After watching him save the world on a yearly basis for nearly a decade, it didn’t seem possible to accept Kiefer Sutherland as anything but the tough yet…well…just tough Jack Bauer. With the arrival of Fox’s “Touch” in midseason, however, Sutherland completely shifted gears to become tortured single dad Martin Bohm, trying to raise his possibly autistic son who may be the one saving the world this time around.
As “Touch” airs its two-hour season finale tonight, Thursday, May 31, at 8/7c, executive producer/creator Tim Kring shares his thoughts on Sutherland’s transition and on what to expect from Season 2.
Take us inside your approach to the finale, and what you wanted to accomplish.
We have a two-part season finale that is set to air on the same night as a two-hour block. By this time in the story, we are driving toward the end of the arc dealing with Jake’s (David Mazouz) custody by the State. It’s become clear that Aster Corps is pulling the strings and that the disappearance of Amelia and the death of Arthur Teller (Danny Glover) are somehow all linked together. Martin is now on a collision course with a very powerful unseen entity that seems to have bad intentions for his son. So, in this finale, we finally see this season long story take over completely as the main driving force.
For anyone who has seen the show for the whole season, there will be many Easter eggs for them, as characters and ideas from earlier in the season weave to a conclusion. The finale will have real closure for the season emotionally and plot-wise, while leaving open enough questions to move into season two. These are two of the best hours of TV that I’ve ever been involved with, and set up a completely unexpected ending that will lead us into season two.
Preview the Season Finale:
Did anything disappoint you about this season?
I would of course always want to be seen by more viewers. But we now have a chance to build this audience as we move into a second season.
Anything you wish you could have done, but didn’t have the time, forethought or resources?
Making a TV show is an extremely imprecise science. So, on any given day there are countless things you would do differently given the chance. That said, the original idea of putting a message into the world of hope and interconnectivity has stayed consistent throughout the season.
But answering your question more directly – I would have liked to have done more to build an audience online. As you may know, on my last show, “Heroes,” we created a tremendous amount of content online for the loyal audience to dig deeper into the world of the show. This is something I had hoped to do with this show, but first season shows often don’t have the budget set aside for this kind of content.
The problem with this first-season strategy is that I believe a show really needs an online presence in order to catch on with a broad audience. So going into a second season, I will redouble my efforts to push for the opportunity to create content to allow more audience participation with the narrative and the world of “Touch” online.
There are always questions about how you program and roll out a show, and whether these are the right strategies or not are sometimes only seen from a distance. (Again, it’s a pretty imprecise science.) When launching a new show, there is a lot of sampling going on by the audience. For that reason, the strategy was for us to keep the serialized storytelling to a minimum for the first five episodes.
This made the show essentially stand alone at the beginning, and perhaps sent a signal to the audience that there was no serialized engine to return for each week. It is our hope that from episode 6 on, the stronger emphasis on the overarching story lines, the serialized engine that started with the death of Arthur Teller, will prove to give viewers that more addictive habit of watching week to week.
What should fans look forward to next season? And if you haven’t gotten that far yet…what would your dream season be?
Again, the season finale leaves us in a completely new and unexpected place going forward. Maria Bello joins our cast and we look forward to her being able to have her own story lines, as well as her ongoing interaction with Kiefer Sutherland’s character. The goal is to still give the audience a stand-alone experience with stories that have a beginning, middle and end each week, but the serialized engine that is building at the end of season one continues to build for Season 2. It is this balance between the stand alone and the continuing stories that we will strike in Season 2.”
What were the high points of the season? Do you have a favorite episode, line, or scene from this season? If so – what?
Having the opportunity to portray so many different characters in so many unique ways in so many varied locations is a dream come true for a writer. The sky is really the limit with the kinds of stories we can tell. The idea of being able to tell a story about a guy trying to catch a horse in the outback of Australia, or a story about two Saudi girls who steal their father’s car for a joyride, or an entire story line that takes place completely online – these are unique to network television and make this show such a pleasure to work on.
The two-hour season finale of “Touch” airs Thursday, May 31 at 8/7c on Fox.