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A Chat with Kevin Falls, producer of “Journeyman”

If the only names that catch your eye during a television show’s opening credits are those of the actors, you probably aren’t aware that Kevin Falls is the creator and an executive producer (not to mention show runner) of NBC’s “Journeyman.” And if that’s the case, then you almost certainly wouldn’t have been aware that he’s also had a hand in “Sports Night,” “Arli$$,” “The West Wing,” “The Lyon’s Den,” “North Shore,” and “Shark” over the years as well. Given recent rumblings that Falls’ current gig isn’t nearly as secure as “Journeyman” fans would prefer, I jumped into action to give the show as much publicity as possible, starting with an attempt to secure an interview with the man who created the series. Things fell into place quickly, but after the established time of our conversation came and went, I got a little antsy. I needn’t have worried: Falls readily set up a new time for us to chat, and within moments of getting on the line, he had launched into an apology for the delay.

Bullz-Eye: Hello?

Kevin Falls: (Laughs) Hey, Will!

BE: Hey!

KF: I’m all yours! I’m so sorry about yesterday; there was a communication breakdown, and it was my fault. I just totally dropped the ball, so I apologize. But how are you?

BE: I’m doing good. How are you?

KF: Good!

BE: I think we met for about two seconds back in July, at the TCA Press Tour.

KF: Oh, right! I met a lot of people, but I think I do vaguely remember you. But it’s been a wild couple of months!

BE: I’m sure! Well, I’ll start off with some specific questions about the show before I move into the inevitable writer’s strike questions.

KF: Sure! And, hey, I checked out your site today, and it’s really cool! It’s kind of like a “Maxim”-styled website!

BE: Yeah, that’s usually the point of reference we give people, to kind of sum it up in a nutshell.

KF: Hey, man, that’s where I wanna live!

BE: Yeah, the bikini girls pay the bills, but they give us the opportunity to do whatever pop culture stuff we want to tackle on the site.

KF: That’s great! Well, I was flattered that you guys put us in your TV Power Rankings. That was a shot in the arm, and we really appreciated it.

BE: Absolutely. We love the show. Ross (Ruediger) is our resident blogger for the show, but there are several fans among the writing staff, including myself.

KF: Great. Well, that’s nice. Thanks!

BE: Well, when I was at the panel for “Journeyman” back in July, one of the big points of discussion was the comparison to “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” which led you to pointedly declare for the record that you’d absolutely never read the book… (Laughs) …but did those comparisons finally start to die down once critics actually had a chance to watch the show beyond the pilot?

KF: Yeah, I think once they started watching it…you know, certainly, early on, actually, when the issue was more of the domestic problem of time traveling and its impact on the marriage, I think we kind started there ‘cause we wanted it to start with how it would feel to a family, and then get into more of the mythology of it. But once we got deeper into it, all that stuff fell away. And the “Quantum Leap” (comparison) hung around for awhile, and then that fell away, and it seemed like everybody kind of realized it was its own show.

BE: So were you indeed influenced by any specific shows, or just kind of the concept of time travel in general?

KF: No, the whole genesis of the idea came from my agent. Every spring, I would meet with my agent, and he would ask, “What are you going to do for pilot season?” And I said, “I don’t know. I’m just out of ideas.” (Laughs) I didn’t want to a law show or a cop show, and I just didn’t know what to do. And he said, “How about trying something different and breaking into a new genre?” And that’s how we got into time travel. I’ve seen movies I’ve liked, like Malcolm McDowell in…what was that movie called?

BE: “Time After Time”!

KF: Yeah, “Time After Time,” which I thought was really good. And some other shows. And my brothers were the sci-fi geeks in my house, and I was always impressed but never converted. It was, like, my brothers were always smarter than me, so I felt like, “Okay, these guys get it, but I’m not worthy,” y’know? But I’ve always been someone who likes to do things over, whether it’s a bad date or a job or a rewrite. Whatever. But I’m definitely one of those guys who likes to look in the rear view mirror a lot.

BE: Okay, I should probably warn you that some of these questions might come off as a little disjointed, since they’re coming from a couple of different writers.

KF: No problem. I’m in a car on the L.A. freeway.

