“The Bridge” spent most of its first season following the serial-killer story from “Bron,” the Danish/Swedish series on which it’s based.
Toward the end of the season, though, executive producers Elwood Reid and Meredith Stiehm talked with FX about where the show would go in a second season. Reid, who’s now the solo showrunner (Stiehm moved on to Showtime’s “Homeland”), saw something different for the series.
“The show we have this season was the show I think ‘The Bridge’ was aching to be,” Reid says at the TV critics’ summer press tour. “We inherited a great format from Denmark called ‘Bron,’ which as we did in the first season tracked a serial killer that was taunting and teasing our detectives and ultimately trying to punish Demian [Bichir]’s character, Marco Ruiz. That format worked great — we clung to that sort of spine of the original show.”
The final episodes of Season 1, however, wrapped up the killer story and set out to introduce a show that was more about the lives of its characters and the culture around the U.S.-Mexico border than any case they might become involved in.
“That’s kind of what we did, and as you saw it was kind of a reset of the character stories. Then in Season 2 I was able to pick right up with that different mode of storytelling,” Reid says. “It was scary as s*** to try that, but ultimately if we were going to tell a story about the border and tell the show that I think ‘The Bridge’ can be, we had to do it. The characters warranted it. There was a lot of story I wanted to tell, and I could not tell that story tracking a serial killer, looking at hair fibers.”
“The Bridge” airs at 10 p.m. ET/PT Tuesdays on FX.