'Unforgettable' Producer: This is Not Another 'Gimmicky Procedural' (Q&A)
Executive producers Ed Redlich and John Bellucci talk to THR about the new CBS series with Poppy Montgomery, dark twists and challenges of working in broadcast television.
THR: Assume the 10 p.m. time slot helps?
Redlich: We have a great time slot, but, for instance, we wanted to write off very early the issue of Carrie's sexuality and how she functions in relationships given that her pain doesn't go away. We did some episodes that I would have thought that CBS would say, 'Let’s wait before we do that, that's a little complex," but they haven't. They've embraced every strange turn we've wanted to take.
THR: If this were a show that you guys were doing for cable, where would you want to take it that you wont be able to on broadcast?
Redlich: I think if we had developed this for cable, we wouldn't have put it in a procedural format. It might have been a different group of people with this woman at the center.
Bellucci: The character would have been basically the same, it's just what she was doing that would have been different. But we were entranced by the character and then sort of put her onto this vehicle.
Redlich: We'd use different language occasionally and the pace of story telling might be slower as befits cable. Maybe people would take their clothes off a little more, but the truth is the essence of this character would be the same.
THR: What about the characters themselves?
Bellucci: We have such a powerful dominant central character in Carrie that it’s a little challenging at this stage to get more than a moment or two [for the others]. Hopefully we will be able to address their individual stories more fully later on. On cable we'd have a lot more time to do that, which would be gratifying because each one of them could hold up huge story lines.
Redlich: I should say that CBS Marketing has done a wonderful job of promoting the show that we are actually making. I know you can look at this as a one-liner and say, 'Oh, there's another gimmicky procedural show on CBS, what ability does this person have?' People may see it that way, but the origin of it was really, for us, was this woman. Again, I wasn’t drawn to do another procedural show but it was just so cool to think about. .
THR: Any thoughts as to who else you would like to see come do a cameo on the show?
Redlich: Carrie’s back-story is that her sister died and in a way this memory condition of hers dates to that traumatic event. Her mom is already in the show as a character with Alzheimer’s. We’ve been talking a lot about who her dad might be and what’s happened to him because we feel like the family kind of broke up in some way in 1984 after the death of the child and who would Carrie's dad have been? What kind of powerful persona is he? We also want to find someone for Carrie to be in a relationship with and see how that works out.
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