Josh Friedman & Brian Austin Green Conference Call: February 28, 2008

The two-hour first season finale of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles begins on Monday, March 3 at 8PM (note the special time), FOX allowed several websites and members of the press to participate in a telephone press conference with T:SCC creator and executive producer Josh Friedman as well as Brian Austin Green (Derek Reese).

TerminatorSite's Craig Byrne was one of those who participated in the conference call; here are some highlights...

Josh Friedman addressed the concerns about the ratings and the possibility of a second season, especially in light of the show's budget. "You know, it’s not actually an expensive show to produce. In fact, I think we’re below the budget of many action shows that are on TV right now," Friedman reveals.

"Our budget is much more in line with your basic drama that you would find on any network. So I don’t think that cost at this point plays much of a factor," he continues. "As to the ratings, you know, I don’t know what to make of it, really. I think that the show has done well for a new show and for a new drama. There are not many that do very well or haven’t been doing very well, certainly in the last strike era. And we do very well in certain demographics. We do very well in DVR. We do very well on downloads. I think for our type of show that is a big chunk. We were one of the top five shows being TiVo’d right now, which is how I watch the show because otherwise no one would know that I’m watching."

"The first year show is sort of the ritual for first year shows is to come back into the network and tell them what season two is. Things are just a little weird this year because of having the strike so we have to readjust what our season two plans are. We’re going to go in and sit down with the network and we’ll do a post-game on season one and talk about season two. They’ll make the decision. FOX, they haven’t made a decision on any shows yet. So I fully expect to get in there with them pretty soon and hopefully have an answer pretty soon because we need to start writing," Friedman reveals.

The strike taking the season from 13 episodes to nine did change some plans. "The [original] episode ten was a fantastic episode ten and an absolutely horrible season premier for a season two," Friedman reveals. "I really, really wanted to do episode ten, it was like one of my favorite ideas and I can’t do it. I really can’t do it because it would’ve been a terrible season premiere. "

"The strike is such a weird situation, but the school of thought is, well, you could start next year picking up almost where you left off, but sometimes what the next episode is, isn’t necessarily right for a season-two premier. So I think you have to rethink how much continuity, not continuity, but how much carryover you’re going to have from where you plan or it gives you a chance to sit back and say, alright, what can we do for season two? I have a plan going forward. It’s just how we integrate that into the beginning of season two," he continues.

Friedman and Green both admitted to surfing the net, and they are well aware of what the fans are saying. One thing that frequently comes up is the matter of time travel. "I try not to abuse the time travel too much," Friedman says. "I think we think about it all the time. I’ve been in the writer’s room and there will be points, it happens at least once a day where all of a sudden we just go quiet and everyone stares at each other because we completely tilted like a pinball machine because we can’t wrap our brain around what we’re trying to do. I think that I have a pretty specific idea as to what I believe the rules of our universe are and I try not to violate them. I think that chaos theory abounds and that’s always my argument, a specific geek argument, why doesn’t Skynet just send—well they can’t send a nuclear bomb back. I think even Skynet probably at this point understands that the causality is so complicated that it’s unclear as to what any one thing might do. So I think to do something en masse is a very—they might end up destroying themselves, when they need the humans as much as the humans need them to kind of—well, they need the humans more right now, until later, once they’re created, then who knows."

"I think it’s great to argue it out," he says. "When it’s the movies, there’s that sense of refrigerator logic where you sit down, you watch the movie, it’s a big chase, it’s adrenaline and it hits you when you’re driving home or later, you’re like, 'wait, wait, he just sent his best friend back to birth himself' — you can go crazy just off the first movie and with a series obviously there’s much more time. One, there’s more time to analyze it, and two, over time we have to introduce more elements so it becomes more complicated and it starts to fold in on itself. I just try to keep it clear and I think stay true to the basic ideas of the movies. It’s a lot to wrangle."

Green told Friedman during the conference call that he does not feel the time travel is abused. "We had the conversation, of the possibility of bringing Kyle Reese onto the show instead of Derek. But then within that was the whole concept of, okay well then at what point are people actually dead and at what point do we have to realize that a character is gone. It’s a weird, confusing line. I don’t know how specific you can really get with any of it because at the end of the day it’s something that’s completely nonexistent at this point. So who knows how one thing can overlap into another and how one decision can affect another? It will probably be an argument we’ll be having until the end of time."

"I was really worried about how people would respond to me playing this character [of Derek Reese]," Brian Austin Green reveals. "I was a huge fan of the films and I was a huge fan of Michael Biehn and Kyle Reese as a character. So I knew I was kind of holding a heavy weight in taking it on."

"The the hardest thing for me as an actor is trying to make sure that I have enough back-story to really understand what Derek is doing and what his thought process is. Development wise he went from living in the future where he was fighting every day to survive to now being in a world with a blue sky and grass, and fighting for a different reason. It’s at times just a huge rollercoaster for him. He still really has no grasp of it. I mean, he’s just coming out of nearly dying. So he’s got a lot of growing to do, I would say," Green continues.

One big revelation to come from the conference call was the idea that it was considered to bring Kyle Reese into the show for more than his brief appearance in "Dungeons & Dragons." Friedman was asked how he may have fit into the picture. "I’m not going to say how I was going to do it but I had an idea but it was one of those things that probably worked really well on paper, and I could easily explain it to you if we sit down for ten minutes," Friedman says. "But I think if it was probably something that was a bit of bridge too far for an audience, and again, Kyle is sort of a sacred cow and I think one thing to see him in the future and it’s another to see him in the present. I don’t know, I still hold out hope that somehow I’ll figure out to get him back, but every time I ever brought it up everyone looked at me like I was completely insane. I listen to everyone every once in a while when it’s unanimous," he laughs.

Be sure to watch two hours of all-new Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles starting on Monday at 8PM on FOX! Here are some extras to tie in to finale night:

Image Gallery - Spoilers

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