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August 28 2007

Faithless Minear Opts to Make Miracles. Sorry Faithophiles, Tim Minear's new project has him teaming up with Wonderfalls co-creator Todd Holland to craft the story of a disgraced former televangelist who suddenly finds himself performing real miracles. (Thanks to AICN for the tip.)

Who else cheered when they read that ABC won the bidding war? :)
It's not on FOX?!!!! Finally!!!

Also, sounds kinda similar in premise to Wonderfalls, don't it?
Hee... This is Tim's "Little Dinghy" - his ticket out of having to develop other people's projects. Rah for Tim and Todd.

Todd also directed 50+ episodes of The Larry Sanders Show, which gives him additional super creds, in my eyes. This looks to be a pretty interesting and well-crafted show...

Wow - what with folkses resigning in Washington, and Tim getting another miraculous show put on, it's a veritable red letter day.
I don't know if it comes to the same thing, but I cheered and danced when I read that FOX lost.
YAY For Tim! Finaly out from under the boot of FOX.
How did he manage to do this with his Fox deal and everything? I thought in his last interview he said pretty conclusively that there was no way he could do a show if it wasn't to air on Fox.

On the other hand, I'm not complaining! With this and Pushing Daisies and LOST, ABC is sounding more and more like my network of choice...
"I love stories about redemption and stories about characters that are slightly cynical and nudged by higher force."

Does that sound familiar?
No?
I didn't think so either.
Jobo, Tim's deal is with Fox the studio, not Fox the network.
YAY for Tim! I'm so glad for him and yes I did a little dance when I saw that ABC had won the bid. :)
ABC's sure gonna have my household watching. Tim and Nathan on ABC. Good stuff.
Good for Tim, also ABC has never cancelled a show before so that's important to remember.
Simon, when you say ABC has never cancelled a show before, what do you mean by that? Are you simply referring to shows with the involvement of Tim Minear?

I can think of many ABC shows that have been cancelled. For example, 'Invasion', 'Commander in Chief', 'In Justice' and sitcoms like 'Hope and Faith', 'Freddie' and 'Crumbs'.


Edit: I've just realised that my sarcasm/irony detector is clearly malfunctioning. Either that or I have no sense of humour.

[ edited by alien lanes on 2007-08-28 09:49 ]
Well if I put my serious hat on for a change, what is ABC's track record for nurturing and supporting genre shows in the last few years?
Who else cheered when they read that ABC won the bidding war? :)

Me!!!! ABC has been good to quirky TV shows of late. I think this is the best place on network TV for a Minear show.

Hope the pilot gets picked up!
The good thing about ABC is that they seem to be more patient with their shows. Tim clearly is a very practical man, designing his shows in a way they can have closure in about 10 episodes if needed, and ABC rarely cancels a show before that point. (Case in point: This season both "The Nine" and "Six Degrees" were practically DOA but they still got the burn-off treatment and something like 10+ episodes on the air.)

All of this certainly doesn't ensure that this show is going to be a success (although, statistically, at some point it's inevitable) but at least it indicates that we won't have another "Drive" in our hands. One thing I hate more than FOX canceling Tim's shows, is canceling them so fast that they never get to tell a quasi-complete story!
dark_tyler, I guess "The Nine" technically got the burnoff treatment, but they only showed 2 episodes of the scheduled 6 episode burnoff before they stopped. There were certainly less than 10 episodes shown on the network, so I wouldn't really say ABC's any better than Fox using the "The Nine" as an example.
Sounds like an interesting show. I'm very excited for TM.
Sounds great. I'm not saying ABC's not canceled stuff before, but I definitely trust them more as a viewer than I do FOX.
Hell, I trust them more as a non-viewer.

(although, statistically, at some point it's inevitable)

"Hello, this is the We-Bang-for-Ur-Buck Cracker Co., we'd like our maths back please". ;-).

... is canceling them so fast that they never get to tell a quasi-complete story!

Isn't 'Drive' the first show of his that's happened to ? And 'Firefly' I suppose (which I guess Joss and Tim were either optimistic enough about or unwilling to compromise the seriality of to go for the 13th episode semi-end).

('The Inside' and 'Wonderfalls' both had semi-resolutions for instance but yep, when it happens it's pretty annoying)
ABC cancelled "Cupid," so there's a special circle of hell reserved for them. Granted, it's several circles above Fox's circle of hell (and probably has 'net access ;-), but it's still a spot in hell.

