Pleasant Dreams for Prison Break Exec
A year ago, the TV landscape warmly welcomed two little shows entitled Lost
and Desperate Housewives
. The insta-success of those newbies — one about supernatural goings-on, the other about suburbia's secrets — appeared to portend the success of a Fox offering that boasted both. Point Pleasant
, starring dewy Elisabeth Harnois
as Satan's daughter and Grant Show
as the Dark Prince's sinfully handsome henchman, debuted amid much buzz, only to be bedeviled by low numbers and, thus, a truncated run. Now, that first season, including a making-of doc and five never-aired episodes, is out on DVD. Series creator Marti Noxon
gave TVGuide.com a preview of the release and also revealed what she could about Prison Break
TVGuide.com: Point Pleasant seemed poised to go to town on the ratings. What happened?
Marti Noxon: Uh, we didn't. [Laughs] You know, it's funny you say that. The TV season had been going great, and then Medium was sort of successful, but for some reason, after that I thought, "We're not going to make it. I feel frustrated, like I have had enough. Between all these shows there's a lot going on."
TVGuide.com: It boasted proven players such as Grant Show, as well as promising newcomers like Elisabeth Harnois.
Noxon: Grant was great and, I think, unexpectedly a much more complex actor than people thought he was. He just came to play. He was so ready to do something different, and he had so much fun having the opportunity to do something different. What went wrong, I think, is it was kind of a critical pile-on; people just didn't like the first few episodes, and I can't say that I blame them.
TVGuide.com: In his own Insider Q&A, Grant blamed time-slot rivals CSI and The Apprentice, in part.
Noxon: Well they sure didn't help! [Laughs] We didn't get the numbers, our critics didn't like us, so Fox decided it was a write-off. And though I have to believe the show got better, it was sort of too little, too late.
TVGuide.com: As someone who wanted to love Point Pleasant, I felt it gave away too much too soon. I would have preferred to wonder who Christina was for longer than one episode.
Noxon: Yeah. Well, that was the other way to go, but that was not the way it was designed. It was really designed to sort of let you know, like The Omen, so that you're hip to it. Later, we tried to stay more mysterious about other things and the more we did that, the better the show was. Part of that was certainly my fault, and part was the network demanding so much exposition. They want everything spelled out, and that's a problem in the genre. Since then, I think Lost has earned the right to say no to stuff like that. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Big TV can be skittish about Satanic themes. Were you ever asked to rein something in?
Noxon: Not really. They were kind of like, "Go for it!" That was the good part of the Fox experience, that they were very encouraging. "Yeah, make it as weird and strange as you like! Make it controversial!"
TVGuide.com: Will the unaired episodes on DVD set offer fans any sense of closure?
Noxon: Oh, yeah. We pretty much close! [Laughs] We gave an actual close to the whole thing.
TVGuide.com: Is that through re-editing, or was Episode 13 always set up that way?
Noxon: We knew by the time we got to Episode 8 that we probably weren't coming back, and we also knew that there was a way out of the ending we had planned, so we thought, "If by some weird miracle the show goes beyond these 13, we do have a plan, but we're just going to blow it up" — and we did.
TVGuide.com: Someone here at the office said, "Why didn't Fox just burn off the remaining episodes on Saturday night, when nothing is on"?
Noxon: I know! Especially because we did have that loyal 4 to 5 million people who were watching.
TVGuide.com: Whom from Point Pleasant would you like to work with again?
Noxon: Well, Grant is a no-brainer; I was trying to think of a show that I'd like to design for him, but unfortunately this year I didn't have the time to go deeper into that.
TVGuide.com: You're a consulting producer on Prison Break, and he sure could look good in a prison uniform....
Noxon: The only reason I haven't suggested him for a role there is because I think he's a leading man and should have his own show and be the center of the thing. I've got a couple of ideas, one in particular, that I am kind of kicking around. And Elisabeth, I thought, was great, I really liked her as her character got darker. And Aubrey Dollar [as Judy] was amazing.
TVGuide.com: Regarding Prison Break's own premiere, were you guarded in your expectations? Another Fox series with huge potential, a buzzworthy premise and a good cast....
Noxon: [Laughs] Well, you're always nervous. My friend John McNamara had Eyes on ABC and they pulled it after three episodes, despite glowing reviews. There's never a guarantee, never.
TVGuide.com: Do you think critics have been a bit harsh harping on Prison Break's shaky logic?
Noxon: To me, what's great about the show is if you buy in, it's a great ride. But you have to go, "I'm in, I believe this world where this is happening." It's a great premise, albeit highly unlikely, but why start to quibble? The writing staff spends a great deal of time running the logic, and certain things make sense when you really think about it [in ways] that aren't always on the surface.
TVGuide.com: Are execs confident it will keep its momentum after the baseball hiatus? [Prison Break began airing new episodes last night.]
Noxon: People feel very confident. It has really found a very loyal viewership. There's a lot of very good stuff on television, but in that time slot they are really standing out.
TVGuide.com: Considering where last night's episode left us, can you tease what will happen next?
Noxon: You know what? I don't know. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Some consulting producer you are.
Noxon: I was out after the riot [episode], working on my own stuff. I do kind of vaguely know what's next, but I don't want to say.
TVGuide.com: Have you heard anything about the scheduling plan for when 24 returns in January?
Noxon: I haven't.
TVGuide.com: Is it true that Michael has a wife and if so, has she been cast?
Noxon: Ooh, that's a tricky one. I'm trying to think what is known about that. I really shouldn't comment.
TVGuide.com: Regarding your ties to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, which you produced, will you be involved in the oft-discussed Spike movie?
Noxon: I don't think so. I think either Tim Minear or Drew Goddard will probably write it; I don't think Joss [Whedon] is planning to write it himself. I'm pretty lucky in that my plate is pretty full right now, because I'm working on a movie, too, so I haven't had the time to even think about that.
TVGuide.com: Speaking of Joss, you couldn't call in a favor and have him save Point Pleasant with a big-screen movie, à la Firefly-Serenity?
Noxon: Yeah, wouldn't that be nice! I'm sure he wouldn't mind reviving my own dead Fox franchise. The Firefly movie made believers out of a lot of people who didn't watch the series, so he did kind of get the last word — again!