Matt Miller

All posts tagged Matt Miller

Photo Courtesy Of ABC/K.C. Bailey

Photo Courtesy Of ABC/K.C. Bailey

Matt Miller, creator of the beloved series “Forever,” released a statement to the show’s fans on his Twitter Account. The statement that he issued on July 7, made it clear that although Warner Brothers TV did their best to find the series a new home, they have been unable to reach an agreement at this time. The following is the message from Mr. Miller to the fans, NJATVS will produce an article in the coming days commenting on the situation.

“This is a hard message to write but I’m sorry to report that despite Warners Bros best efforts they haven’t been able to find a new home for Forever. That doesn’t mean they won’t keep trying but wanted to give you all the real, although disheartening news.

I’ve been hesitant to reach out because I (like you) didn’t want to believe that this was really the end. We had so much story left to tell, questions unanswered; romances unfulfilled; characters to introduce… But I suppose I was asking for trouble when I named the show Forever. We all knew this day would come, but when you’re writing a character with 200 years of backstory, 22 episodes doesn’t seem like enough.

That said, we are all super proud of the show we made. It was a charmed experience making this show and I’m grateful to everyone involved and that includes YOU. Especially you.

When the show was first canceled the outpouring of support was truly touching and I assumed would dissipate after a day or two. But something incredible happened. You guys grew! The longer we were off the air the more passionate you became. And perhaps most impressively, you always remained positive. A snark-less and cynicism-free international fan base? Perhaps our greatest achievement to date.

So, that’s where we stand. Wish I had better news. But if we’ve learned nothing else from Dr. Henry Morgan, it’s that it’s a long life. And who knows? Maybe some cable channel or streaming service will come to the obvious conclusion we all have… there’s a great cast and crew out there ready to get back to work. Hey, a 200 year old immortal washed up naked on the shores of Manhattan. Stranger shit has happened.

Matt”

Photo Courtesy Of WBTV

Photo Courtesy Of WBTV

“A good Network apologizes for the mistakes of the past, but a great Network corrects them.”

We likely have all made decisions that we wish we could take back, unfortunately life rarely gives the chance to go back and change things. The ABC Network finds itself in that rare position, where they can rectify a bad decision and solve a scheduling program in the process. According to “Variety,”  the network has pulled their robes and sandals drama Of Prophets And Kings, from its prime-time schedule next fall. The periodical also reports that the network will move another new series Quantico, from its previous slot and now air the show Sunday night’s at 10:00 pm.

Moving the series that revolves around a group of rookie FBI Agents to Sunday nights, now leaves a hole in the network’s schedule on Tuesday night’s at 10:00pm EST. Is it perhaps more than coincidence, that the gap in the schedule is the same slot that “Forever,” occupied this past season? Would the ABC Network consider bringing back a show, that many fans are still discovering, and whose long-time fans have worked day and night to find the show a new home?

Rather than to rush a series to the air to fill that time-slot, the network with a call to Warner Bros. TV, the network can fix a programming snafu, while becoming heroes to a fan base that refuses to let the show die. Perhaps the best thing is, that ABC can promote the show all summer, giving it the exposure and the marketing it deserved its first time around the track. They can also use the summer to promote it heavily on the network’s website, streaming all 22-episodes, all summer long.

Long after the viewers of other cancelled shows have accepted their collective fate, the rabid fan-base has tightened their belts and doubled their efforts. Petitions to find the show a new home, have gone viral on the net, “Twitter” is jam-packed with tweets about the show and each day Facebook pages devoted to show, gain members at an astounding clip.

With the reports that the network needs a show to fill their old slot, series creator and show-runner Matt Miller, called on the fans to start tweeting ABC about bringing back the series. Donnie Keshawarz, who portrays NYPD Detective and former lead singer of the Craniacs Mike Hanson, took to Twitter Tuesday night with this message “Calling all @Foreverists! Given the recent issues over at ABC, there’s no better time to launch a tweet assault on them to bring us back!!”

ABC has a great opportunity to bring back a show that’s far more popular now, than when they decided not to renew it. Forever will air a Season Two, the only question that remains is if ABC is smart enough to take that second chance.

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alerts

It Ain’t Over Till The Fat Lady Sings.”

With apologies to the Bard: I come to praise “Forever,” not to bury it. Although the ABC network declined to renew the Warner Bros. TV series for a second season, the show’s rabid fan-base have yet to give up the fight for this magical show. Some folks just don’t know when to quit and thankfully the incredibly loyal fans of Forever, fall into that category.

Rather than accept the fate handed down by ABC, they have circled their wagons and banded together, to send a message to the studio, that the show must go on. They have taken to Twitter, Facebook and other social-media sites, to spread the word and to recruit others for their fight.

