Saturday, July 14, 2012

Comic-Con: And Then What Happened? Serialized Shows That Ended Too Soon

What would have happened if "Dollhouse" had had a third season? How would "Flash Forward" have been different if David S. Goyer had stayed on? Would "Middleman" have been different if it'd had a larger budget?

TV writers Andrew Chambliss, Ian Goldberg, Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Jose Molina (and my apologies to the fifth panelist whose name I've forgotten and was not listed in materials) all worked on serialized shows that were cut short for lack of ratings. This panel was ostensibly about describing what the conclusions to these cult shows would have been if they'd continued; but the focus ended up being more about what it feels like to work on a show that's constantly under threat of being cancelled before concluding the storyline.

The recurring point throughout the conversation was that, no matter how thoroughly a showrunner/creator may have planned the arc of the series, plans will always change as the show is actually in progress. Whether a show is a hit or struggling, all the planning in the world will be thrown out the window when budgetary concerns, breakout performances, or story elements that were more interesting than anticipated begin to present themselves.

In an appropriate bit of symmetry, the panelists ran out of time and were cut off before bringing the conversation to a satisfying conclusion.

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