In SECOND CHANCE, on Fox Network Fridays at 9 PM, Rob Kazinsky plays former sheriff Jimmy Pritchard. Jimmy is in the unusual position of being a 75-year-old man (played in older form by Philip Baker Hall) in a 30-something body, courtesy of a science experiment conducted to save the life of a techno-genius’ dying sister. Resurrecting Jimmy is strictly a byproduct of this as far as his benefactors are concerned, but Jimmy is determined to get to the bottom of the conspiracy that killed his older self and is now threatening his police detective son (Tim DeKay).
SECOND CHANCE was created by Rand Ravich and is executive-produced by Ravich and Howard Gordon. At a Q&A session for the series, Gordon says that the show is about second chances for all of its protagonists. “It’s a thing that every single character in the cast gets to explore. It’s not just Rob’s character … and there are surprises downstream from that.”
Gordon is taking a lot of chances of his own. Not only is he involved with the first season of SECOND CHANCE, he’s also an executive producer/co-creator on Showtime’s multi-Emmy-winning HOMELAND, which goes into its sixth season this year, FX’s TYRANT, coming up on its third season, and Fox’s 24: LEGACY, which brings back the format without Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer.
In a post-panel conversation, Gordon talks about all of the above. He starts by advising even latecomers to check out SECOND CHANCE.
HOWARD GORDON: Email me after you’ve seen the first four. It gets better and better and better.
AX: You mentioned to another reporter that you wanted to be the show runner-runner?
GORDON: The show runner whisperer. Which is to say, I like to be the person who …
[At this moment, Rand Ravich is walking by.]
GORDON: Rand, you tell me, am I a good show runner whisperer?
RAND RAVICH: Yeah. A midwife. It’s the right guy at the right time, through years of experience.
GORDON: Yeah. I mean, the idea of being the point person on something – I’ve done it for a long time, and I think I actually add value to somebody who [is a series creator], especially at the beginning of a show, when a show is being born.
AX: So what do you actually want to do at this point?
GORDON: That’s a great question. A longer answer.
AX: Do you just want to create universes that you can later plug into and write episodes for?
GORDON: My greatest satisfaction is watching a show – creating a show is one thing, but once you’ve done it, that first year is really the crucial birthing year and I think when you can creatively get a show up on its feet, and also, that means creating a culture and a staff of people who are telling the same story, and once the show has its own momentum, then it’s pretty cool.
AX: But do you like to be able to jump in and out? Is it developing and running multiple shows sort of like building four houses and then being able to move among them as you please, and it’s like, ‘Well, today I want to be on the beach …’?
GORDON: Yes, I like that metaphor, I’ll take it.
AX: With SECOND CHANCE, were you looking to get back to doing something a little more genre after doing straight thrillers for awhile?
GORDON: I’ll tell you, the idea of having a show that was lighter, that didn’t have terrorists, that wasn’t torn from the headlines, or at least, if they were torn from the headlines, it would be from the New York Times’ Science section, was a great relief. And I enjoyed it a lot, and I enjoyed working with Rand.
AX: Did you also say you might want to write a couple of episodes of HOMELAND in the coming season?
GORDON: Yeah, or at least one.
AX: Since a lot of people think Kiefer Sutherland’s name is actually “24,” do you have any concerns about doing 24: LEGACY without him?
GORDON: Of course. But the good thing is, Kiefer hopes, like we all do, that real time, as a narrative structure, is an amazingly compelling one, Joel [Surnow] and Bob [Cochran] created it, and one we hope to continue telling in the future. So I think there is a 24 and Kiefer thinks there’s a 24 after Jack Bauer.
AX: What would you most like people to know about SECOND CHANCE?
GORDON: I’ll quote Neil Genzlinger, who was particularly kind to us in the New York Times, who said, ‘Its rewards await.’ And I really think that it’s a show, that even though it wobbles a little bit at the beginning, the middle and end parts are really quite satisfying. So I would say that patience will be rewarded.
This interview was conducted during Fox Network’s portion of the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena.
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Article: Howard Gordon on SECOND CHANCE, 24: LEGACY and more – exclusive interview