Thursday, July 17, 2008

High Expectations for Fringe

Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly inidcated he has high expectations for Fringe according to TV Guide.
Fox’s greatest hope this fall is unquestionably J.J. Abrams’ big-budget, high-concept sci-fi thriller Fringe, which Reilly and boss Peter Ligouri aggressively pursued. “We offered him a series day one. We knew the log line, that it was sort of The X-Files, Indiana Jones kind of thing. This show just feels right,” says Reilly.

“I do feel that ultimately any pressure or expectations for this or any other show could ruin a show,” [Abrams] said in a separate TCA panel. “It’s like if you expect something that’s going to change your life, no matter what it is, it’s almost invariably going to be disappointing. … I don’t think any one show can save the fall.”

Abrams says Fringe was spawned from his fascination with the work of David Cronenberg and the writings of Michael Crichton and Robin Cook, among others: “that weird place where medicine and science meets real life.” He also cited The Twilight Zone, The X-Files and Night Stalker as inspirations. Orci adds that Abrams’ team, including fellow collaborator Alex Kurtzman, “sat in a room and kind of listed off our shows. For me, I always wanted to do kind of a real genius solving problems. Alex was a huge fan of Twin Peaks and J.J. was a huge fan of Altered States [whose star Blair Brown has a crucial role in the series]. So it’s a cross of those things. Obviously, The X-Files left an impression, but that’s not where we started.”

“Fringe is in many ways an experiment for us,” says Abrams. “We’re trying very deliberately to do a show that doesn’t require the insane absolute dedication to a series that if you miss an episode, you have no idea of what is going on.” (Abrams told an hilarious story about tuning into an episode of Alias during its run at actor friend Greg Grunberg’s house and thinking, “I was so confused. It literally was impenetrable. … [Alias] was definitely a show that while I loved working on that show and miss it, I can see how it was difficult.”)

Fellow executive producer Jeff Pinkner says, “The standard we are trying to hold ourselves up to is that when the first commercial hits, ideally people are calling their friends and saying you won’t believe what just happened on Fox. You have to change the channel and check out this show.”

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