BE: So you’ve got all the time in the world, then.

KF: Yeah. And I don’t have a job at the moment. So it’s perfect.

BE: Well, there you go. Okay, so what challenges does the time travel part of the show present as far as story and continuity, and how do you go about tackling them?

KF: Oh, man, it is so hard. I gotta tell you, I wrote for “The West Wing,” and I was in that room, ‘cause we sent our to stories to Aaron (Sorkin), and it was very difficult to make government subsidies and Social Security compelling, and I thought nothing could be harder than that. But this is harder. The whole timeline element of it all, and the third rail, where if you touch something here, it impacts something over there, makes it very difficult to write stories. But we have a very smart and diverse writing staff. In fact, everyone comes from different areas; it’s not all sci-fi. There’s a couple of sci-fi guys, there are couple of people who come from standard dramas, some people from cop dramas, but together we have this strength. We’re all very good at storytelling, I think…or, at least, certainly we push ourselves to write and come up with strong stories. But we all have our strengths. But it takes a lot of thinking. It’s a very room-intensive show; we start in the morning at 10 and go home at 6. Some shows don’t hang out in the room much, but we do. We have to, just to hammer this stuff out. Let’s put it this way, Will: there are a lot of cards on the board… (Laughs) …and a lot of mapping out that goes into it. So, yeah, it’s very difficult to do.

BE: I don’t know if you saw Ross’s blog for the show on our sister site, Premium Hollywood, but he recently referenced a “Doctor Who” concept called…wait for it… (Laughs) …the Blinovitch Limitation Effect.

KF: Uh, well, you’ll have to remind me what that is. (Laughs)

BE: Basically, it says that “a dangerous energy discharge will result if two temporal versions of the same person come into contact.”

KF: So does that mean, like, if Kevin McKidd was fighting himself, both of them would explode?

BE: More or less, I think. And since Dan basically kicked his own ass a few episodes ago, you guys clearly don’t subscribe to that theory.

KF: Well, y’know, there’s probably some truth to that. Paul Redford, our consulting producer, whose IQ is, like, off the charts, he claims the doppelganger, that there’s some kind of German myth…and I don’t know for sure, so don’t take this as gospel…but the idea is that if, at some point in your life, you see yourself, you die. The idea is that if you see your identical twin, then that’s when one of you dies. And that was something we also wrestled with when we were writing that scene. Is that something that we should lay in early? Because that would really add stakes to that confrontation if the other guy sees himself, y’know? But we never did. But I’d never heard of that before. But I certainly will present that theory to the room if we’re ever so fortunate as to get back into it.

BE: And my wife is very concerned about the possibility that Dan might be in the shower when he’s called to go traveling.

KF: You know, um…let me see. Episode 12…um, well, I’ll get into that later. I’ll give you kind of a scoop, actually.

BE: Oh, cool!

KF: Episode 12 is the end of our order. If…and let’s not kid ourselves, it’s a long shot that we would get a back nine, given the strike and our questionable numbers…but we wrote it in a way so it could be the series-ending show. I mean, it wouldn’t answer every question, but it would give you a lot to chew on. We would give you some answers, and we’d withhold others. In the case we would actually go on to a second season, we didn’t want to turn over every card, but I think people will find it satisfying, and it’s really good. Alex Graves directed it, and he directed the pilot, “Friendly Skies” (1.2), and “Double Down” (1.7), which I thought were some of the strongest episodes. He’s a really good director. But in Episode 12, there is a scene where Dan is taking a shower, and he was going to travel naked to a mental institution, and the cool part of it is that he travels to this institution, where he runs into a time traveler, and you’ll get some of the answers to what goes on. And the idea of him traveling naked just became such a…it was so comic, and I think if you’re doing a 100th episode, or if you’re in your 3rd season, you’re allowed one of those. But because it may be our final episode, we just didn’t want to totally set it like that. So I think he’s either going to be in underwear or pajama bottoms. (Laughs)

BE: How much fun is it for you guys to do the stage-setting, such as it is, for each time period that Dan visits?

