TCA: Fox's 'Human Target' Elevating the Quality of TV

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Fox closed its Television Critics Association presentations Aug. 6 with its upcoming series Human Target, based on the DC Comics story about a bodyguard/private detective who interferes with murder attempts by impersonating the intended victims to draw the killers’ fire. (Click here for complete TCA coverage.)

Writer and executive producer Jonathan E. Steinberg, executive producer McG and stars Mark Valley, Chi McBride and Jackie Earle Haley were among those on the panel.

Highlights from the session are below:

On keeping up the high-quality look of the pilot:

McG: “There’s a guy named Len Goldstein at the back of the room from Warner Bros we need to convince to keep it up…. If it atrophies, viewers will notice and tune out…. Pilots [are actually] not that expensive.”

On television becoming a high-quality medium:

McG: “I think there is such a renaissance going on. Such a thought that film is elegant and television is s***. Look at [new Fox Broadcasting Chairman] Peter Rice. [He] comes from most elegant film world.. .[There’s] a lot more drek coming out in theaters week to week. With what HBO is doing…there’s really no room for inferior storytelling in television.  There’s so much good television out there. JJ [Abrams] is one of the best things going in film, and he’s in television. It’s a great time to be involved in television.”

Steinberg on working on an action project:

“It’s pretty freeing now to do an action [project]…. The hope is to be able to pick up a lot of the tropes that for a long time were constrained to film …There’s no real reason not to be able to do that on TV.”

On getting the rights to other DC Comics characters and adding then into the series:

Steinberg: Certainly not ruling it out. The mission starting out is to get him [main character Christopher Chance] to stand on his own two feet. [To first try] to meet him and spend some time in that world.”

Haley on transitioning from film to television acting:

“I really wanted to work on something that my 10 year-old could watch. In reading the screenplay, I was just sorta floored by it. Seemed like an incredible job to go work with these guys. What excited me about it was getting to develop this character over time. I think it also will be good as an actor to kind of work in this environment against this schedule, so I hope to grow as an actor.”

Valley on differences between this role and his previous one in Boston Legal:

“It’s a little different. I have had some sidekicks and split my pants and never did that on Boston Legal. I’m anxious to play somebody who wears jeans every once in a while.”

McBride on being accused of being the wet blanket again and Pushing Daisies:

“You’re going to see a lot more action from Winston [his character on Human Target]. Winston doesn’t give the appearance of that, but he’s a pretty crazy guy.… A lot of darkness you’re going to see come out of this character.

People said to me, ‘Everybody loved Pushing Daisies.’ I’m like, ‘No, they didn’t. That’s why I’m here.’”

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