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EW's Television Visionaries Talk Sci-Fi and Pies

EW's Television Visionaries Talk Sci-Fi and Pies

Yesterday, I told you about the rowdy panel of filmmaking greats I attended at Comic-Con. Today, I've got some notes from the television "Visionaries" event, which brought together showrunners Josh Schwartz (Chuck and Gossip Girl), Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (Lost), and Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies). Here are just a few of the highlights:


  • A running joke throughout the panel was teasing Josh Schwartz about Gossip Girl in any way possible. At one point, when the show came up in a question, he said he thought that mentioning it was "a little verboten at Comic-Con," which led the — considerable! — GG fans in the audience to make their presence known. Later, in response to a question about so-called "genre" shows getting lots of buzz over the past few years, Schwartz quipped: "Serena is now a cyborg."
  • On a related note, plenty of people (rightly) saw the Q&A portion of this panel as their best chance to ask questions of the Lost producers before the mad crush of the Lost-specific event the next day, prompting one panelist (I unfortunately couldn't see which one, as I was on the other side of the huge line) to point at the questioners and count them down, saying, "Lost, Lost, Lost, Piemaker, Piemaker, Lost . . . [mooney voice] Gossip Girl!"
  • Bryan Fuller is just a big bundle of cotton candy and flowers and goodness. Some various quotes summing up the sweetness: "I am a very sensitive soul. I couldn't do a series like CSI or Criminal Minds where you have to be in a negative headspace all the time. I just wanted to cram a show with as many things that make me smile as possible, like puppies and pie." And, later, "I think we need more awe."
  • Also, why is the piemaker not, say, a cake baker? "Cake is dry," Fuller said.

To find out which of these guys likes Project Runway, just read more.

  • Poor Josh Friedman was the most overlooked member of the panel, but he acquitted himself well whenever a question did come his way, showing a good sense of humor about the whole thing. My favorite line from him: "I don't think Terminator works in movie form. I think it's either TV or musical."
  • Friedman also told the story of casting Brian Austin Green the night before his character was scheduled to make his first appearance. At first, Friedman said, he just assumed the audition was going to be awful. But as soon as Green walked into the room, he had a very different reaction: "When did you get to be so hot?"
  • Could there actually be too many shows with sci-fi elements on TV these days? "The greatest thing that could ever be uttered in the halls of the networks is 'We have too many shows about time travel,'" Lindelof said.

  • One of the biggest laughs of the session: Cuse, Lindelof, and Schwartz talking about the Chuck episode where Chuck reveals that he might know the whereabouts of Oceanic Flight 815. What was Schwartz trying to establish by having Chuck mention Lost? "Lost is a TV show," he said, "and Chuck is real."
  • At the end of the session, someone asked what shows the panelists watched. They mostly cited each other's shows — until Fuller admitted to really liking Project Runway.
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