Smallville creator and executive producer Alfred Gough recently gave BuddyTV the opportunity to sit down with him for an exclusive interview. We discussed the evolution of Smallville, how comic books have taken over mass media, and his upcoming projects. Smallville airs every Thursday at 8PM ET/PT. How did you get into the TV business and eventually end up creating Smallville with Mile Millar?
How did we get into the TV business? Well, Miles and I kinda fell into it. We were (and are) feature writers and our agent suggested we do some TV specs. This was like 10 years ago. So we did that and staffed on some short-lived shows, one was “Time Cop” on ABC and the other was “Martial Law” on CBS. We were story editors, sort of low men on the totem pole for both of those shows, and then we created our first TV show called “The Strip,” which ran on UPN in ’99 and we did that with Joel Silver who we had just done “Lethal Weapon 4” with. And that led to an overall deal with Warner Brothers Television, which eventually led to Smallville. That’s sort of how it all happened. Were you a big comic fan growing up? No, not a comic book fan at all. At this point in the middle of your 6th season, how much of your work at Smallville comes naturally, or is it still new and different everyday? Um, you know, there’s a certain rhythm to a television show and I think ultimately every television show finds its own rhythm. But you still have to come up with 22 new stories every season, and also season arcs for everybody and making sure that you’re progressing your characters and moving everybody forward. So, it definitely remains a day-to-day challenge, creatively, and in a good way. And then the production and business side of it sort of finds its own rhythm. Have there been any noticeable changes moving from the WB to the CW? Um, besides the crappy green…no, not really. We’re lucky because the people we deal with day-to day in the current department were pretty much our executives at the WB and the network’s been great. They’ve been supportive of the show and, quite honestly, for the most part they leave us alone to make it. So we don’t really have any complaints at all. How much interaction did you have with Bryan Singer and Superman Returns last year? Yeah, that was last year. It was the beginning of season 5, so summer of 2005. And before that, it was sort of while they were writing and making the movie and it was just sort of keeping each other in the loop so that there weren’t any egregious mythology clashes. It was a good process, since obviously we are fans of Brian and know Mike and Van very well, and they were all fans of the show. We could all work together and keep the suits out of it. I think that was the biggest blessing in that whole process. How do you think that film turned out? I think it turned out really well. I think Brian made a terrific movie and reintroduced Superman and now I’m curious and excited to see what they decide to do in the sequel. Part 1 / Part 2 This interview is the sixth in a series of BuddyTV interviews with the creators, writers, and producers behind many of TV’s hit shows. Thus far, we’ve featured an interview with John Shiban (executive producer of Supernatural), an interview with Mark Schwahn (creator of One Tree Hill) an interview with Hank Steinberg (creator of The Nine), an interview with David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik (the creators of The Class), and an interview with David S. Rosenthal (new Head Writer/Executive Producer of Gilmore Girls).