Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Of Australians and ABC

From the tour blog: I apologize for yet another Alex O'Loughlin/Bon Scott-related fiasco, and ABC announces its premiere dates.

11 comments:

Alan Sepinwall said...

And God help me, I hope that's an actual photo of Bon Scott I just added to the top.

Dark Tyler said...

No, actually that's just Alex O'Loughlin's science teacher father. :P

By the way, Alan, what's your take on this TCA v. San Diego thing? (Ignore the question if you plan on writing a piece about it.)

dez said...

Bon Scott would have to be some kind of supernatural creature to be making appearances in anything these days.

dark tyler, what's the TCA vs. San Diego thing?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Dez, here's one recap of what happened, vis a vis Comic-Con:
click here

Eric may actually be underselling it a bit.

Nicole said...

I'm going to hijack this a bit and ask you about your take on the "reconceptualization" of Canadian made sci tv shows (Highlander and Forever Knight) with the American producers seemingly unaware of the existence of these original shows. Are they really that sheltered? I know these shows were more of a cult following than not, but FK aired on CBS for a bit and Highlander was syndicated and had several movies? (I personally was only ever able to watch these shows on American stations)

Rob Salem briefly touched on this topic in the Toronto Star and I am curious about a view south of the border..

Alan Sepinwall said...

Nicole, it's funny you mention that. There are a couple of seriously devout sci-fi fan reporters on the fringe of the TCA, people who refer to the Star Trek spin-offs as "TNG" or "DS9" when they ask questions, the type who once asked Dawn Ostroff whether Veronica Mars might add some "genre elements" (because, in their minds, there is only one genre, and film noir ain't it).

I mention it because, during the session for New Amsterdam, one of these people asked the producers whether they had ever seen the Highlander films or TV shows. They all looked puzzled and said no, and as the session moved along, it became apparent that none of these people on stage had ever worked in science fiction before, had ever watched science fiction before, had any interest whatsoever in the trappings of science fiction.

But to the reporters in question, that sort of person can't possibly exist, so another of them grabbed the mic and expressed her disbelief that no one on the panel had ever seen a Highlander movie or show, insisting that they were very popular and still had a huge fanbase. It's rare to hear the critics boo a question, but that happened. The panelists continued to look baffled.

The next day, at the Sarah Connor Chronicles session, a critic with a rep for being a wise-ass asked if anyone on the stage had ever seen Highlander. The room cracked up, and again the panelists looked confused.

I'll answer your actual question in a minute. :)

Alan Sepinwall said...

Anyway, to the real point: people who work in TV don't watch much TV (save guys like Joss Whedon and Greg Daniels who are pop culture omnivores), and they're particularly unlikely to have watched shows that aired either late at night (Forever Knight) or in weekend syndication (Highlander). I'm not saying those shows weren't good or weren't popular in their target demo, but I absolutely believe the New Amsterdam people when they say they never watched a single frame of Christopher Lambert or Adrian Paul.

Nicole said...

I freely admit that I am a sci-fi dork, so I have encountered those who don't know what I speak of if I refer to a TARDIS, or quote mockingly "There can be only one". And I have even been on the other side of it, having not actually watched much of Buffy or Angel until years later, but isn't it a bit of a problem to not even do a little bit of background research in the sci-fi area? It seems lazy and probably explains why there is a lot of garbage out there. Is it safe to assume that they probably haven't read any Joseph Campbell either?

I do take your point that not everyone is into science fiction, which is fine, because the fandoms can get a little crazy and sometimes a Shatner-esque "People get a life" is necessary.

Also, great story about the clueless panelists, but may I ask if you were the wise-ass in question?

dez said...

In a tribute to the power of the press, an ABC staffer quickly got on the phone to Lost producer Damon Lindelof, seeking his OK to release the news early, even as critics made the point that releasing news to a ballroom filled with 150 journalists probably made more sense than releasing it to a convention hall filled with fans.

Hmmm...I'm not going to Comic-Con until tomorrow, so I would have missed the announcement anyway, but it is pretty exciting to be in the crowd when an exec or star gives you an "exclusive" that even the press doesn't have yet. And it's not like there are a lack of geeks with laptops who would blog the info immediately so the press could pick it up. In this instance, I side with Comic-Con.

You big babies :P ;-)

Dark Tyler said...

Yeah, me too, definitely. I say this with absolute respect for the critics, I know you're trying to do your jobs and keep your editors happy, but in this case... Well, let me put it this way. After McPherson crumbled under pressure and announced Harold Perrineau's return, the general response in the room (the way I've read it everywhere) was along the lines of "So, that's the big announcement?"

Well yeah, for the fans it is. Hence, the "fan convention". (as some reporter said, trying to diminish one of the most important events of pop culture.)

When the showrunners decide that some stuff should be kept for the fans, I think they know better. If they didn't care for the press, then they wouldn't keep every single reporter posted on every single detail of every single episode. Some things are just not press release-material. Some stuff are just blog-till-you-drop material, and I think Cuse & Lindelof had every right to keep this secret just for the fandom.

dez said...

Well yeah, for the fans it is. Hence, the "fan convention". (as some reporter said, trying to diminish one of the most important events of pop culture.)

Which one said that, if you know, DT? I know it wasn't Alan (he's too smart for that) :-)