For many avid TV fans out there, the premiere of the new ABC series FlashForward was not only "a new show starting" but an event. It has one of the more intriguing show premises to come along in quite some time - one day, out of nowhere, the entire population of Earth blacks out for exactly 2 minutes and 17 seconds. But here's the curve ball - in that time, everyone gets a vision (or "Flashforward") of their own futures in roughly six months.
That premise alone had me (and I'm sure many others) hooked straight away and thankfully the premiere episode of FlashForward did not let us down (the ratings sure reflected that). It was intriguing, engaging, well acted, well written and like all good TV shows, it left you wanting more by episode's end. And it looks like the producers of the show have a plan to continue with that kind of thing as they say it will "need" (that's a direct quote) to last at least three seasons for them to tell the story properly.
While talking to SFX Magazine, co-creator and producer of FlashForward, David S. Goyer, gave a little bit on what he told ABC about what they have in mind for the show, with another producer of the show, Marc Guggenheim, adding info about the duration they believe it "needs." Here's what Goyer said (thanks to io9):
"We pitched [ABC] a fairly excessive plan... I mean, we know exactly the shot that season one ends on! They obviously said this resembles Lost, in that it's a really cool script, but [they asked], 'Do you have any idea where it goes?' We said, 'Yeah we know how the whole season ends and how the whole series ends', and they went, 'Holy sh*t!'"
"We know what the ultimate season is and the penultimate season is. For in between, we know the various seasons but we are treating it like an accordion. In success, [the show] can go seven years. In less success, it would need to go three years to work. The end game of the show, to be properly done, really requires two full seasons focusing on the end game."
As Goyer mentioned, the obvious comparison to draw from FlashForward is ABC's hit series, Lost. The premiere started pretty similarly to Lost's pilot (minus that crazy island, that is :P ); it has the same "twist and turn" nature; a large, diverse cast, including a couple of actors from Lost; going from the first episode, it's going to end on a cliffhanger (almost) every episode; and, heck, even the NAME of the show was a storytelling device that featured (features?) prominently in Lost (I know it's not where it was first used, but it's a valid comparison).
The studio's shocked reaction to Goyer saying they know how the first series, as well as the entire show, ends should be noted. As Screen Rant head honcho said behind-the-scenes, "I guess when they started Lost they had no idea." This is a criticism that's been brought up many-a-time about Lost - the fact that they were kind of "winging it" after a while with the plotlines, until they secured an end date and they were then able to reign it in and concentrate on the destination, making the journey their that much more clear.
I'd just like to throw in my defense for Lost - even if, admittedly, it did seem like the writers didn't have everything mapped out from the beginning, I'm positive they had the BIG things locked down. And even out with those aspects, we still had (and still have) some of the best acting, writing, characters, excitement and intrigue around. But that's just an avid Lost fan defending his favorite show, there. I digress...
Just going by the first episode of FlashForward, I predict a successful future (get it?) for the show, even if the premise they have doesn't seem to me to be one that it could go on for even a couple of seasons never mind the seven that the producers say they could go to if the show is successful. I'll definitely be tuning in for episode two of the show to see what happens (if you watched the premiere, you'll know they left us on an absolute DOOZY of a cliffhanger). And I'll be very interested to see if the producers/writers can keep the show going (coincidentally, as they have with Lost) for as many seasons as they're planning/hoping for.
What would you think of FlashForward lasting for at least three seasons and even going for seven? Did you watch the premiere of the show, and do you think it has enough there to last that long?
Episode 2 of FlashForward airs on ABC this Thursday, October 1st.