days of Our Lives, Lisa Howard played April Ramirez, a love interest to Michael T. Weiss' character Dr. Mike Horton.
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  • Channel Hop: The two TV movies that followed up the series aired on TNT. Also a case of Production Company Hop: MTM Enterprises (yes, the people who brought us WKRP in Cincinnati and Newhart) produced the first season; shortly afterwards, it was bought by 20th Century Fox and was produced by them for the rest of the run alongside NBC (even after their main purchase target, Fox Family, was sold to Disney alongside the remnants of Fox Kids and the renamed ABC Family).
  • The Danza:
    • Mr Raines's favorite mook, Willie (played by Willie Gault), and Miss Parker's favorite mook, Sam (played by Sam Ayers).
    • Miss Parker herself is played by Andrea Parker, but this is a coincidence: the character was named before she was cast.
  • Directed by Cast Member: The episode "School Daze", in the final season, is directed by Jon Gries.
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  • DVD Commentary: Michael T. Weiss and Andrea Parker's commentary for the second season two-parter "Bloodlines," which is two hours of riffing on plot holes, moronic characters, glurge, and Haley Joel Osment's acting, is positively hilarious.
    Michael T. Weiss: "Hmm! Pi! There it is again!"
  • Edited for Syndication: The season finales ("The Dragon House," "Bloodlines," "Donoterase," and "Inner Sense") aired as 90-minute episodes. For reruns on TNT and elsewhere, they had to be split into separate episodes—cutting out some material in order to make room for intros and Previously On segments. The DVD releases feature the full-length versions.
  • Fake Brit: Pamela Gidley as Mr Lyle's sidekick, Brigitte. After half a season, the writers had Brigitte drop the accent and admit that she'd been putting it on all along, to the lampshade-festooned unsurprise of every other character who had ever heard her speak.
  • Recast as a Regular:
    • Jake Lloyd had a one-off role in the first season, as the son of a pilot whose death Jarod investigates, then had a recurring role as young Angelo in the second and third.
    • Kelsey Mulrooney had a one-off role as the littlest orphan in the first season's Christmas episode, then returned in the second season for a recurring role as Broots's daughter.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Most famously, Kyle is Michael Westen without the scruples.
    • Jon Gries, who plays Broots, has shown up in dozens of HITG roles. Today he is most recognizable for playing Uncle Rico, Roger Linus, and Sheriff Sturkey.
    • Sydney is Lodz.
    • Mr. Lyle is Mike Decker.
    • Jake Lloyd appeared in about half a dozen episodes (in flashbacks, as young Angelo) before being cast as Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace.
    • "Homefront" had a rather nasty father who has been a rather nasty person in a number of other things (including the vampire businessman who gets defenestrated in the first episode of Angel), and his ex-wife is Jan.
    • Jarod's clone is Kevin Fischer and Ian Thomas.
    • In the episode "Scott Free", Scott's son is Drake before he met Josh.
    • The Centre contractor in the episode "Over the Edge" went on to become Holland Manners.
    • The Vietnamese immigrant in "Collateral Damage" is Jin Kwon.
    • The property developer in "Gigolo Jarod" is Elisa Maza and Allison Blake.
    • The young man Jarod helps in "Toy Surprise" is Francis from Malcolm in the Middle.
    • One of Jarod's students in "School Daze" is young Jack and Luke Girardi.
    • The two-parter "Bloodlines" stars Haley Joel Osment, in a Not-So-Small Role. Jarod must identify which one of three children is a genius. Since two of the children are unknown child actors and the last one was the lead in The Sixth Sense the year after appearing on this show, it's not hard for a post-1999 audience to guess which one it is.
    • A behind-the-scenes example: Javier Grillo-Marxuach was a member of the writing team for the first season.
    • Janitor Kenny, whose murder may have been a catalyst for Jarod's escape, is Dr. Phlox
    • Mr. White is played by Jigsaw.
    • Lounge singer Billie in "Pool" is Sydney Bristow/Elektra Natchios.
    • Charles Logan is the crooked reporter Jarod attempts to expose in the first season episode "Jaroldo".
  • Technology Marches On: Jarod's library of mini-discs was a lot more impressively high-tech when the show started than it is to a viewer now.
  • Written-In Infirmity: In "Dragon House", a handyman Jarod talks to happens to have his arm in a cast — because the actor broke the arm shortly before filming.

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