KF: It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of work. Our art department, led by Ken Hardy, our production designer, they have a really difficult job. And I think it breaks down that you can look at any show and you kind of know what it is – if you’re gonna get a new swing set or a new location, you’ve gotta dress it – but this is a challenge, where they have to go and make sure they are delivering the verisimilitude of a certain period of time. But it’s a very expensive endeavor. It’s why our show is one of the most expensive ones on TV. But I think it’s, in some ways, very rewarding and challenging I think they love it, even though they could use more money.

BE: I’m a music geek, so I’m always psyched to see what songs you’ve picked to represent each time period.

KF: Yeah, and that opens up about halfway through the season; there was a while there where there was an issue where we couldn’t use much music, but we’re allowed to use more now, so I’m glad you like it. We have, by the way, one of the most generous music budgets of any show. We use the music in the way that it bookmarks the time period you’re in, so music’s very important to the show.

BE: Does the fact that Dan tracks certain people throughout time confirm the theory that there’s a higher power pulling the strings?

KF: Um…I think it does. I think…well, not to give too much away, but, certainly, for those guys to select somebody like they do and find out that their life changes in very dramatic and sometimes profound ways suggests a higher power. And I’ll just say that Elliot Langley is a guy who’s been studying these people who do this. That’s kind of where it’s going. And even that might be telling you too much, but what have we got to lose at this point? (Laughs)

BE: And the follow-up question would’ve been, “Is this something you plan to address at some point?” So I guess the answer is “yes,” then.

KF: Well, yeah, but you know what, Will? The problem is that we’re hamstrung, because our episodes have been shot. When we wrote the 12th episode, we were hoping to come back for a back nine. I can’t say everything’s going to be answered, because if we would’ve answered all of those questions, then where would we have gone in our back nine? And, also, I think it would just stuff an episode with too much information, and I think it’s better when you can dole that stuff out, so I think people will get a lot of answers and half-answers that they can debate. But if by chance we do pick up during our next three episodes…there’s been some talk that we’re going to be canceled after the 9th episode, but that’s not true. But I’ll get more into that talk later.

BE: Okay, next question: why doesn’t Dan buy some Microsoft stock in the ’80s and set himself and his family up comfortably?

KF: Because that’s what everyone expects him to do. And I think as you’ve already learned, we’re trying to set up rules that there are certain things that you can’t do. And in our 9th episode…which you’re gonna see Monday, which is probably one of our best, it’s called “Blowback”…it just shows you what happens if you go off mission, even if it’s to take care of yourself. There’s this one scene, which I’ve written twice, that’s been cut out of the pilot and 9th the episode, and it’s when Dan knows the results of a football game, and he uses it like an ATM, because he needs money. But goddammit, because of production reasons and overages, we’ve had to cut the scene. And we were going to get into that investment idea…which, by the way, isn’t as easy as it seems. You have to have ID. And sometimes, if you don’t claim something after a number of years, it goes away or they roll it over or the Federal government absorbs it. We were researching that, and there’s all this stuff we wanted to get into, but we didn’t want to get into all of the things you’d expect him to go do. Everybody asks, “Why doesn’t he go buy Microsoft?” And I think that’s something that we have to address, but we just didn’t want to make that what the show was about. We didn’t want anything you were expecting to be what you’d see.

BE: Okay, this is totally a Bullz-Eye question: given that Dan’s bouncing from swingers parties to raves, how much action do you think he’d be getting if he were single?

KF: (Laughs) I think if you look at Kevin McKidd, and you talk to women – including your wife – who watch Kevin McKidd, I think you’ll see that he’d fare pretty well if his character were single. Any guy who can straddle two different lifetimes and have women in each would have a lot to gain in clubs and whatever endeavors he undertook as a single guy.

BE: You answered that very diplomatically.

KF: (Laughs) Kevin’s a very happily married man, and, in some ways, he’s very traditional. You think of Lucius Vorenus cutting people’s heads off in “Rome,” but he’s a big romantic at heart. He did this, more than anything, because he wanted to do something that was romantic. You know, originally, NBC wanted this show to be a romance. And we still have that, and we love it and want to embrace it. But they really wanted it. They wanted that “Desperate Housewives” audience and that “Grey’s Anatomy” audience. And I think along the way we kept it, but it’s what really drew Kevin to doing this. He didn’t want to do a cop show. He wanted something deeper than that, and we were lucky enough to get him.

