You may already have noticed them on our video page, but I'm nesting them in this story, because I think they're both very good interviews.
Above, you'll see my conversation with solo showrunner J.H. Wyman. We have a good chat about how the show might have ended if FOX had asked them to do a 13-episode closer after Season 3 instead of after Season 4. I also like the part at the end where he discusses the plotlines that he knows the show won't be returning to in these last episodes. He didn't quite understand my question about harkening back to the pilot as they approach the finale, but that's OK. I think that some shows grow organically out of their pilots, while other shows just outgrow their pilots and move on. "Fringe" is in the latter category.
And below, you'll see my interview with Lance Reddick, in which he discusses his Comic-Con emotions and the specific kinds of roles he'll be looking for after "Fringe." He also talks a bit about what the final season will mean for his schedule, makeup-wise.
It's time for our third straight mid-week installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
Two weeks ago, we were delayed by the start of Comic-Con. Last week, we were delayed for the Emmy nominations. And this week, we were delayed by the start of the Television Critics Association press tour and the challenging of finding the necessary pocket of recording time.
In this week's gabfast, we discuss the first four days of press tour, we answer a few pieces of Comic-Con-based mail and we offer this week's reviews of "Breaking Bad" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
BEVERLY HILLS - The routine has been the same for several years now: The producers of a highly ambitious mythology-based TV series sit down at the Television Critics Association press tour and swear that their shows won't frustrate viewers like so many before.
The producers of "FastForward" swore they wouldn't be "Lost." The producers of "The Event" swore they wouldn't be "FlashForward." The producers of "Terra Nova" promised they wouldn't be "The Event." Etc. Etc.
With that in mind, I'm pleased to report that the producers of NBC's "Revolution" not only swear that they know the answers to all of the show's questions, but they also swear that they're prepared to answer those questions.
Crystal the Monkey and NBC Chief Robert Greenblatt
BEVERLY HILLS - NBC actually finished third for the 2011-2012 season. Well, NBC finished tied for third among adults 18-49 for the 2011-2012 season. That's the sort of optimism you can expect from NBC Entertainment Chief Robert Greenblatt when he meets with the Television Critics Association on Tuesday (July 24) morning at the Beverly Hilton.
SAN DIEGO - Ah, Comic-Con interviews, the gift that keeps on giving.
You've already seen my Comic-Con interviews with Anna Torv and John Noble, which followed the emotional Hall H panel for FOX's "Fringe." At that panel, Torv and Jasika Nicole were moved to tears discussing the Astrid-heavy "Making Angels" episode from last season, setting off a chain reaction that left Lance Reddick choked up.
In the press room after the panel, Joshua Jackson and I discussed his lack of tears on the panel, but we also discussed his hopes for the fifth and final season of the FOX cult favorite, including a discussion of how Peter Bishop has evolved since the pilot.
Check out this interview and I think my interviews with Reddick and showrunner J.H. Wyman may be coming tonight.
"Fringe," of course, returns to FOX on Friday, September 28.
BEVERLY HILLS - By delaying FOX's Executive Session for mid-morning, we've already gotten a teaser of things to come when "Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said that he was still in negotiations for next season and hinted that Jennifer Lopez is only 99 percent likely to leave. In short: Expect no concrete answers on the "Idol" front from FOX Entertainment President Kevin Reilly.
BEVERLY HILLS - "You have excellent taste," Brendan Coyle tells me as we conclude our interview overlooking the pool at the Beverly Hilton.
The words sound familiar, coming from an actor who has become best known Stateside for playing emotionally tortured, physically hobbled, pathologically noble and expertly obsequious Mr. Bates on PBS' "Downton Abbey."
Of course, in this case, Coyle's words come with a wink, because I've just realized that he was one of the stars of the West End production of "The Weir," which I saw and loved in London shortly after its 1997 premiere. At the time, I didn't know Coyle or his co-star Michelle Fairley, now of HBO's "Game of Thrones." Now, 14-plus years later, I've taken the opportunity for a retroactive compliment for what happens to be a favorite project for Coyle as well.
Actually, other than his consummate politeness, Coyle seems very little like Mr. Bates. He dresses nattily, walks without a limp and -- and this will seem almost unfathomable for "Downton Abbey" fans -- he frequently smiles.
I got very few spoilers out of Coyle in our brief chat.
I know that Mr. Bates will spend some/much of Season Three in prison. But I don't know how much, exactly.
I also know that he knows what happened with Vera, the horrible late Mrs. Bates, but I don't know what he knows.
"Downton Abbey" was already a moderate-sized phenomenon last July when we got our Season 2-previewing Television Critics Association press tour panel last summer. That was a big deal, but it's nothing compared to the build-up for Saturday's (July 21) TCA panel, which is the centerpiece of PBS' weekend, with a panel, an associated buffet dinner and a subsequent reception.
I already had a 10-minute sit-down with Brendan "Mr. Bates!" Coyle earlier this afternoon and I'll post that soon.
But here's the live-blog from the panel, which features creator Julian Fellowes, as well as many of the show's stars.
SAN DIEGO - I've mentioned this before, but if John Noble isn't HitFix's Most Interviewed Man, he's very close.
I've done four or five video interviews with the "Fringe" star over the years, plus at least one long interview on the show's Vancouver set, where John Noble and I shared a key scene together in the Season 3 episode " Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?"
On the list of contemplative, generous and sage interview subjects, Noble has to rank somewhere near the top. He's always given Walter Bishop and all of his incarnations an astounding amount of thought and anybody who thinks Noble's interest in the dimension-bending realities of "Fringe" is just an act has never tuned in to Science Channel's "Dark Matters." He truly relishes the nuances that "Fringe" has allowed him to explore.
Last weekend at San Diego's Comic-Con, I caught up with Noble after the final "Fringe" panel, a standing-room-only affair in front of 6000 passionate fans in Hall H. It's no wonder that the actor was, in his words, "numb" after the emotional experience.
In our four-plus minute conversation, Noble discusses the choices he's facing for the 13-episode fifth season, set largely in the future introduced in the "Letters of Transit" episode. He also discusses the particular challenge he's facing looking forward to life after "Fringe."
You've already seen my interview with Anna Torv, but hopefully my chats with J.H. Wyman, Joshua Jackson and Lance Reddick will also be posting in the days to come.