Still, GO Tim! Here's hoping you get a long run of killing off beloved characters on ABC! (tongue firmly in cheek)
But The Inside and Wonderfalls didn't get to AIR those semi-resolutions. Wfalls had 4 of 13 eps, or instance.
True dat. Unless you live in dear old Blighty ;).

(but you're still right about Fox not airing them)
ABC also cancelled "Day Break", after something like 7 episodes with I think the remainder eventually turning up on the website.
Hooray for Tim! And the fact that there was a bidding war- how cool! Thank goodness Fox lost out- I have way more faith in ABC they are working with some really interesting shows..like Pushing Daisies. Tim deserves a better network.
Did I mention: YAY!
Congrats to Tim...and yes...YAY! its not on FOX!
Wait for the more public FOX execs to suddenly age and wither before our very eyes. Their plan to sacrifice nascent shows on the altar of ratings to achieve immortality has been foiled. Not unlike a certain Mayor.
Count me among the cheering throngs! My mind is reeling with thoughts of all of the possible Minear-y goodness to come. I certainly hope that ABC won't cave to pressure as they did with the excellent show Nothing Sacred a few years back. I think Miracles, also on ABC, was more a victim of early Iraq war coverage than pressure.

I can't imagine many others who would be able to explore the subject better than Tim Minear.
ABC thank god!!! I'm not saying that I'm sure this show won't be canceled prematurely, b/c it very well maybe be. I just don't want this show to be on FOX. I just hate it with such a blinding passion.

In terms of the actual premise, this show seems much more up my alley that The Inside and Drive (which I watched both of anyways).

"I love stories about redemption and stories about characters that are slightly cynical and nudged by higher force," Minear said. Umm, ANGEL anyone? Yeah, I have a good feeling about this one ;)
You know what would be a real miracle? If the starring actor playing the disgraced former televangelist on this show looked, acted and sounded like Swaggart or Baker. Not likely! I'm sure he'll end up being youngish and handsomeish. Okay, that's my cynical side coming out. I know it's TV. I also know not just not-so-handsome folks end up needing redemption.

Cyncism aside, this sounds like a really fine, apt project for Minear and Holland. I had no idea about Minear's evangelist upbringing - it should make his work on this especially interesting. And who doesn't love a good redemption story?
I don't know why but Greenwalt's "Miracles" comes to mind.
How many ABC showed, before yanking it. Did they ever show the whole 13 episode run in the US, or did that only happen overseas?
They showed the whole run here, Numfar PTB. I liked that show at the beginning, but for some reason it didn't hold my interest past 2 or 3 episodes.
As a fan of Tim I will definitely be tuning in to give him my support. As a christian I am really looking forward to see what he does with the title character. I was tickled to learn of his upbringing as it will only make the show more believable since he knows a bit about it. Thank you ABC and thank you Tim and Todd.
Jobo, Tim's deal is with Fox the studio, not Fox the network.

Ah, of course. Stupid... names...

Well, I looked at the article and I don't think it says... and so probably nobody here knows either. But would this be for the 08-09 television season? Or... midseason? Or some season way off in the future?

I never hear about shows as they're being developed. So, consider me ignorant.
Assuming it gets picked up as a series (though I have no idea what a put pilot is), I think the earliest it could be seen would be sometime midseason.
Put Pilot: "an agreement between a network and a studio, where the network will incur substantial penalties if the pilot episode is not aired. This is a virtual guarantee that a pilot will be picked up."

So, double yay!
(Stating the obvious) Firefly should have had one of them put pilot agreements. Imagine...
IIRC, it's for next Fall.

The studios/networks are stocking the cupboards, as the writers and directors are likely striking, soon.
(Stating the obvious) Firefly should have had one of them put pilot agreements. Imagine...


But the Firefly pilot was picked up. This isn't about cancellations, this is about the pilot that's being made for the network actually airing. A put pilot doesn't mean the show won't be canceled.
What does that mean for existing shows Allyson ? Will the networks/studios get loads of episodes written in preparation or is there some strike exemption for commissioned shows ?

(Stating the obvious) Firefly should have had one of them put pilot agreements. Imagine...

Maybe it did. 'Firefly' was picked up after all. It was then put straight back down again while numerous people in suits jumped all over it but it was picked up.

ETA: Which is what ElectricSpaceGirl said, like a minute ago, was I not paying attention ? ;)

[ edited by Saje on 2007-08-28 20:20 ]
I think napua was snarking about the actual pilot not airing...at least not until later.