BE: And, y’know, personally, I’ve really enjoyed the sentimental side of the show, like the way Dan’s son reacts after he watches his father disappear, or how, while Dan’s in the past in one episode, when his son’s still an infant, he slips into the nursery to hold him for a minute.

KF: I’m glad, because, y’know, I love it, too. Because, you know, I come from “The West Wing,” and to me, it’s so much more interesting for me as a viewer to watch a show that makes you think, makes you laugh, and in some way moves you, kind of gets underneath your skin. I think that’s why we’re getting kind of this groundswell over the past few weeks, and I think it’s stuff like that that’s helping people start to figure the show out. And I’m glad that you’re a guy who works for a cool “Maxim”-like website but actually has a sentimental side, because I’m like that, too. Listen, Episode 9 is gonna be very violent, and yet I think you earn your love for the characters because you have these other moments along the way that get you invested in the characters. So I’m really glad to hear that.

BE: Well, I’m both a husband and a father, so…

KF: There you go.

BE: All right, well, now let’s ease into some of the questions that are less about the meat of the show itself. I know you’ve been on the record as saying that NBC has been really supportive of the show, but isn’t it a little frustrating when you see those Monday night promos which go, “On an all-new ‘Chuck,’ blah blah blah, then on an all-new ‘Heroes,’ blah blah blah, aaaaaaand, oh, yeah there’s an all-new ‘Journeyman,’ too”?

KF: Yeah, I can’t tell you…well, you know what? First, let me tell you that, yes, they have been very supportive. The people that I’ve worked with on the creative side have been wonderful, they love the show, and they want it to do well. And sometimes they have to fight for promotion time, too. Look, there’s a big game board there, and they look at these pieces like “Chuck” and “Heroes,” and they have to figure out their promo dollars on where they’re gonna play their money. On, like, what square are they going to play their money to get the most out of it. And I get that. As a writer and producer, I understand that. That said, when we went into sweeps with that episode, “Double Down,” which I thought…you know, we were talking about the one where he fights himself, and Katie’s looking at Dan waking up in the bed, and it had a real “Blade Runner” feel to it…I would put that hour of TV up against anything anybody else was putting on that night or any night this fall. And we did not get promoted at all during that big football game, and I’ll tell ya, I started to see the handwriting on the wall. That was the only time I was really angry with the network; I felt like we deserved a lot better. That was our first episode of sweeps, and we didn’t do well. And, lo and behold, Episode 7, same thing, we got a little bit more promotion, but we ended up up-kicking 20%! I just wonder what would’ve happened if we had gone into sweeps with a better promotional push; I just feel that we’d be in a better place right now.

BE: So how much has the writer’s strike affected the fate of the show? Or, like you said, has the handwriting already kind of been on the wall for awhile?

KF: Well, it depends who you talk to, but in some ways, the strike may have helped us, in retrospect. I wasn’t so sure right away. It was, “Let’s see…no, I don’t want to strike, I want to go back to work!” The feeling was, though, that perhaps we would’ve gotten yanked at some point earlier, but because there was a strike on, they allowed all of those episodes to air. And if that’s the case, then we got a break. Because…I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but I just felt like…lately, it just seems like there’s a lot of buzz on the show. Certainly on the blogosphere, who – as they are often are with shows that are struggling – are our greatest proponents. I think the mainstream media dismissed us, in a way that I feel like they just made up their mind what the show was going to be. They thought it was going to be a “Quantum Leap” and be soft, and…I’m not going to say all of them, but I think a lot of critics just said, “Oh, I know what this is going to be,” and never bothered to revisit it. And it’s been you guys who have kind of dug in and said, “Okay, I’m gonna give this thing a chance.” That really saved our ass, I believe. I think it’s you guys. Because we’d see all this awesome stuff, and we’d tell our executives, “You gotta get out there and see what’s going on, because people love the show.” And I think they gave it a second luck.

BE: Well, it seems to me that NBC has a problem with letting shows sit in a timeslot and just develop an audience. I mean, as a former Sorkin co-worker, you’d probably agree that, at some point, they just kind of gave up on giving “Studio 60” as much push in that Monday 10 PM timeslot as they should’ve.

