David Heyman facing defeat at the hands of the viewing public? It's not something that happens too often for the feature film-turned-TV producer. A string of box office successes based on the JK Rowling-scribed Harry Potter opus has made Heyman one of the film industry's most bankable names. The TV beat, however, isn't being so kind.
Heyman's small-screen debut, the alien-infused Threshold (which he co-executive produces with Star Trek: Next Generation writer-producer Brannon Braga and Batman Begins screenwriter David S. Goyer), has been through a bit of the ringer of late.
The show has so far failed to hold onto the Jennifer Love Hewitt drama Ghost Whisperer's 11 million viewers, averaging only 7.8 million viewers in its 9 p.m. Friday slot. One factor in the drop-off may be the fact that Ghost Whisperer draws a decidedly older audience with an average age of 53--not exactly tailor-made for Threshold's X-Files-meets-Lost storyline.
Although CBS has canceled shows that performed better, such as Judging Amy, which roped nearly 11 million viewers, its scheduling scions decided to give Threshold a reprieve, moving it over to the greener grasses of Tuesday night. CBS also decided to court an edgier audience by slotting the show an hour later at 10 p.m.
Yesterday, with Heyman calling from Tokyo and Braga on a local call from LA, the producers talked up Threshold's new time.
Heyman called the move to Tuesday "fantastic," while Braga displayed a bit more sangfroid. "You can call it a second chance," he said. "It isn't as though we've been tanking on Fridays, but they want the numbers to be better, and Tuesday nights gives us just that opportunity...and we're very grateful for their support."
As for the prospects of the show being renewed, Heyman said, "We're cautiously optimistic." Braga, again, offered a deeper assessment, saying, "We've had a lot of support for this show, not just from CBS, but from the fans who are enjoying it and to a large degree from [the media as well]."
Braga reflected on the mostly positive reviews the show has come in for. "A lot of people who like the show have written some very nice things about it." He concluded by saying the move to Tuesday holds "tremendous potential."
Commenting on upcoming nuances to plot and further guest appearances, a few revelations peppered the call: The unseen fiancé of character Lucas Pegg (played by Robert Patrick Benedict) will make an appearance. "You're finally going to meet her in an upcoming episode... in fact, she's going to become a recurring character," Braga said during the call.
"She's cool and pretty," Braga added. "She's a research physician at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. Lucas is going to go through a very traumatic experience where having watched that alien video tape, he starts to unravel."
Braga also confirmed that the "refrigerator dude, Gunnison" will be reintroduced to the show. "He is going to come back in a very, very unexpected way when he appears in Molly's nightmares. They're going to find out some very disturbing things about that ship at the bottom of the ocean that you saw in the last episode; that's going to start coming back. We're definitely picking up threads from previous episodes and paying them off."
For the rest of the story, such as where the aliens will strike next, tune in to Threshold, now on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m.