Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quick Note

Just wanted to make a quick post and apologize to all the people who check this site for the lack of updates in the last few week.  As boring and pedestrian as this sounds, I have an exam in just under two weeks that I've been studying for and this has usurped much of my mental and typing energies.

HOWEVER I will be interviewing Jon Worley who wrote last night's episode in the next few days.  So that will be up in the next week.

There's also the good news that last night's Terriers got a 0.3 in the demo.  This is up a point from last week's 0.2.  Let's hope this is the beginning of an upswing in the ratings.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Phoef Sutton discusses "Changing Partners"

Phoef Sutton began his career in 1985 on the hit sitcom Cheers.  Phoef rose up the ranks on the show, eventually becoming an executive producer and showrunner.  Since then he has worked on a variety of shows such as Boston Legal, The Fighting Fitzgeralds and Valentine.  Recently, Phoef has worked as a consulting producer on Terriers where he wrote this week's twisted noir episode "Changing Partners".  He was kind enough to answer a few short questions about himself and his episode.

Pasha: Firstly, what ignited your interest in television writing and how did you break in?

Phoef Sutton: I grew up as a child of television. It was always on, in the background, while I read and ate and studied. I wanted to be a writer from an early age, but, oddly, I never thought about writing for television. I wrote short stories, play, screenplays. I had a number of plays performed at regional theaters around the country. Moved out to LA and worked in equity waiver theater. It was rewarding spiritually, but not financially. I got married. When my wife was six months pregnant and I had 32 dollars in my bank account, I decided it was time to make a living. I knew nothing about writing for TV, other than watching THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW as a child. (It turns out, that show was pretty accurate.) I was most blessed and lucky to land a freelance CHEERS as my first writing assignment. The next year I joined the staff and stayed with the show for eight years, working my way up from Staff Writer to Executive Producer.

Pasha: I asked Jed Seidel this last week, but having no shame, I’ll ask you too: what does your role as a consulting producer entail? 

Phoef Sutton: I consult on Mondays. Produce on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Pasha: How did you become involved in the show?

Phoef Sutton: I wrote a pilot that Marney and Shawn liked. I imagine they were familiar with my other work, as well. I know Shawn was a big CHEERS fan, so I guess that had something to do with it.

Pasha: Terriers appears to be your first cable show. Prior to Terriers however you have worked on a variety of different shows from half hour sitcoms to legal dramas to teen shows. What have you found to be the similarities and differences when writing for different genres?

Phoef Sutton: I’ve pretty much done it all. Multi-camera sit-coms, plays, movies, novels, hour dramas and I have to tell you that I approach all of them exactly the same way. From character. If the characters are engaging and fascinating the rest just flows.

Pasha: This episode seemed to be born from the need to explore the trust in the various pairings in this show. At what point did the idea of the borderline sadomasochistic couple emerge and how did this develop during the breaking of the episode?

Phoef Sutton: The cuckolding couple was the initial idea that I brought to the table. The rest of it, the themes of pairing and changing partnerships just seemed to grow from that.

Pasha: This episode was markedly darker than the previous two. Was this intentional or just the natural evolution of the show?

Phoef Sutton: The show is naturally evolving in a darker direction. This story could have been told in a lighter, more farcical way, after all. The pull toward darkness was irresistible. Trust me, the show gets a lot darker.

Pasha: While it was left open to interpretation as to why the husband, Armand Foster, committed suicide, why do you think he did it? Was it realizing he’d upset his wife or was it the fact her affair with Hank effectively took the control out of Armand’s hands?

Phoef Sutton: Be careful what you wish for.

Pasha: Last but not least... what was up with the last scene?

Phoef Sutton: Do you want me to spoil the surprise? I’ll just say this: Everybody’s been asking me, “What’s up with the guy in the celiing?” to which I reply only, “What makes you think it’s a guy?”

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lena Lamoray Interviews Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James

Lena Lamoray, one of Terrier's biggest supported in the blogosphere, has spoken to both series leads.  Definite must read interviews:

Donal Logue
Michael Raymond-James

EXCLUSIVE: Jed Seidel discusses "Dog and Pony"

Jed Seidel began his writing career in 1994, penning an episode of Northern Exposure.  Since then he’s enjoyed tenures on various critical and commercial hits including Nash Bridges, Felicity, Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars.  Jed is currently a consulting producer on Terriers and co-wrote last night’s episode “Dog and Pony” with executive producer Shawn Ryan.
Pasha:  Your first television writing credit was on Northern Exposure.  How did you break into television?

Jed Seidel: I was an assistant on Northern Exposure and between getting cappuccinos and xeroxing, I used to beg the producers to let me pitch... three and a half years later and countless cappuccinos runs, they finally gave me a shot...

Pasha: How did you get involved with Terriers?

Jed Seidel: Out of the blue, I got an email from Shawn Ryan (who I worked with for many years on "Nash Bridges," and luckily has remained a friend) asking me if I wanted to collaborate on a back-up script, before the show got picked up.  Unfortunately, it went to an old email account I rarely use so I didn't see it for about three days!  Shawn did a really wonderful thing, where he invited me to come watch the pilot being shot for three days.  It's one of the best pilots I've read in years, so I was pretty thrilled to be involved...

Pasha: What does your role as a consulting producer entail? 

Jed Seidel: It's really just a title, and no different from any other producing position I've had.  Mostly it entails working in the room with the other writers, participating in re-writes, voicing my opinion in casting and like all the other writers, being on set during production...

Pasha: Breaking the story of the first episode after the pilot can often be tricky.  What was the genesis of “Dog and Pony”?

