<EM>Night Stalker</EM> Night Stalker

We are in the thick of it now. While viewers at home get ready to watch Episode 3 of Night Stalker (tonight at 9 pm/ET, on ABC) — it's a very scary show, by the way — we are already editing shows that will air in November, filming ones that will air in December and writing shows that will be broadcast after that.

When production on a TV series begins, it's like an assembly line that can't stop. You have to keep feeding it new scripts every eight business days to make the air dates. That's a pretty tight schedule, of course, so you draw on as many talented people as you can to make it happen.

On Night Stalker, I'm blessed to have a lot of collaborators whose names you might recognize. There's Daniel Sackheim, of course, who directed the pilot and is an executive producer of the series.  Dan worked with me, not only as a director and producer on The X-Files, but as the producer of the X-Files feature film and [the 1999 series] Harsh Realm.

John Peter Kousakis is also a longtime collaborator, having served as coexecutive producer of Millennium, for all three of its seasons, and of The Lone Gunmen, for its all-too-brief run. He serves the same function on this series, helping protect its creative vision through the many production challenges you face when mounting a series as ambitious as this one.

On last week's episode, many people recognized other familiar people from my X-Files days:  Thomas Schnauz, who wrote so many great episodes of The X-Files and some of the very best Lone Gunmen installments; Rob Bowman, the feature-film director behind classic episodes of The X-Files as well as X-Files: Fight the Future; and consulting producer Darin Morgan, who wrote some of the best episodes of The X-Files and Millennium. In the coming months you'll see Darin's work and more of Tom's, as well as an episode by yet another X-Files colleague and friend, Vince Gilligan.

Behind the scenes of Night Stalker, I have the good fortune to be working with many more faces that I have worked with before — and I have the joy of collaborating with dozens more for the first time.

It has been enormously gratifying to see the results of our efforts being received so warmly by so many of you. We'll continue to work hard to keep the show strong — and scary.

And now, to make good on last week's promise to reveal the final nod to Darren McGavin that we hid in the pilot episode (and the series). It's not his "digital" cameo appearance in the newsroom, nor his straw hat hanging in Kolchak's home office. It's a number — a number that can be found on the rear license plate of Kolchak's car: 197DMG2. That refers to Darren McGavin and 1972, the year the first Night Stalker TV-movie was broadcast.

There will be more clues to episodes, websites, series mythology and various other surprises hidden in the main title sequence each week, so watch closely. Your attention will be rewarded.

Until next week....

For even more "Frank talk" about Night Stalker, check out the exec's blogs from Sept. 29 and Oct. 6. Also, Spotnitz was a guest on this week's brand-new TVGuide.com podcast — give it a listen!