Vincent Kartheiser is now and probably always will be most associated with the role of Pete Campbell. Having a prominent, occasionally despicable role in a long-running, critically-acclaimed series will have that effect on your career. But if he and WGN America have their way, maybe one day instead of thinking “there’s that petulant snobby turd from Mad Men,” you’ll think “there’s that petulant snobby turd from Mad Men who also has that one Robin Hood-y show.” Baby steps.
The facts: In what Deadline describes as a “competitive situation” that resulted in a straight-to-series order with a cancellation penalty attached, WGN America has purchased the rights to Debt, a pilot that Kartheiser will star in and produce, with Neil Labute on board to direct.
Debt centers on a man who, having lost everything important to him, decides to partner with the head of a somewhat-fraudulent collection agency and get back at the rich who steal from the poor.
God bless any of you who are going to be able to compartmentalize things and keep these two characters separate in your brain, but if you think I’m not tuning in to the first episode of this show and immediately constructing an elaborate off-screen fantasy about Pete Campbell losing everything and changing his name to whatever this new character is named (working theory: Rick Debt), then you don’t know me at all. Oh, he’ll take down those corporate muckety-mucks, alright. Starting with the crew at McCann. Pete comin’, yo.