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September 25 2005

(SPOILER) David Fury talks about the network interference on 'Lost'. "As the show became a success the network was even more protective of the notion that we don't want to alienate anyone". Contains spoilers for season two.

I wish David Fury was back on this season since his episodes were the standouts of Season One. Anyone else here catch the premeire last week? I never loved the show until the last five minutes of the finale, and was absolutely hooked in the first thirty seconds of the premiere. Just riveting television.

Heh... it's kind of weird loving a show and not worrying about it being cancelled any time soon.
Heh... it's kind of weird loving a show and not worrying about it being cancelled any time soon.

It's funny, I was talking about the same thing the other day. Lost is a quality scripted serialized genre show with a focus on characters and it is a huge ratings success!

I am able to sit back and enjoy the slowly unraveling mysteries and never fear that the show will cut off before we have all the answers. But besides enjoying this show very much, I am hoping that it opens execs eyes to the fact that shows like this can, in fact, be successful. Perhaps we will start to see a positive trend on tv, for once, with more genre shows and less 'reality'.

Oh, I also wish Fury would come back to Lost. I don't watch 24 anyway.
There's no doubt that the best shows of this series were written by David Fury. And I can understand why he left. I kinda' wish David would've wrote his own series. That would've been great. Forgive me, I'm just dreaming.
Yeah, it's very nice to enjoy LOST and not watch ratings in hope it doesn't get cancelled.

The network needs to take a chill pill. The biggest complaint about LOST is that fans are looking for answers, whether supernatural or not. It seems to me that a supernatural/religious element intrigues more than puts people off.
OT: Simon, what happened to our flickr link?
I know! Its gone!

Madhatter, you can get to it at the bottom of the images by pressing the blue text. You will then be directed to the photopool, then you gotta click on the "Whedonesque: The Library" text.

As I'm from the UK, I believe I've only seen one David Fury episode, but it really has been one of the best so far. I've never watched '24' before but if Season 5 comes to terrestrial I may give it a chance.
There's actually rumours of a Lost movie I've heard. It's very difficult to take show runners off to preproduce a movie - see also what happened with The X-Files movie and Millenium - so I'd hope somebody could come along and go "Hey, who wrote the best episodes of Lost and isn't working on the show right now?".

I can dream.
Those rumours were based on the idea that the Lost is a hugely expensive show to make and that a film could recoup the loss which ABC/Disney continue to make on every episode. However, all programmes make an initial loss and the selling of the international rights combined with dvd sales have surely put that right. When you consider the boon to other ABC shows - Invasion debuted after Lost's second season premiere to very good numbers - that Lost provides, combined with the fact that Lindelof and Abrams have a projected 8 seasons planned out, it would seem that a movie is pretty unlikely.

David Fury running his own show? That's a dream with which I can get on board!
It's also claimed the actors are on something like a quarter of the money the Desperate Housewive cast are on, Jon, so apparently a movie would be used to appease that a bit. I'm not sure I believe that version of events.

8 seasons of Lost? Heh. That's some mission, especially to explain in any kind of logic way. I got bored after the first 12 episodes or so.
I miss Fury on Lost.
I don't watch "24", so please David, come back to "Lost"!
My favourite show right now on tv.

And those 8 seasons rumors are false.
They say they know when and how to stop, and that they're thinking in 4 or 5 seasons.
The pilot included what appeaered to be a giant monster killing a pilot. Walkabout included Locke's near-mystical healing. Raised by Another had a psychic. Numbers had magical evil numbers.

Ask fans for their 5 favorite episodes, and I'd bet that at least 3 of those would be on their list.

ABC, I really doubt that the supernatural stuff bothers people. In fact, no matter how popular Survivor may be, that's part of what makes Lost so compelling.
Except David Fury didn't write the Pilot or Raised By Another, so we can't give him credit for hooking viewers with those episodes. I love 24, but I'm not really sure why he'd leave the hottest show on television for a series where his genre ideas and talent for snappy dialogue will go unused.
MindPieces - a very well paid writing contract binding him to Fox Broadcasting Corporation.

And good on him. If I had a family and somebody offered me a shit load of money for a few years work, I'd do it, especially if it raised my profile.

[ edited by gossi on 2005-09-25 18:12 ]
I was commenting on the Supernatural aspect and network interference. Not Fury's contribution.

