J.J. Abrams



Falling Up
The nets reveal their strategies for next season

Brad Garrett, 'Til Death

After attending the networks' upfront presentations all week, the Biz has this analysis of the coming season. (Click here for next fall's grid and new-show descriptions.) CWYou've got to wonder what went wrong in CW's new-series development process if the network had to bring back 7th Heaven — even though the show lost a reported $16 million for WB this past season. But the decision to have CW's inaugural schedule made up of established shows from WB and UPN may end up being a blessing. Many of the shows have small but rabid followings, and promoting new shows on a new network will be tough. The fans of shows like One Tree Hill and Veronica Mars will track  them down on their own. Viewers in the 18-to-34-year-old demographic that CW targets don't watch networks, they watch shows. (According to recent survey, only one in four 1 read more

I have to say that I share ...

Question: I have to say that I share Jason's fears that Lost will decline in quality next season with the continued absence of J.J. Abrams and the reduced involvement of the current show-runners. Not only will it be difficult to keep up the intricate mythology and character development that have been critical to Lost's success, but I have noticed a trend where dramas often suffer creative declines in their third seasons. I've noticed this in some of the best shows of our times, including The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Alias, West Wing, 24, Nip/Tuck and The Shield. All of those shows suffered huge drop-offs in quality after two amazing seasons. The Wire has been one show that seemed to buck this trend, and hopefully Rescue Me, Deadwood, Battlestar Galactica and Veronica Mars (if it gets renew read more

One of your readers wrote in ...

Gregory Smith, Everwood

Question: One of your readers wrote in recently to say that "only Joss Whedon understands the concept of having a character evolve." I have to disagree with that, and I humbly submit the example of Everwood to prove my case. One of the brilliant things about Everwood is that, at times, its characters make miserable decisions or go through phases in which they are really unappealing. It's a brave thing for a show to do, and I think they do it better than any other show on TV. I know you've supported the show in the past, and I wonder if you think that its refusal to make its characters always likable helps or hurts it in terms of ratings. I'd really like to see it find an hour on CW. Answer: You and me both. First, I should note that more than a few readers wrote in to gripe about that random Joss Whedon comment. Gotta love his rabid fan base, and gotta cut them some slack when they go a bit overboard. (What else are these poor souls going to do, given that we're in a non-Joss lull here ... read more

While this topic crosses over ...

Jorge Garcia and Josh Holloway, Lost

Question: While this topic crosses over into film territory, it could have major ramifications for a certain top TV series. It was recently announced that Lost cocreator J.J. Abrams is now going to direct a prequel Star Trek movie for release in 2008. And he's bringing along producers and current show-runners Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk as copilots on this adventure (though in a reduced capacity). I personally think this is very bad news for Lost fans. While I feel that Lindelof and Burk have been handling the series quite well, there was a sense of excitement for Abrams' return to a series that seems strongest when he and Lindelof are conspiring. Now it seems like he won't ever be back. And to make matters worse, Lindelof and Burk are now going to have added distraction. Season 3 is such a vital season for a show like this; the last thing Lost needs is its three brains distracted by Kirk and Spock. Additionally, Abrams is one of the brightest, most creative people in television, ... read more

OMG, are you serious? J.J. ...

Question: OMG, are you serious? J.J. Abrams is gonna direct, produce and write the next Star Trek movie?! OMG!!! I'm soooo excited!

Answer: Me, too. And I don't even like Star Trek.

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J.J. Abrams Beams Up More Star Trek

The Star Trek franchise is being given new life by the Genesis experiment Lost cocreator J.J. Abrams, the man behind this summer's Mission: Impossible III, Variety reports. The as-yet-untitled feature, slated for a fall 2008 release, will focus on the early adventures of James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, including their first meeting at Starfleet Academy; Abrams will direct as well as help write and produce the pic. Is anyone else getting goose bumps, or am I just a big ol' Star Trek geek? Seriously, no one's Kirk Halloween costume could ever compare to mine. read more

Sarah Lancaster Knows All About Brian

Sarah Lancaster, What About Brian

Sarah Lancaster recently turned 26, but she's already racked up more TV credits than most actors claim in a lifetime. Her first role was as Rachel on Saved by the Bell: The New Class. Since then she's appeared on Dawson's Creek, Boston Public, That ‘70s Show, Scrubs, 7th Heaven, Six Feet Under and Everwood, to name a few. Now, the sultry beauty is the female lead in What About Brian, a new ABC series (sneak previewing Sunday at 10 pm/ET, then airing Mondays at 10) from executive producer J.J. Abrams (Lost). TVGuide.com caught up with the grizzled TV vet to find out what Brian's all about. TVGuide.com: How would you describe What read more

Now that Alias' return date ...

Question: Now that Alias' return date has finally been announced, I don't see how they can possibly plan to air all of the remaining episodes. I don't think they have enough time. Am I wrong? Does J.J. Abrams have absolutely no clout at ABC? I get that this is it for Alias, and I agree that it is time, but ABC's handling of the final moments of this awesome series has been absolutely shameful. And frankly, I don't see anything that wonderful being aired in its spot — although I guess that depends on what you think its time slot was. What I mean is, ABC hasn't exactly stumbled on to some brilliant new hit mid-season. (Although I do wish they had given Love Monkey more of a chance). I know that the Alias writing crew planned an alternate ending for this situation, but the fact that they might actually be forced to use it is ridiculous! Answer: First off, Love Monkey was a CBS fumble, so let's give that discredit where it's due. As for Alias, my understanding is that the reduced episode ... read more

I saw this and thought of ...

Question: I saw this and thought of you. Any word on Cheri Oteri's sitcom with J.J. Abrams?

Answer: That little link took me to the Best. News. Ever. Thanks for that. And the Cheri/J.J. project is still in the works. I'll hopefully have more news on this next week.

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Is J.J. Abrams going to write ...

Question: Is J.J. Abrams going to write or direct the finale of Alias? Please say yes.

Answer: It's suddenly not looking so good. I hear he may be busy doing a Misson: Impossible III promotional tour. Curses!

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The Philosophy of J.J. Abrams (The Philosophy of Popular Culture)
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