Poppy Montgomery, Dylan Walsh
Unforgettable returns Friday with the remaining six episodes of its second season, which kicked off last July. Seven weeks after Season 2 finishes airing, Season 3 will bow on Sunday, June 29. Got all that?
"Oh, my God! I can never keep [our schedule] straight!" Poppy Montgomery tells TVGuide.com with a laugh. "Carrie could, but I can't! Oh, we were on last summer. Now we're airing in April. Then we come back in June. And who knows after that. I'm just glad we're back on again!"
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The procedural has lived a chaotic existence since it originally premiered in 2011. CBS canceled it in May 2012 and resurrected it a month later for summer 2013. Production and airdates, however, were pushed back after Montgomery became pregnant. ("It was my fault!" she quips.) As a result of the delay, the show only aired half of its 13-episode Season 2 last summer before stepping aside for the fall schedule with no return date set at the time. But not unlike Carrie Wells' (Montgomery) impeccable memory, CBS didn't forget about it: The network renewed the show for a third season in the fall, ensuring that the rest of Season 2 would see the light of day at some point.
"I was only worried in the sense that it's all new for network television, this whole summer season, especially for CBS," Dylan Walsh says. "It's really hard to make episodes when you're not on TV, but now we know and we found out during [production] on Season 2 that we were picked up. I remarked to someone recently, in the past two years, we've only aired seven episodes. We have a following; they've kept us around. Now's our time. We're going to be on a lot in the next several months and it's great."
Co-creator and executive producer John Bellucci, though, says he was far more Zen about the show's then-cloudy future at the end of last summer. "After being canceled and completely dead, it takes any worry about that off the table," he says. "We've come back from the dead, so we've been up against it! We don't worry about it anymore."
Though he would've preferred to have finished airing Season 2 last year, Bellucci believes the spring return is well-suited for Unforgettable. As part of its Season 2 reboot, Carrie and Al (Walsh) moved from Queens to New York City after new character Eliot (Dallas Roberts) recruited them for his high-tech Major Crimes Unit. Gone was the dark, moody feel of Season 1 and in its place was a lighter, fun tone — not to mention standalone episodes. Because of the uncertain air schedule, producers opted against serialized story lines, putting the mystery of Carrie's sister's murder — the only thing she can't remember — on the backburner.
"I actually feel like for our type of show, standalone episodes make sense," Montgomery says. "It's not the kind of show where it's got such a soap opera-style throughline that you would have to watch intensely in order to follow it. There's no cliff-hanger at the end of this season because of my pregnancy. That messed with everything! It was all a rush to get it done."
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It'll be a different story in Season 3 though. Taking advantage of the early pick-up, new showrunner Ed Decter is planning longer arcs, including fanning the flames of Carrie and Al's will-they-won't-they-again tension. On Friday's episode, the two pose as a fake married couple for a case, but there won't be much movement until the Season 3 premiere, when Boris Kodjoe debuts as Secret Service Agent Benjamin Hernandez, and sparks fly between him and Carrie. "I have two of the most gorgeous men in the world. I'm happy. We're doing good in Season 3," Mongtomery says.
"When we all started talking about Season 3, we really wanted turn up the heat between Carrie and Al and [talk about] how to manage that," Decter says. "Part of that connective tissue was putting people in between them and seeing what happens with their relationship with Boris coming in. We have some surprises for Al too. There's a woman he becomes interested in and there's some big drama brewing."
Al is, of course, is not too happy about Hernandez's arrival, as Al feels ready for a relationship, but Carrie does not. "Have you seen Boris? He's the most beautiful man on the planet!" Walsh says with a laugh. "That's what we couldn't do in Season 2 where we were stuck. We needed a foil to come in and get in the way of Carrie and Al. ... She doesn't trust that they can be more than professional partners and Boris comes in. It puts us back in a love triangle with something at stake and let's see what happens."
One thing that still won't be addressed though? Rachel's murder. It was briefly touched upon in the Season 2 premiere to indicate that Carrie is not completely hung up on it, but will remain dormant for the foreseeable future.
"We like the idea of it being there and being an important part of Carrie's character," Decter says. "We're not sure if we really want to wrap it up. We put it in a middle wrap-up in the Season 1 finale. It took some of the emotional fire behind it out. She could live with it. It was also heavy and didn't fit with the new tone of the show. We want to solve it for the fans who've been with us since the beginning, and we have lots of good idea for it, but we also feel like it would be a really good crescendo at a certain moment and we want to do a lot of episodes before we hit that crescendo."
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Unforgettable has not been renewed for a fourth season yet and CBS has not given any indication to producers if it would remain a summer show going forward. Walsh believes the show is "built better for the fall," but he, along with everyone else, doesn't mind where the show ultimately ends up as long as it ends up on the air. "There's a universe where we'd be delighted to do well enough and get back on the fall schedule," Bellucci says. "But we like the summer schedule. We're in a new wave of summer programming. It's also much more humane making 13 episodes."
Adds Montgomery: "Nothing would surprise me. It depends on how we do [on Fridays] too, I guess. Hopefully all of our fans would find us in April and in June. My only rule right now is that I make no predictions. Everything I've predicted for this show has been the opposite!"
Unforgettable airs Fridays at 8/7c on CBS.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)