Immediately upon ABC's official unveiling of its fall schedule minus the freshman sci-fier Invasion TVGuide.com tracked down series star (and recent Insider interviewee) William Fichtner to get his qualified reaction to the news that sent fans reeling. Previously excerpted in a news story, here is our complete conversation, as promised.
TVGuide.com: I wanted to get a hold of you because when last we spoke, you were obviously very into the show and had a lot of hopes for it.
Fichtner: Actually, I just left Warner Bros., where I had a goodbye with [Invasion creator] Shaun [Cassidy]. We were reminiscing about the season, walking around the old swamp and... you know, I'm never a guy that hits the skids or anything when something ends. In this business, it's the nature of the beast. You just turn around and wonder, "Did you do everything you could have done?", then move on to something new. It is what it is. I'm going to miss this crew and this cast, for sure. Whether I loved every direction the show was going in or not, one thing is for sure: showing up at work with the crew on this particular show was always a joy. From the moment you stepped into that hair-and-makeup trailer, they were just some mighty fine people. I will miss them dearly.
TVGuide.com: How's Shaun doing in the wake of the cancellation news?
Fichtner: Shaun's been around the block, like I have, a couple of times, so we know where it's at. Things like this come up. I think it was an 11th-hour decision.
TVGuide.com: I spoke to Jeff Bader [executive vice president, ABC Entertainment] a few weeks ago about this crazy TV season and about shows that weren't given a chance, and I used Invasion as a main example. He said the network was trying to find a space for it in the fall, because it had hit its stride around mid-season and was surging creatively.
Fichtner: Well, it's one of those things where... hindsight's 20/20, you know? Who knows when it's all said and done what makes [a show] that "perfect" thing. One thing's for sure and there's no doubt about it and I'm not saying anything that's any mystery to anybody but [Invasion] was arguably in the top one, two or three most-expensive shows to make. The network is a business, and if they're going to spend that much money, I'm sure they want a show that almost matches it in its ratings. Invasion hadn't found that groove yet.
TVGuide.com: How much of a cliff-hanger will fans now be left with? [The series finale was airing the night of this interview.]
Fichtner: If you get 22 [episodes], they give you a journey. It'll leave some questions, but it is what it is. This is where it ended. Unfortunately, a second season on this... I was just talking to Shaun about some of the things he had in mind for it, and it sounded more exciting than even where we went this year.
TVGuide.com: There's talk of a two-hour wrap-up TV-movie for Commander in Chief. Any rumblings about a similar deal for Invasion?
Fichtner: No, no, I don't think so. I haven't heard anything like that. I'm writing something myself, and working on something else right now.... For me personally, every time I've finished something, I want to walk away and feel proud about it, that it's a good piece of the puzzle of whatever my life is as far as my work goes. Invasion will be whatever part it is in my existence. A big part of it. I wish bigger and better things for everybody. For everybody.
TVGuide.com: Lastly, anything you can hint at about what was being talked about for Season 2?
Fichtner: Oh, for what would have been? Uh, I think you've got to ask Shaun that one. I can't tip the bag on that!