KF: Well, they certainly gave it a lot more promotion than they’ve given us! (Laughs)

BE: Okay, true… (Laughs)

KF: I mean, I think we’re probably getting the same numbers they were, with a fraction of the promotion. And, listen, I watched every minute of that show and loved it. And I think it aired there the whole year, didn’t it? It just went on hiatus for a little while, as I recall. So maybe that did it. But, y’know, numbers are numbers. And they’ve also hung onto “The Office” and “Friday Night Lights,” so I don’t want to be painting with too broad a brush here and say they don’t support their shows, because they do it almost better than anybody else. But that timeslot has been brutal for them. They just can’t quite resolve it. And, y’know, originally, we were really excited…except for Alex Graves, the executive producer, who said, “Y’know, I don’t know about this timeslot.” Because he’d come off “The Nine,” which followed “Lost,” and he said, “This is sometimes a blessing and a curse, because people get surgically attached to a show like ‘Lost’ or ‘Heroes,’ and then they tune out when it’s over and go on with their lives. Maybe we’d be better on our own night, where expectations are lower.’”

BE: And I can kind of see that, because “Heroes” is one of those watercooler-type shows, where the second it’s over, you want to talk about what you just saw, and you’re not really paying attention to what’s on the screen anymore.

KF: Exactly. You’re right about that. And, ironically, I think we’re turning into one of those watercooler shows…albeit with a smaller audience.

BE: So what is going to happen with the remaining episodes? Because Ain’t It Cool News got everyone up in arms by saying that the network was gonna cancel the show unless the two-parter that started last night (Nov. 19th) and finishes next Monday (Nov. 26th) brings big numbers.

KF: Here’s what…I think what got twisted around was that episodes 8 and 9, the episodes in question there, were certainly important episodes. We’d up-kicked on 7, and 8 and 9 were sweeps, and so they’re gonna be watching that closely. That, coupled with the fact that, on Dec. 3rd, “Life” gets our slot…there’s gonna be a “Life” episode on that night, and I think they’re doing a Monday / Wednesday episode that’s a 2-parter, but you’d have to check on that…and I think that made it seem like we were gonna get yanked after that, but that’s not true. We will air Episodes 10 and 11; 10 is our Christmas episode, and 11 is the first part of a two-parter that leads into our…season finale. (Writer’s note: I can’t do justice to the inherent depression in his use of the term “season finale,” but suffice it to say that the words didn’t come out easily.) Now, here’s what no-one knows about and what I just found out about last night: there’s no room for Episode 12. And the idea is…they’re not saying, “We’re not going to give you that back 9.” I mean, no-one can predict what’s gonna happen with the strike. But I think the idea is that NBC, what they want to do is tie up all their loose ends. Like, “Heroes” and “Life” and our show, have all that stuff done by the first of the year, so that they can, if there’s still a strike, air new programming or mid-season shows like “Medium” and “Lipstick Jungle” or another “Law and Order” and a ton of reality wallpaper, so they can start fresh. I think that’s (NBC President Jeff) Zucker’s thinking, and, business-wise, I get that. It makes sense. But what’s frustrating…and this is the second time I’ve been frustrated with the network…is because I love them so much and I think they do the best TV shows. It’s like being angry at your parents; you love them, but sometimes you don’t like what they’re telling you to do. So we’ve got this Episode 12 dangling out there, and…I don’t know if it’ll ever see the light of day on the network. And it is…in some ways, it could very much be the series finale. And it’s really good. It’s directed by Alex Graves, it’s a really strong script, and it answers questions, and it’s gonna be one of those things that people are really, really gonna want to see. Now, I’ve been told that there’s gonna be a DVD, so you will get it. But it’s…what makes us so frustrated is that, at a time when writers are striking and networks need programming, why on earth would you not find a place for Episode 12? And that’s the question for which nobody seems to have an answer.

BE: Has there ever been any sort of discussion about doing something like a “Journeyman” marathon? Even on a Saturday night, for God’s sake…! I mean, just to try to build the buzz.

