Nothing like having a posse get your back when someone throws dirt in your eye. That's what I was thinking as I read the 45 - yes, 45! - comments that came in response to last week's blog and the news that ABC has let our contracts lapse. With the enormous outpouring of support here, on IMDb and on the various fan forums, I wanted to make sure you guys knew that we at
appreciate all the dedication you've shown to the series. And thus, I have affectionately deemed you "the Porters." This is, of course, an allusion to Billy Mayo's character, the guy who keeps an eye on Jay, Tyler and Will when Jack Freed's Homeland Security thugs get in the way. So, my "Porters," I have promised another Q&A for this entry, and I will get to answering the questions I managed to sift out from those wonderful 45 comments you left last week:
Is there any way that the network will not cancel it for next season?
The million-dollar question. Right now, with the Nielsen numbers where they are, I'd say we're a step closer to an official cancellation announcement. But after the
campaign, I'm never going to say "never." My goal right now is to make sure
has a life after its eight-episode network run. Your loyalty and support helps us as we try to get
released on iTunes and DVD so the folks who missed us this summer can find us down the road, and you guys have a permanent place in your collection for the show.
Say, where was that petition again...?
The petition is at
Hey, David, ever thought about shopping the show to cable TV, like USA Network? This show seems like something they might be interested in.
This is a common question from the fans. Thus far, this has not seemed possible for two reasons: Our Nielsen numbers have not been high enough to garner significant interest from other channels, and our show is somewhat expensive to make due to its action component. I am looking into the "nontraditional" viewership numbers - DVR and digital downloads - to get a more accurate idea of our audience size. With the large online fan base, I have a hard time believing that the Nielsens fully reflect our viewership. Even if these numbers don't get the show picked up by another network, they will help in our fight to get the show released on DVD and iTunes.
The show is absolutely amazing. Why would they want to stop the season early and not bring it back?
Thank you for this sentiment. It's very important that we all channel our frustration in a positive manner. I am upset with our show's treatment, but I also understand ABC's decision when I put myself in their shoes. Last fall every show in this genre, from
, was getting axed faster than a dame who married Henry VIII. At the same time, we were experiencing the growing pains that every first-year show goes through. The network had not even seen a cut of the episodes when Will comes back into play. The combination of seeing audience aversion to the genre and creative concerns about the show caused them to cut our season and release us without real promotion in the summertime.
What's with the little parts in the field office where they are always saying, "Sir, you need to contact our bureau in Chicago. I'm afraid Los Angeles is outside our current search radius," starting at the second episode and repeated in other episodes? There must be a reason why the writers put that in multiple times.
Callmecrazy, you have caught what we call a gaffe. This was a piece of temporary ADR that did not get replaced in the final sound mix for Episode 3. (ADR is additional dialogue that is added by our voice group to fill in the background of large scenes. It can also be done by our lead actors when we need to trim scenes or add in an additional piece of information after the scene has already been shot.)
1) Any news on a DVD release?? I'd love to get this show on DVD, as well as any behind-the-scenes commentary and/or bonus features. 2) Do you know what Logan [Marshall-Green] or Matt [Bomer] are up to now? Any possibility you'd work with them again on a new project? 3) I won't ask too many plot-related questions, since I know you won't answer them right now, but the scene where we find out that Tyler's dad actually tried to have them killed was really disturbing. Was that hard to shoot? Can you better explain Carlton's motivations? I don't think I quite understood what could have been so important as to sacrifice your own child. 4) Was there anything that was cut that you wished you hadn't had to?
1) No news yet. I'm working on it. 2) Matt and Logan have both returned to the stage this summer. Matt can be seen in
at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. And Logan just finished a run in
Geometry of Fire
at the Powerhouse Theater in New York. I would love to work with them, as well as the rest of this cast. 3) Carlton's motivations will be fully explained in due time. 4) I always liked the idea of exploring Fallbrook Dunn, a crisis management firm in D.C. that might have had a hand in creating some of the chaos that it later helps control. In these days of Halliburton and its work in Iraq, I find the idea of private business influencing public policy fascinating.
When creating a new show, how far ahead do you plan out the concept? Do you have an idea of the story line if given 100 episodes?
We pitched the broad strokes of the first season, the second season and an ultimate endgame. No creator could tell you a 100-episode story arc upfront. And if they did, it would all completely change by Episode 4 once you were in production. TV is a fast-moving beast, and serialized shows consume story like we consume oxygen. That's why you have to hand it to the guys at
. They've been pounding out compelling full 22-episode seasons for years.
How do the network bigwigs expect to attract viewers when they keep pulling the plug so early? It's getting to the point where I don't want to watch any new TV until the series has been established for a season or two.
I think you've hit on a real issue with network TV. Gone are the days when shows are allowed to grow an audience. Think what would happen if
were released today. It most likely would have been cancelled due to low viewership. Seriously, I loved that show, but the first four episodes of
are nothing like the show once it hit its creative stride and became a huge hit. As you guys head into the new TV season, all I can say is, "Don't be afraid to commit to a show." I think the
that "serialized shows don't last" hurt
more than anything. If the audience does not tune in because they think a show is going to get cancelled, then the ratings will never be there and the network has no choice but to cancel the show. Watch the shows you want to watch and then let the chips fall where they may. And if I can make one recommendation for the fall, check out
. It is brilliantly written, well cast, incredibly original, smart, funny, and it's getting a ton of network support from ABC. If it does not work, I will lose all faith in TV.
Thus concludes our longest blog entry to date. Hope I got to all the questions. Now, a preview for "The Exchange," the big finale [airing Wednesday at 10 pm/ET]! Despite the amazing speed and pressure that was on us to make this show, I feel we still managed to save the best episode for last. We got to wrap five episodes of story into one. You will find out Will's role in the bombing. You will learn whether his loyalties lie with Jay and Tyler, Jack Freed, or himself. You will see the climax of the power struggle that has crippled the FBI's effectiveness in the Drexler investigation. And you will get another trademark
I know there will be questions. When/if we are officially cancelled, I will return to this blog to answer them all with a "series wrap-up" because "the Porters" deserve a satisfactory ending to this journey. Here's hoping we can provide it with more episodes. If not, you'll read it here.
See you down the road,