Following the trend of casting actors he's worked with, how about William Sadler?
I can think of an actor who played an evangelist who was granted miraculous powers by a greater power on another show of which I'm a big fan. The character's name was Caleb-Something, if I recall correctly.
Can someone tell me why I have to hate Fox? I don't read this site every day but I don't really get that sentiment. Firefly? Didn't Fox make the film, though? Tru Calling? I thought Fox gave that show much longer than it warranted. It was godawful from the get-go and it got moderately better. But it was never great. And of course, Drive. Meh to that one. Is there like a list that shows all of the "incredible" shows Fox has killed? Are we grandfathering in some animosity over the way Buffy was marketed? What? I really don't get it.

[ edited by themayor on 2007-08-29 00:11 ]
themayor, Fox had nothing to do with Serenity. That was all Universal. And we don't bash on Fox Studios just the network Fox. Different entities. And maybe you recall the brilliance that was Wonderfalls and The Inside. Or maybe their life was so short that you didn't catch them.
Great news!

Didn't Fox make the film, though?
Nope they didn't.
Can someone tell me why I have to hate Fox? I don't read this site every day but I don't really get that sentiment. Firefly? Didn't Fox make the film, though? Tru Calling? I thought Fox gave that show much longer than it warranted. It was godawful from the get-go and it got moderately better. But it was never great. And of course, Drive. Meh to that one. Is there like a list that shows all of the "incredible" shows Fox has killed? Are we grandfathering in some animosity over the way Buffy was marketed? What? I really don't get it.


Wait, what? First of all, Fox had nothing to do with the movie. Serenity was a Universal film. Yes, there's a long list of great shows Fox cancelled prematurely. Four of those shows were either run by Tim Minear, or co-run, and that's basically the reason why most of us are glad Tim's new show is with a different network.

As for the marketing of Buffy, that show never aired on Fox so I don't understand the question.
Ah, okay. Fox made Buffy, though. I thought the entire company was under fire here. Now I understand better. Thanks.
ABC is good for genre stuff. Alias and Lost were/have been looked after pretty well. So, good news for the new show.
Is there like a list that shows all of the "incredible" shows Fox has killed?

Not everything Fox cancels prematurely has been all that incredible, but then again, we often barely get a chance to find out.

(And am I the only one who gets nervous from that bidding war? Lord knows Tim is worth going to war over, (wait, what?) but I'm just afraid the network has too high expectations now.)

[ edited by Niels(Telltale) on 2007-08-29 00:42 ]
(And am I the only one who gets nervous from that bidding war? Lord knows Tim is worth going to war over, (wait, what?) but I'm just afraid the network has too high expectations now.)


So now there's something wrong with a network (or two) showing enthusiasm for a show? I guess you just can't win with some people.
I'm not entirely sure that's what Niels was saying, so much as... if the network expects the show to do incredibly well, and then it does decently, it looks worse than if they think it'll do just passably, and then it does decently. I don't think it's an entirely unfounded worry.

[ edited by Jobo on 2007-08-29 01:12 ]
Yes, I was simply fantasizing about the potential parallel reality where the Serenity pilot aired first... and yet somehow Mal still kicked Crow into the engine...
Aha, apologies napua, I misunderstood ;).


To those in the know: am I right in believing 20th Century Fox studios and The Fox Network are pretty much entirely separate companies, different management etc. but slightly related in that Fox networks may get first refusal on 20th's projects ?
Saje, I believe Tim said something like that a while ago, yeah.

[...] if the network expects the show to do incredibly well, and then it does decently, it looks worse than if they think it'll do just passably [...]

Exactly--if they go in expecting a hit and it does what would normally be decent numbers, a network might just throw in the towel. I'm just saying that Tim's shows don't tend to start out hits. I fully believe every one of those shows could have grown to make their network proud, but they never got the chance.
Looks interesting, albeit fairly similar to the concept of Wonderfalls. Though Jaye never really had any faith to begin with. Anyway, it should be interesting, and I'm always interested in a new Minear project. Maybe this one will finally stick.

I am a little concerned by the overtly Christian themes of the show. I'm just wondering how accessible it will be to non-Christians. I'm hoping it sort of goes the Wonderfalls route, and doesn't get too explicit about where the character's powers come from.
Its Tim Minear, you gotta have faith that it won't be overtly anything. Plus, I don't find that a character being overtly Christian/Buddhist/anything else hinders my enjoyment of it if well written (see also Tim Minear).
I can't see Tim writing anything that puts forth a claim that god is owned solely by any particular religion. Wouldn't worry about it.

I don't believe in god at all, so it all just seems like another TPTB sort of thing to me.
Cheers TamaraC, Telltale ;).