KF: Yeah, and that’s something you guys have been clamoring for – and rightfully so – for the longest time. And I don’t know what the problem is. See, here’s…okay, here’s a little business speech for you, Will. You’re a TV writer, so you probably understand this frustration as well as anybody. We’re a Fox show, okay? “Chuck” is Warner Brothers. The rest of them – “Life,” “Heroes,” “Bionic Woman” – are NBC-Universal, so they’re motivated to have those shows succeed. “Heroes,” I understand. “Life,” I understand. Even “Bionic” I understand, even though I think most people would agree that, creatively, we’re in a, uh, much better place than “Bionic.”

BE: (Bursts into laughter) On or off the record, I would totally agree with that.

KF: (Laughs) So, yeah, they’re putting their money behind those shows. And “Life,” I haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard nothing but good things, and it’s apparently having a bit of a resurgence. And I’ve got friends on that show, so I wish them nothing but luck…even though they’re the wooden stake through our heart by taking our timeslot! But I at least get that that show’s on the upswing, and you want to save it, and it’s an NBC-Universal show. So I think there’s a bit of business going on there, and if this was reversed and we were on Fox, “Life” would be on the outside looking in and the network would be pushing “Journeyman.” And it’s one of those things where I’m, like, “God, as much as I love it there, would I ever wanna go back to NBC?” But in this age of vertical integration, ultimately, if I don’t have the support of the network, then I should probably go back to Fox. Which I’m more than willing to do, especially now that (President of Entertainment Kevin) Reilly’s there. But it’s just the TV business in the new millennium, which is so much different than it was even 7 years ago. I mean, look what we’re striking about. It’s all about new media.

BE: What happened with Sci-Fi running the episodes as well?

KF: You know, we asked those questions, but I haven’t gotten a very good answer, to be honest. No-one seems to understand that. All their shows were re-purposed…well, not all, but “Chuck” and “Heroes” were repeated on Saturday nights. We never were. Well, except for once: the pilot was aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. But we’ve never gotten any re-airings on Sci-Fi or NBC. And they go, “Why are your numbers so low?” And it’s, like, well, maybe you could be airing the show a little bit more! It’s maddening. Would it have killed them to put it on for a couple of Saturday nights? I don’t quite understand it…and you can tell I’m frustrated.

BE: If, God forbid, NBC does yank the plug out of the wall, would you consider going the Joss Whedon route and try for a feature film to keep the saga going?

KF: I would do anything to keep this show alive. If there was interest and somebody wanted to make a movie, nothing would make me happier. But I have to be realistic: Joss Whedon had quite a following, and I don’t know that Kevin Falls has quite that following. But I would love to see it. You know, what’s good…I was E-mailing Gary Newman, who’s the co-president of Fox Studios Television, and I asked, “So when should we do this DVD? Should we do it as soon as possible, in the first part of the year, while there’s still a chance to save the show?” So I’m very curious to see what he has to say, because he’s really smart when it comes to this type of thing. And you know what? By the way, like NBC said this morning, it ain’t over. I mean, they’re gonna look at those numbers for these next three shows on Monday nights. And I know we’re being aired in December, which has a history of low viewership because everybody’s out Christmas shopping or traveling, so those numbers won’t be high. But our fans should know that that show’s still gonna be on, and if they rally around it, it doesn’t have to happen. I mean, look at “Jericho.”

BE: Well, I’m gonna get this interview on the site as quickly as possible, so I can help get you guys as much advance promotion before Monday night as I possible can.

KF: That’d be great.

BE: The Thanksgiving holiday is gonna slow me down a little bit, but I’m going to do my best to get it up as quickly as I can.

KF: Ah, damned holidays. (Laughs) And, man, if I’d only remembered to call you yesterday, it might’ve been easier to get it up there sooner!

BE: (Pauses) I’m not even going to go there.

KF: (Laughs)

BE: So I guess now’s the time to ask if there’s any further scoop you want to give us.

KF: Well, the scoop is really about that 12th episode. Nobody knows that. It might not seem like much of a scoop, but it really is, since everyone seems to think we’re being cancelled after next week’s episode! But they’re gonna air 9, 10, and 11, and the issue is what’s gonna happen with 12. Because some people think we’re gonna get cancelled and they’re never gonna see the show again after Monday night, but that’s not true.

