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Entertainment Weekly is putting on a series of panels this year featuring “visionaries” from different mediums. Today, they held their “TV Visionaries” panel. The five-man panel featured some of the best and most well-known TV show runners working today: Josh Schwartz (The O.C., Chuck, Gossip Girl
), Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
) Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (Lost
), and Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies
). Moderated by Entertainment Weekly's Jeff Jensen, the panel took a light, introspective tone. Or, at least that was the tone it took when Cuse and Lindelof weren't dodging specific Lost
questions. All five men showed a deep appreciation for the work of their peers. It was a veritable love fest out there, the main link being Lost, which all three non-Lost show runners seem to love (especially Bryan Fuller). But, mostly, the five smart men discussed television as a medium, what their influences are and gave a little inside info about their own shows.
All four of the shows represented at this panel (Lost, Chuck, Terminator, and Pushing Daisies
) all have their own panels tomorrow here at Comic-Con. So, if you're craving more specific information on any of these shows, check back on BuddyTV tomorrow, where we'll have extensive coverage. Here are some of the cooler tidbits from the panel.
Bryan Fuller: The network decided not to throw Pushing Daisies
in front of “the American Idol
bus” after the strike ended, thus waiting until the Fall to reboot. Season 2 will pick up ten months after the first season ended. It's a relaunch.
Josh Schwartz: They're treating the first new episode of Chuck
like a pilot.
Josh Friedman: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
second season will pick up two seconds after the first season ended.
Darlton: The two Lost
show runners took an entire morning trying to pare down their 75-page first draft of last season's finale to 55 or so pages, and managed to get rid of a half page over the entire morning. That's when they realized they needed that extra hour.
Bryan Fuller: He wanted to cram a show with as many things as possible that made him smile. And, when asked “Why Pie?” Fuller quickly answered: “Pie is always moist.” Fair enough.
Carlton Cuse: It normally takes two weeks for the writers to break the story for a Lost episode. For “The Constant” it took them five weeks. Fuller called “The Constant” his favorite hour of television of the last year. Cuse also added that Mr. Eko was the one character who he wishes they all had more time with.
There was a long discussion on the relative merits of webisodes, the main consensus being that the online medium is a great way to cater specifically to the hardcore fans without worrying about how casual fans or the networks ingest it. There will be Chuck
webisodes, centering around some of the Buy More employees who typically don't get all that much screen time.
The panel, overall, was a relaxed and insightful discussion on television, its evolution and how far genre television has come. The talk about the increased presence of genre on prime time TV is a major theme of the Comic-Con in general. It's no longer a cult thing – it's “socially acceptable” to be a fan of almost anything at Comic-Con these days. This has translated to TV, where you don't need to be a cop or legal drama to succeed anymore.
Read More Live Comic-Con Coverage
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
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-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer