When Zap2it announced we would be speaking with “Undercovers” co-creator and executive producer, Josh Reims, we were flooded by reader questions.
Many of them were about the show (which experienced another fall in ratings this week). Others wanted to pick the mind of someone who deals with both story and the business of TV in general.
We grouped the 6 most asked reader questions and Reims was good enough to tackle them.
1.) Will there be more tension between the married leads, Steven [Boris Kodjoe] and Samantha Bloom [Gugu Mbatha-Raw]?
When we set out to do the show [co-creator J.J. Abrams] and I had a lot of discussions about who they should be. At one point we thought ‘are they divorced and working together, are they separated and working together? Are they having issues? Are they in therapy?’ And we kept coming back to ‘okay, we just want to see a married couple who can have their disagreements, but who’s in love and will stay in love no matter what happens and it’s not a will they or wont they kind of thing.’ Which, granted is harder to do because there’s no inherent fighting between the two of them… As far as I’m concerned it’s not particularly attractive when we have them sort of sniping at each other. It doesn’t make you like them any more and it sort of takes away from their relationship. I can’t disagree that there’s not enough tension between them but that’s on purpose.
2.) During missions, we see Steve and Samantha separated a lot. Will there be more scenes when they work together?
We are definitely trying and it is definitely something that comes up: Let’s keep them together. Partially we do like them separated in the sense of one is watching the other, but they are speaking to each other through their earpieces. So, it’s somewhat amusing that they can follow each other and what they’re doing. But the funny thing is that what you just said has come up in the discussion when I’ve talked to the stunt people about him literally throwing her into people. [Note: We suggested seeing Steven swinging Samantha into their combatants would be awesome.] So, at some point we will do that. But it’s always good, as much as we can put them together in the scenes, fighting or otherwise I think you’re right, that will help.
3.) Will the show have the expected J.J. Abrams’ mythology?
That’s a good question. I think that there are a few things. I think that for viewers that just want to have a good time, Leo is a part of the show now and he’s great and he brings sort of this energy and comedy and lightness and the fact that he knows secrets about both Steven and Samantha. He makes every scene with him deeper than it was because you’re wondering what’s he going to reveal, what he’s not going to reveal. And then the other thing that I think will bring people in and sort of keep them is for lack of a better word, the mythology that we are sort of playing with. And there are two separate things. One is why they were actually brought back in to the agency and the other one is why each of them left the agency. As the first thirteen move along, we tease both of those things and we find out some big stuff from their past, that they eventually also find out. But it’s something that will keep people interested from week to week, little nuggets here and there that we plant. But they aren’t the kind of things where we say, ‘tune in next week and the week after for the answer,’ because we are not setting up a bunch of mythology and waiting until Season 3 to answer it.
4.) What’s your take on this fall season’s offerings as a whole?
I think there are some good shows and it’s just interesting to see what people gravitate too. “Hawaii Five-0,” sort of everybody knew people were going to watch that show. It’s beautiful. It’s in Hawaii and it sort of fits perfectly with what CBS does. But “Lone Star,” I never saw, but obviously it was very critically acclaimed. It’s just one of those things. You just can’t tell what’s going to catch on. I think people are very fickle in what they like and very quick to say, ‘forget that, I gave it a chance and I’m moving on.’ I think that’s the one thing that I have noticed a lot even with my show, just by reading comments, which I shouldn’t ever do because it’s nothing but depressing. People saying, ‘well, okay, I’m giving up on this show.’ Whether it’s this show or another show, and you want to say okay it’s been one episode or it’s been one and a half episodes, but you have to give it a chance. I think it’s less about the quality of the show but people’s attention. Obviously, there are a lot of places for that to go.
5.) How do you feel about TV viewership in general today?
I think in general fewer people are watching TV. Whether they are watching it on the computer or some other form, Netflix or whatever, it’s just interesting that all those numbers are sort of down. I don’t think it necessarily has to do with the quality of the shows. We were discussing this the other day here about how certain rating numbers that you get now, people say, ‘oh my God, that’s great. You’re doing so well.’ But if you took those ratings even five years ago they’d be a giant failure. So everything has sort of adjusted to this thing of fewer people tuning in in general.
6.) With less people tuning in live, do you believe DVR numbers should get more weight?
I do and I wish there was a better way to understand them and get them quicker. I haven’t heard any DVR numbers from anything yet. I’m curious as to what is being DVR’d the most. And I don’t know what our show would do one way or the other but I do feel like eight o’clock shows will be DVR’d because I don’t feel that people will as quickly sit down at eight o’ clock and say alright, let’s turn it on. So, I wish it sort of was more important than what it seems to be right now.
What are your thoughts on Reims’ answers?
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Photo credit: NBC