Jed Seidel: It was a combination of a few different pitches.  All the writers work on putting the stories together, and then it goes through the filter of Tim Minear, Shawn Ryan and ultimately, Ted Griffin, who is really the voice of "Terriers."  

Pasha: How did you and Shawn Ryan balance reintroducing many of the elements and themes of the pilot in such a way that it caught new viewers up but didn’t bore people who saw the pilot?

Jed Seidel: Honestly, it's hard to answer this question without including Ted and Tim Minear, because every decision about story went through them.   I think that the first interrogation scene gave a good recap of the main crime story but otherwise we trusted the audience to catch up.  The characters and relationships are set up so well in the pilot, we just continued along the same path.

Tamara: “Dog and Pony” focused a lot on the relationships the two main characters share with those around them.  Hank’s past actions clearly upset both his ex-wife Gretch and his ex-partner, Mark Gustafson.  Yet while Gretchen’s seemingly made peace with the past, Gustafson is obviously still angered by it.  Can you perhaps offer some insight into why this might be?

Jed Seidel: Both relationships are going to play out over the course of the first season.  Hank continues to be a thorn in Gretchen's side and that relationship is anything but resolved.  In the past, Hank really screwed up his partnership with Gustafson and jeopardized both their jobs and their friendship.  There's a brilliant episode later in the season that Tim wrote which flashes back to when Hank was a police officer and the damage he did.  It's so damned good, I can't wait for people to see it!

Pasha: There have been comparisons drawn between Terriers and Veronica Mars.  Both have a penchant for clever dialogue with a focus on class divides in Californian coastal towns.  As a writer, has working on Terriers reminded you of your time on Mars?

Jed Seidel: Once in a while, I would bring up something we had done on Veronica Mars, but Shawn and Ted weren't that familiar with the show.  And even though the shows have some surface similarities, at their cores, they are very different.  Veronica's cases mostly came from high school, and in the later years, college.  Hank and Britt live in a much more adult world.  But having said that, they were both filmed at the same studio and many crew members from Veronica Mars worked on Terriers, so that was always fun for me. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why "Veronica Mars" Fans Should Be Watching "Terriers"

Yahoo TV has an article up comparing Terriers to the dearly departed Veronica Mars.  Both great shows and a strong argument for anyone who was charmed by Veronica's antics to check out Terriers.

Coming to a town near you...

Executive producer Shawn Ryan announced on Twitter that stars Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James will be touring America, screening episodes of Terriers.  If you'd like to suggest they visit your city, drop Shawn Ryan or John Solberg a tweet.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Opening Titles

"Steel Neena (Theme to 'Terriers')"
Composed by Robert Duncan

This theme should be available on iTunes soon.  Check back for information.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Download the "Terriers" Premiere for Free

Did you miss Wednesday's season premiere?  Wanna recommend the show to a friend who missed the premiere?  You can now download it from for free in both standard definition and high definition.  It's also available in iTunes for free.

Thursday, September 9, 2010 Want to Know What You Thought want to know what you thought of last night's pilot.  They have a poll up on their site that you can check out here.

"Pilot" Ratings

TV by the Numbers is reporting that a total of 1.6 million viewers watch Terriers last night.  659,000 of these viewers were 18-49, which equates to a 0.5 rating in the key demo.  While this number could be better, FX shows have climbed in viewership before and this will hopefully be the case again.

Terriers.  Tell a friend.

Scenes from "Pilot"

Did everyone enjoy the series premiere of Terriers last night?  Twitter seemed to be blowing up with praise from people loving the show.

FX have uploaded some scenes from the episode here and here.

Behind the Scenes: Relationships

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Donal Logue on Jimmy Kimmel

Donal Logue was on Jimmy Kimmel last night.  The clips are now on YouTube:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James Talk "Terriers"

TVSquad has a nice interview up here with the two co-stars discussing Terriers.

More Videos

FX is starting to promote the shit out of this show.  Here are some more videos, shamelessly nabbed from their youtube channel for your viewing pleasure:

Critics Are Raving



Monday, September 6, 2010

Meet the Cast and Crew

On top of all the reviews, a ton of interviews are also hitting the web prior to Wednesday.

Early Reviews

With the show premiering in less than three days, reviews are hitting hard and fast.  Here's a list of them.  I'll update this post as I find them.

Shawn Ryan Talks "Terriers"

In an excellent interview with Forbes in which he spoke about the difference between network and cable and the evolution of television in recent years, Shawn Ryan had this to say about Terriers:

You have said that when creator Ted Griffin initially pitched you the idea for Terriers, you envisioned it as a big, glossy network show and dollar signs danced around in your head. What would it have looked like as a network show? 

We’ll never know what Terriers would have been in a network style because Ted Griffin was immediately resistant to trying to cash in for the big bucks like I was interested in doing. [laughs] Even though he only half knew what the show was when we first started to talk about it, he knew instinctually that this was something that would go to a darker, more demented place than network TV would allow. I think it’s a very funny, character-driven series, but by the end of the 13 episodes it will feel like an FX show. Ted is a guy who watches some TV –- he was a fan of The Shield and he really likes Mad Men and he wanted this show to exist in that universe and not in the Hawaii Five-0 [CBS], Undercovers [NBC]universe. So when he decided that was the route that he wanted to take, I said, ‘Great, but we have to make it so that this show feels like it could only be on FX. We can’t make an NBC show and hope that FX picks it up.’ He really embraced that – and yet there is a genial thing about this show that kind of goes counter to many of FX’s previous shows like The Shield, Rescue Me and Sons of Anarchy in that they’re very intense. So in many ways this is actually a departure for FX and we hope that it will exist well in the FX universe.