Let's Hit the Rewind Button....
Welcome back to Dave's
blog. After a break for the Fourth of July holiday, on July 11 we return for the final two episodes of the season... and perhaps of the show. Yes, in my efforts to keep you guys up to date, we have sadly reached the point where our show is most likely not coming back. ABC has officially let our cast contracts lapse. While this is not a formal cancellation, we are meant to fade away quietly, as
this article from the L.A. Times
fans are doing everything they can to pull a
, and if you want to see updates on their ideas and progress, you can check out the various fan forums on the Web. Here's hoping that I do not need to provide you with series closure on this blog. But if that is the case, it will be one hell of an entry.
Now, I am not a guy who has many regrets in life. But I realized that because so much time has passed since we actually filmed the shows, I have probably been robbing you guys of some good "behind the scenes" experience in favor of my personal musings on the entertainment industry. So, I thought today I would step into my personal wormhole and take you back to the week we made Episode 7, "The Reunion." This wormhole comes courtesy of the new iPhone which, if you have not yet heard, offers every feature and function imaginable including personal time travel and wash-and-fold laundry service. Thank you, Steve Jobs.
So, it's late November '06. We are working hard at
headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. The Writers Room is cracking Episode 9. Post-production is editing Episodes 2 through 5. And up in Vancouver, the cast and crew are shooting Episode 6, "The Trader," while simultaneously prepping Episode 7, "The Reunion."
As we put a polish on the script for Episode 8, we get a call. We're being summoned to the studio for an urgent meeting. And at this meeting comes the news that our order is being shortened from 13 episodes to eight.
Whoa. OK. Here's the point in the blog where you might expect me to lay into a diatribe about how the network has just screwed us and how the studio let it happen. Nope. Not the case. Because that crazy two weeks in the show's life becomes one of the most amazing experiences of my young professional career. And I am writing this entry as a testament to the work that was done by everyone on this show so that we could complete
's first season in eight episodes instead of 13.
So, back to that studio meeting. Our first thought is, "We need to shut down and figure this out." A "shutdown" occurs when a show temporarily suspends production so that it can solve creative and logistical issues. (I would not be spilling the beans if I told you that several of the successful first year '06 shows experienced shutdowns last season.) It is a fairly common occurrence. But it is costly. And because it so costly, it is not possible for
. We will have to toss out the Episode 8 script, retrofit the Season 1 arc from 13 episodes to eight, and write a new season finale - all in less than 10 days.
Fortunately, we have an ace up our sleeve. Our writer/producer Vanessa Reisen has given us a fantastic script for "The Reunion," and we have the talented Tim Matheson directing. This means we can multi-task. Vancouver production focuses on its rigorous eight-day shoot, while L.A. goes to work on the enormous creative endeavor of reshaping a television season mid-shoot. What were 100-hour weeks are now
-hour weeks. And, amazingly, nearly all of our cast, crew, and writing staff rally around the goal of giving our show the best chance to survive by creating the best eight episodes possible.
Now, there is a saying that goes the "strongest bonds are those born out of conflict." It was always a theme for our show. But during the making of "The Reunion" and the writing of "The Exchange," this theme suddenly became even more important to
off the screen. And the passion that people put into their work on the show, despite the hardships we faced at the time, really give the final two episodes of
an urgency and an emotion that befits the climax of Season 1.
So, thank you for all the comments and for all of the interest you've expressed in saving the show. Your passion for
means that the efforts we made last November and December were worth it.
Now, enjoy "The Reunion." We've got some long-awaited moments in this episode, including Jay's reunion with Kim, the first time our guys reach out to Agent Marlow, more vintage Will Traveler ass-kicking, and hands down the best cliffhanger of the season. Also, please send me any and all questions via the comments section on this blog. For the final episode blog, I will do another Q&A. And then after that, I'll do an end-of-season wrap-up.
Thanks, and see you down the road,