'Falling Water' Creator Explains How Henry Bromell Influenced the USA Drama

"We were drunk," his former frequent collaborator Blake Masters said of the upcoming USA Network drama.
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Hurd and Bromell

Late Homeland Emmy winner Henry Bromell did not live to see one of his most out-there ideas come to fruition in USA Network's Falling Water.

From Universal Cable Productions and executive produced by The Walking Dead's Gale Anne Hurd, Falling Water is described as a thriller intersecting reality and unconscious thoughts. The drama focuses on three unrelated people who slowly realize that they are dreaming separate parts of a single common dream. Each of them is on a mysterious and highly personal quest — one is searching for his missing girlfriend, one is searching for a lost child, one is looking to cure his catatonic mother — and it is the clues found in their collective dream that come to guide them. The deeper they dig, though, the more they come to realize that their missions touch on stakes that are much larger than their individual agendas, and that the visions found in their common dream just might hold the key to the fate of the world.

Bromell wrote and co-created the drama with frequent collaborator Blake Masters (Brotherhood, Rubicon) before his unexpected passing in 2013 following a heart attack. The prolific and beloved writer-producer was 65. David Ajala (Fast & Furious 6), Will Yun Lee (Hawaii Five-0) and Lizzie Brochere (American Horror Story: Asylum) star. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) directed the pilot.

"Henry and I came up with the idea in 2006 — we were drunk," Masters recalled Wednesday at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour. "Both our mothers were Jungian therapists and it was at my bachelor dinner and Henry had this theory about our collective unconscious and was explaining it to a friend of mine and I said, 'That's a show!'"

The writers strike happened two years later and, bored, Masters and Bromell wrote the pilot that would wind up becoming Falling Water — years before the debut of feature film Inception.

"It was so out there we didn't know what to do with it," Masters said, noting that he went on to write 2 Guns and exec produce Law & Order: L.A. while Bromell went on to do Showtime's Homeland. Cut to 2013 and Masters had a meeting with Hurd, who loved the original script and wanted to be part of it.

"Two weeks later, Henry died. I lost my partner on this show and I lost my brother," Masters said. "I didn't touch the script for a year. … I went back with Gale and did a small polish based on our script from 2008 — and TV caught up to where we were in 2006. … We had a smooth road since then for an idea as interesting as forward-looking as this."

Producers stressed the series has a format that will allow it to go on for multiple seasons with characters looking for family members and loved ones in the dream state.

"We're not a show that's going to hold back on answers. There's always more road to travel," Masters said, calling the show a "metaphysical thriller."

Falling Water debuts Thursday, Oct. 13, at 10 p.m. on USA Network. Watch the trailer, below