Right on the eve of the CW's upfronts, when we'll learn whether or not Reaper (one of my favorite new shows of the '07-'08 TV season) is getting a second season, Bret Harrison took a few minutes to chat with me about Reaper's need for more female viewers, what his first thoughts were reading the script and what we can expect from the season finale, airing Tuesday May 20.
He was totally sweet and friendly so check out what I learned from everyone's favorite bounty hunter for the devil:
Buzz: So, about that send-socks-to-the-CW campaign to save Reaper. . .
Bret Harrison: Yeah! I don’t know who started it or whatnot but I think it’s amazing and I don’t know if it’ll work, but we’ll certainly go out with a bang if it doesn’t.
Buzz: That's true! Are you feeling optimistic about the network's decision? Or do you just not know at all?
BH: I feel optimistic. I weirdly feel optimistic. There’s just been too much positive press about it, especially with these past five episodes, we’ve gone up in ratings. . . There’s been talk about how we’ve done better than some of the other shows that are getting picked up but we don’t have as strong a female demographic, and that may be one of the reasons they’re holding off.
For more on this female demographic,
Buzz: It’s funny because a lot of the people that I know who are watching it are female, actually.
BH: I think especially with next season, there’s talk of adding some other female cast members. You know, publicity helps and cool internet sock gags help, but I think if you tell a good story, I swear to God, people are gonna catch on to that. I think it all comes down to: tell a good story. I think that’s really what we’re starting to do, especially with these last five episodes, and hopefully the audience will respond to that.
Buzz: Right. And the show’s creators are both women, right?
BH: Yeah, they are, and that’s what’s so funny about the whole thing. I mean, how ironic. They’re the coolest chicks in Hollywood, I swear.
Buzz: When you first read for the part did you have any reservations about the show? On paper it definitely seemed, well, wildly preposterous.
BH: Oh, yeah, definitely. When I first got the script I was like, what? I didn't get it! And then first what happened was Kevin Smith got attached and I was like, OK, I'll take a peek. And then I went in and talked to [show creators] Tara and Michelle and. . . they kinda explained it to me, they said, "You've seen Shaun of the Dead?" Yes. "You’ve seen Ghostbusters?" Yes. And we started to kinda play with the scenes and I was hooked. Especially when, you know, Tyler Labine was cast, Ray Wise was cast, Rick Gonzalez, I was like, holy sh*t, this is going to be awesome! And I thought we had the coolest pilot going last year.
Buzz: It was definitely one of my favorite pilots out of all of them.
BH: That’s so good to hear. And I definitely think everyone will be able to just let it all out next season, and not hold back and go to all these cool places and do what we want to do.
Buzz: So, I’ve read the synopsis about the finale, but is there anything we should know about it before we see it?
BH: It's just hard to tell when you don’t know whether you're coming back a second season, but what I think we're trying to point at is that Sam has pissed off a lot of demons. When you see the finale you'll understand why but he’s made a lot of people mad, and so now instead of it being well, this is your job, this is what you gotta do, it's The Matrix, it’s Terminator — these demons are after him. And I think that'll be really cool, especially, hopefully they'll be bringing back Ken Marino, Michael Ian Black, those guys will be coming back and there’s been talk of maybe adding another female character, maybe a female demon, which would be cool.
It would be cool, Bret Harrison. It would be cool.
Photo courtesy of the CW