I think alpha5099 means God full-stop, not just the Christian version, could be wrong of course. I dunno, it all depends how it's done in the show. I'd prefer some ambiguity myself but principally because I think that's just more interesting dramatically, less neat. I would think that at least to start with we won't know for definite because otherwise there's no arc for the character, he goes from crisis of faith to no crisis, end of chat.

And I don't really have a problem with God being portrayed as real (so long as we don't end up with "Highway to Heaven" or "Touched by an Angel" style schmaltz or, worse still, self-righteous preachiness)) anymore than I have a problem with vampires or demons (or even souls) being portrayed as real. But if we are to accept it then i'd want some questions asked (which i'm sure TM will do).

("The Dead Zone" series does a reasonable job of balancing it with nearly everyone around him believing his powers are divine but Johnny Smith himself believing there's a scientific explanation)
I'm not so much worried about the show stating God is real, but with it pounding us over the head with the message (like Saje was saying, with the schmaltz or the preachiness). I think it's a longshot, as I can't really see Minear giving us much overly sentimental stuff, but it was a concern that I had when I read about disenchanted televangelists suddenly becoming God's instrument. Done poorly, that concept could lead to ham-fisted scenarios. I've got faith in Minear though. With any luck, it'll be a nice spiritual successor to Wonderfalls.

Also, RE: hacksaway's comment: William Sadler would be brilliant. I absolutely love him in Wonderfalls and Roswell (only seen the first season though), and I could definitely see him as a down-on-his-luck, disgraced televangelist.
Fandom is amusing me today. It's Tim Minear, people. How can some of you have so little faith? It's truly amazing. *stops beating head against wall and goes off to bed*

[ edited by TamaraC on 2007-08-30 05:50 ]
Amen, TamaraC. (oooh, I made a pun!) This is Tim we're talking about. He doesn't do schmaltzy and preachy.

I'm not so much worried about the show stating God is real, but with it pounding us over the head with the message (like Saje was saying, with the schmaltz or the preachiness).


You're assuming it's God who's giving him the miracle powers. Tim doesn't write like that. I'm with Allyson, It's probably TPTB and what TPTB is will be depend on audience interpretation.
Ah, my mistake, Tim's infallible and absolutely cannot hit a bum note once in a while, sorry my Kool-Aid dosage must've slipped below the RDA.

After all, everyone here has loved everything he's ever done unconditionally and without reserve, right ?

Personally I don't think this show will be preachy or schmaltzy, past experience suggests otherwise (unless TM has a blind spot when it comes to religion - many smart people do IMO) but can we not even wonder at the tone of the show without snarky comments and implications that we're somehow lesser fans ?

(and for the record ElectricSpaceGirl, alpha5099 said upthread: "I'm hoping it sort of goes the Wonderfalls route, and doesn't get too explicit about where the character's powers come from." - so he/she isn't assuming anything, simply speculating)
All I'm saying is that I can't understand why people are worried about Tim creating something that's so uncharacteristic to his style. I'm not expecting people to follow anyone blindly, I just get tired of all the negativity whenever a new show premise is discussed.
Ummm cause fans seize on the littlest bit of info and discuss it with great vigour and flog it to death?

For me the important thing about Tim Minear is that he is incredibly diverse with his shows and he is good with what he does. If he brilliantly writes a show where the premise is that the Christian God is real then that's not a problem for me. It would make a refreshing change to see a bit of well written spirituality on the telly. Preachiness or schmaltzyness aint no biggy for me as long as the writing is good and intelligent.
Preachiness or schmaltzyness aint no biggy for me as long as the writing is good...
(my emphasis)

See for me those first two are mutually exclusive with the third but it's a horses/courses thing, my Mum used to bawl her eyes out at "Highway to Heaven" on a regular basis and seemed to love every second of it.

... I just get tired of all the negativity whenever a new show premise is discussed.

And I guess I sometimes get tired of what sometimes seems to be unmitigated cheerleading (which, if anything, i'd say we're more guilty of as a fandom than the other thing) so we balance each other perfectly ESG ;).

(none of what I said was negative as far as i'm concerned it just also wasn't unquestioningly positive, stuff like "I dunno ... " and "... as long as it doesn't ..." surely marks my comments as just discussion of possibilities, like we've had a bajillion times before but it's no biggie at the end of the day, difference of interpretation or maybe general outlook s'all ;)

edited to preserve my Mum's honour ;)

[ edited by Saje on 2007-08-30 10:15 ]

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