BE: Is there anyone you’d suggest that people E-mail to make sure that the 12th episode does indeed find its way to the air?

KF: Uh, I don’t know. You know, you guys know more about that stuff like that than I do. I go to message boards, and there’s links for how to save the show and who to write to, and I’m, like, “How these people know all this stuff?” (Laughs) So you’ll have to ask your own readership! They probably know better than I do!

BE: Fair enough. I’ll go online and search out the info myself. I’m sure it’s out there; I mean, geez, there’s already a “Journeyman” Wiki, so it can’t be but so hard to find.

KF: Wow. That’s…I guess we’ve officially entered the world of popular culture, then, if we’ve got a Wiki. I never thought I’d live that long.

BE: Oh, yeah. And it’s very detailed, with intricate episode and character descriptions.

KF: That’s cool!

BE: All right, well, anything else that you want to throw in?

KF: Just that I think it’s time to unleash the dogs. (Laughs) It’s game time, and we’ve done all we can. Well, we still continue to try and get more promotion for the show and get more airings, but a lot of times, it’s out of our hands. We’ve got a really good episode coming up, we’re hitting our creative stride, and all of us – the cast, the crew – are so moved and inspired by the passion of the viewers of the show, and how they’ve started communicating in a very active way about trying to save the show. And it could help. I asked the executives point-blank, “If you are canceling us and aren’t going to pick us up even if the strike does end in a short amount of time, tell us now. We’re big kids; we can handle it.” And they’re reluctant to do that. And I still think they’re holding out hope that the numbers pick up, because the one thing they do know is that they have a really good show on their hands. They really do like it. But they also know that this is a business, and they have people to answer to in New York. But they’re reluctant to do it because they, too, feel that our best episodes are coming up. So there are still ways to save the show. If we pick up, we can pull this thing out. But we’re gonna need, uh, some names and addresses of some Nielsen families to do it. (Laughs) I always wonder, God, how do you rally those people the same way you rally fans? But I don’t know how the hell you do that. So you just do the best work you can, and we’re trying to do that. But, certainly, by letting NBC know that “Journeyman” is your favorite show, it certainly helps. It keeps the awareness out there, and I certainly encourage them to write in.

BE: You know, I just realized, I never even asked you personally about the writer’s strike. Have you been out on the picket lines yourself?

KF: I’ve not only been out on the picket lines, but I’m one of those United Show Runners who hasn’t even been able to produce their show…which bums me out. I really wanted to get 12 episodes done, because I wanted our gang working ‘til early December. And we managed to do that. And coupled with the fact that I really wanted the show to have an ending of sorts, in case we didn’t get to the end. So I’ve been outside on Pico, picketing, and it’s been difficult knowing that over that wall, they’re shooting our show. Yesterday, they had a table read for the final episode, and I’m not there on this show that I love so much. It’s a really strange time. But it’s hard on everybody: cast, crew, and the others who’ve lost their jobs. So I’m not going to sit here and go, “Poor me,” or anything. But I hope that, when they sit down on Monday, a deal can be hammered out in a few days. It’s not a lock that that will happen, but we can hope for it, because the quicker we get back to work, the quicker we might have the chance to perhaps write more episodes.

BE: Well, I really appreciate you getting back with me.

KF: No problem. And if you have any follow-up questions, just drop me an E-mail and let me know. I really liked that Power Ranking; it was nice to see us up there with all those wonderful shows that I really like, too. It’s funny, because I always felt that we were one of the best shows on TV, and our fans think so, so it was nice to have you guys, who have some street cred, to say as much. We really appreciate it.

Post-Script:

Clearly, the surest way to save “Journeyman” is for you to tune in to NBC on Monday night at 10 PM…and to tell everyone you know to tune in tomorrow night. Beyond that, we’d really only be jumping the gun if we told you to start E-mailing anyone, since as it stands right now, the show’s still on the air and still hasn’t officially been canceled. If – God forbid – that should be the case, however, rest assured that we’ll provide the appropriate info for you to begin the “bring back ‘Journeyman’” campaign in earnest.

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