Fury's episodes are all very good though. I think Special is highly underrated, and Walkabout and Numbers are rightfully popular.
Fury's contract with Lost was only for one year(I remember he said this on the boards during the first season) so he probably wanted a bigger contract. And when he left didn't he say that he was working on a future project with J.J.? You never know, it may happen. We could look on IMDB one day and see "Untitled David Fury and J.J. Abrams project" in his credits.
Except it would most likely be "Untitled Abrams/Fury Project."
Thats just semantics.
I like Lost and it is good not to have to worry it'll be cancelled any day, as was mentioned. On the other hand, I worry that the kind of network interference mentioned by Fury is going to ruin the show. I doubt ABC will let the show get as experimental or edgy as it might otherwise.
Now they have a plan for it all (if vague overall and only knowing where and how it ends) ? About mid-season last year, they said they were making it up as they went along.

David Fury said:
“The network and the studio hate the supernatural elements of the show...They won't admit to that but that's the thing that scared them the most and what they thought would alienate the audience the most."

That's really not reassuring to hear. I hope the network stays out of it, 'cause they could really fuck things up.

"They don't understand that that's what's intriguing to people."

At the same time, Fury shouldn't generalize like that. A lot of times last season, I was way more intrigued by the characters themselves and their backstories (even the non-supernatural/coincidental elements) than whatever mysteries were involved in the show. A few times last year I thought that I could easily watch a show about these folks involved regular life challenges. A testament to the strength of the writing and acting. At other times during Season 1 though, I was good for character background/flashbacks and was just thinking, "Plot! Where's the forward movement? Plot!" I think I like the whole package overall though.

"According to Fury, the network mandated rational explanations for every potential fantasy element of the show as a fallback position."

While the network shouldn't be mandating anything, that's not a half-bad idea. I just don't want every seemingly inexplicable mystery of the series revealed to be a supernatural/religious thing. I'm afraid that JJ Abrams and company are just gonna Deus Ex Machina the whole thing to death in the worst kind of hackneyed way...Maybe not this season, but eventually. It would be so easy...

Lindelof said:
"24 is serialized but every season they reset."

That's not true. The plots reset more or less, sure (though cliffhangers like Season 2's flow into subsequent seasons). But the character development (heh, character trauma is more like it) builds and builds for as long as characters continue to survive and show up each season. Without going into spoilers because I hope more people give 24 a shot on DVD some day, there is a specific character that's done something unforgivable to Kiefer Sutherland's character in Season 1 and when that character shows up again in Season 2, it's a continuation of Season 1. And Jack Bauer's hate is completely believable and alive.

People can bitch about 24's clock gimmick and often overblown action-terrorist storylines, but I personally don't think it's lacking one bit in the areas of acting, strong characters, and dialogue. It's a pretty serious show, sure. The humor only exists where it can be reasonably fit, and it's often very grim, but I like that they aren't trying to crack a joke every dozen lines. Pop culture references en masse wouldn't fit.
Lost is the only ABC show I've watched in ages. The only reason I do watch it is because, not in spite of, the genre elements. I sure hope ABC/Disney doesn't screw around with it too much. I mean, I live in reality. Personally, I don't enjoy shows that are too much like the world with which I'm already intimately familiar, 'cause that's just redundant. Genre gives me something more, something unexpected, something fresh and compelling that I couldn't have envisioned myself.

Playing it safe may gain the network higher numbers for a time -- by explaining away the mystery with logic and making it accessible to even the least-invested viewer -- but if they care at all about crafting a quality series that will gain them respect from their peers, earn a stable of devoted fans and stand the test of time, the execs will stick to their paperwork and leave the creatives alone. Otherwise, viewers looking for substance will desert it for something that doesn't belittle their intelligence, and it'll become just another in a painfully long string of TV disappointments.

There's a million reality/cop/lawyer/doctor/etc. programs out there that aren't genre-friendly -- that don't go out of their way to challenge people's imaginations, whether that means attempting to advance the TV medium itself, or simply daring to step outside their formulas once in a while. Surely there's room for a few exceptions to keep the rest of us happy?
I'm glad Fury is doing 24, Lost is a good show, but with all due respect, it'll never reach the heights of Buffy and Angel, no matter how successful it is, I prefer every show Joss has created, and his tough luck is studios not fully supporting his shows, either though now they still offer more on dvd then Lost will ever do. And 24 is the most exciting show I've ever seen with the best tv actor out there, Kiefer Sutherland, so I'm glad Fury is doing 24.

But I'm very pleased Lost is doing well, it'll be good for the genre, shows it's not fallen away, and it'll help get rid of reality tv craze which I think is starting to seem more distant.

[ edited by SeanValen on 2005-09-26 08:37 ]

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