[03/11/10 - 07:00 PM]
Live at the Paley Festival: ABC's "Flash Forward"
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

Please note: As a courtesy, please do not reproduce these comments to newsgroups, forums or other online places. Links only please.

7:04 PM - Tonight's snippet from the Paley archives comes from a 1967 episode of "The Time Tunnel" featuring a very young Robert Duvall.

7:11 PM - The man, the myth, the legend that is Craig Hitchcock welcomes us to night 10 (!) of the festival and proceeds to joke that he had a "flash forward" six months ago about tonight's event being great! He in turn brings out tonight's moderator, TV Guide Magazine's Craig Tomashoff, who riffs on the same joke.

7:14 PM - Craig ultimately brings out executive producer Jessika Borsiczky who informs us we'll be seeing the first 20 or so minutes of "Revelation Zero," the first new episode of 2010.

7:40 PM - Craig returns after the screening to welcome the evening's very large panel: Peyton List! Zachary Knighton! Sonya Walger! Michael Ealy! Joseph Fiennes! Jessika Borsiczky! Brannon Braga! John Cho! Gabrielle Union! Christine Woods! Dominic Monaghan! Jack Davenport! Courtney B. Vance! Brian F. O'Byrne, the sole missing cast member, is off filming tonight.

7:45 PM - Jessika on her strategy for the show: "We've stuck to our overall plan, but we've had to adjust and coming up I think in these 12 episodes starting on Thursday night we are going to have big answers in every show. We're going to delve [deeper] into the characters and I think everything's going to go a little faster... I think we're going to look for more answers to questions than questions that [ultimately] lead to more questions."

7:47 PM - John address the fact that Courtney grabbed his ass in a "very deep and meaningful way" on his way out to the stage. "You almost touched taint my brother." Courtney responds, "We're a very close family. We're family. Family grabs ass." Let's just say this becomes a theme for the rest of the night.

7:49 PM - Sonya joyously points out that Michael didn't know the show was based on a book. Let's just say this becomes the other theme for the rest of the night.

7:51 PM - Jack joyously points out that he's thrilled - after 10 episodes - to permanently be out of the hospital. He's also thrilled not to have to appear shirtless again. "Shirtless is just two short syllables to [the writers], to me it's like 9,000 situps."

7:56 PM - Craig asks if anyone can relate to the big questions about fate and destiny raised in the show. "Those questions are heavy," Dominic says. "I don't know if I want to talk about my belief in God in front of a whole bunch of very charming strangers... I might get ousted. I might never work in this town again." No one else bites either.

8:02 PM - When prompted about keeping things light on the set, Jessika points out John and Michael play a game called "Bad Advice," in which John asks Michael questions about his personal life and Michael gives, well, bad advice. They give an example, which comes across as more of an inside joke.

8:03 PM - More on keeping things light: Joseph notes they have porn names for all their characters. Mark Benford is Mark Bangford, Stan Wedeck is Stan Widedi-- "Don't you dare," Courtney jumps in. "This is a family! What happens in FlashForward, stays in FlashForward."

8:05 PM - Craig wonders if the actors could be the therapists for their characters, what advice would they give them. Joseph quips, "Lighten up, have a drink!" Michael says, "I think Vogel's therapist would want to be more like Vogel." Adds Zachary, "I think Bryce's therapist first of all would say, you've got problems because your name is Bryce Varley.

8:08 PM - Dominic on the secrets he wants answered: "What does [the kangaroo] keep in [his pouch], like little Fun Size Snickers?" He later adds that kangaroo poo bounces just like a kangaroo. As they say, yup, this is Paleyfest folks.

8:10 PM - Jessika notes that "Tim Tim and Squirrelio," the cartoon featured in the show uses the voices of the cast. "There's a story being told on that cartoon," she adds. "So it will eventually come to fruition."

8:15 PM - Jessika on if we'll see Ricky Jay and Shohreh Aghdashloo's characters again: "Ricky Jay plays a big part on the show and I don't want to say too much about it but he has a really cool part... We've now dangled a pretty big mystery about [Shohreh's character]... I can't say when or whether it will be this season but she's on our come back list."

8:16 PM - Jessika adds that Seth MacFarlane will be back this season, which leads to a discussion by the cast about how rich he is. Dominic says he thinks Seth's Maserati/Jaguar monstrosity of a car can fly.

8:21 PM - Jessika notes that each "flash forward" is filmed differently. Joseph's for instance was shot with a very old crank camera that created the "stutter" effect to make him appear disoriented. Sonya's used lens flares that distort the image so the edges aren't in focus.

8:23 PM - John notes that April 29 is the anniversary of the Los Angeles riots. "I know this because Koreans refer to that date by the numbers. We say 9/11 and they say [4/29]."

8:25 PM - "Our characters have formed a love bond," Gabrielle says about Zoey and Demetri. Adds John, "You know what I'm saying, it's a sexual bridge."

8:30 PM - Jessika reveals the hardest song to clear so far was "Islands in the Stream." "[Dolly Parton] had to approve it personally, we made a personal plea," she notes. "We wanted to use a specific video of her doing it and we finally persevered."

8:34 PM - Craig asks Courtney, whom he anoints as having the best voice on television, to read the directions for changing a flat tire.

8:35 PM - Craig opens the floor to Q&A. Craig's son, who's in the audience, asks about the significance of April 29. "We choose that date because it sounded good," Brannon notes. He then asks Michael what the date was in the book.

8:37 PM - Someone asks if Michael K. Williams will be playing the grown up version of the Somali boy seen in flashback. No such luck.

8:39 PM - Asked about balancing his working in TV and film, John quips: "It's so much money... trying to jam all the boxes into my car."

8:41 PM - A fan asks if the producers ever worry about doing a serialized, mythology-driven show like this in the current TV climate. "You can't go into a show thinking like that," Brannon says. "There's only so much you can control," Jessika adds. "You can control how big the show is, you can control the vision for the show and getting to work with the people you want to work with. You can't really go into someone's house and force them to turn on the TV."

8:46 PM - Everyone plugs the clip show - airing Tuesday, March 16 at 10:00/9:00c after "Lost." Brannon adds that the return episode will also be easy to jump into for new viewers.

8:49 PM - Joseph blames Ryan Murphy for making him want to do American television. He starred in Murphy's pilot "Pretty/Handsome" for FX. "[It] was a little too brave for FX," he says about the project.

8:54 PM - Dominic on his acting choices: "I tend to base the characters I play on animals. And ['Lost's'] Charlie is kind of a monkey, Simon is a praying mantis. And those animals are very, very different. Whatever job I'm in is kind of where my focus is... [it's hard] to jump back into something else, which I have done recently with 'Lost' and then to come back into 'FlashForward.'"

8:57 PM - Sonya says she felt the same way about returning to "Lost": "I recently [also went back] and started the scene and they called cut. And someone went up to me and went, 'You remember Penny's English right?'"

9:00 PM - That's all folks! Jim will be back to cover "Men of a Certain Age" tomorrow night.

  [march 2010]  


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