Television viewers get disappointed constantly, by shows that look great on paper but fail to live up to expectations. However, when a series hits the airwaves, firing on all eight-cylinders and leaving viewers with a smile on their faces as the episodes concludes, it needs to be recognized as something special and given time to find an audience. ABC had such a show in Forever, but they lacked the foresight or the patience to allow the show to blossom and fulfill its destiny, to join the ranks of the best shows in the history of the medium.

There’s a laundry list of reasons that Forever never acquired a huge audience, but those problems lie at the feet of the network. ABC scheduled the show in a time-slot they’d gotten walloped in, during the previous three seasons. Rather than concentrate on the fact that the series brought far more viewers to the network than any of its predecessors in the three previous campaigns, they expected a freshman series to defeat a Top-Twenty show, like Person Of Interest?

The network also failed to market the show properly. After trotting the series out on the internet a few weeks before it aired and promoting the series strongly, ABC nearly abandoned the show after weak numbers in its third outing. They packed up the circus and moved it down the road, even taking Forever off the network’s website’s landing page. Although the show brought in some big-name actors, among them Billy Baldwin, Jane Alexander and Academy Award winning actor Cuba Gooding, ABC failed to promote the show.

In this cookie-cutter age of Television, ABC had a unique series that they didn’t know how to market.  Is it a procedural, a love story, a sci-fi/fantasy story, yes it’s all those but doesn’t really fit into any pre-designated slot. Series creator Matt Miller gave life to a universe centered around Dr. Henry Morgan, a NYCPD Medical Examiner with a bit of a secret. He’s lived for over 235-years and regenerates every time he’s killed. Brilliantly portrayed by Ioan Gruffudd, we witnessed life through Morgan’s eyes for 22-episodes, taking us on a trip through time as well as exploring the life he’s built, in the present.

The secret for entertaining television, is quite simple in concept, yet so hard to achieve in reality: Great writing and acting. They assembled a cast of very talented actors, who had incredible chemistry together. Anchored by veteran actor Judd Hirsch, playing Morgan’s adopted son Abraham and Alana De La Garza, as Henry’s partner Detective Jo Martinez, the supporting cast’s consists of flesh and blood, three-dimensional characters. They refused to settle for stereotypical characters, on most shows, Detective Mike Hanson, (Donnie Keshawarz) would constantly be busting Morgan’s assistant Lucas Wahl’s (Joel David Moore) chops, as a comic-relief device. However the characters developed a mutual respect and affection for each other.

During Forever’s first season we followed Morgan back through history starting in the early 19th Century, when Henry got shot in the heart, trying to save the life of a slave. When his body got thrown off the ship he was killed on, he miraculously returned to life, a situation he’s since gone through countless times over the past 200-years.

We watched Morgan get betrayed by his first wife Nora, whose fear caused her to get him committed to an asylum, then we saw Henry give his heart to another woman in 1945. She would turn into the love of his life, Henry’s English Rose, Abigail. Stationed in Germany as World War II concluded, they found a healthy infant boy in Auschwitz and raised him as their own. Seventy years later that boy, now resembles Henry’s father, more than Morgan’s son.

The show resolved what happened to Abigail, who left Morgan in 1985 and at least temporarily have subdued Henry’s fellow immortal Adam. Although we perceive Adam as a psychopath, he explains himself as the results of a decent guy living for two thousand years. Unlike Morgan, Adam looks at his prolonged stay on Earth as a curse and he has no regard for the value of human life. In the season-finale, Morgan injected Adam with some chemical concoction, that made the immortal a prisoner in his own body. He has no control of his body, yet he’s fully aware of all that goes on about him.

Morgan’s partner Jo Martinez, called Morgan out in the closing moments of the finale, asking him to explain his recent behavior as well as a photo from the forties, as he stands next to Abigail, whose got Abraham in her arms. Season one concludes with Henry saying to Jo “It’s a long story…”

Matt Miller and his writing team, did a nice job of wrapping things up in the series final couple of episodes. If a season two for Forever is not on the horizon, then the crew has a wonderful season that can be preserved in amber, with each fan creating their own version of the upcoming conversation between Jo and Henry.

However fans of this wonderful series, including this fan, are not ready to give up the fight for Forever quite yet. Three Facebook/Twitter pages, dedicated to the series have banded together, trying to find a new home for the series. They have set up a petition that you can sign, asking Warner Bros. TV to keep Forever alive. You can also visit and join all three pages on Facebook: Forever Fan Page, Foreverists Group for Forever Fans and The Official Ioan Gruffudd Group.

Show runner Matt Miller is aware of and supports these efforts. They are concentrating on talks with Netflix, Hulu and TNT, among others at present. Forever deserves a better fate than for it to get discovered as a “Lost Classic,” in ten or twenty years. The cast and crew of Forever, have just skimmed the surface in this first season, hopefully Warner Bros. TV will keep Forever alive.

Image Courtesy Of ABC

Image Courtesy Of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alerts

Since “Not Just Another TV Site,” started publishing, we’ve had the pleasure of recapping some tremendous shows and incredible events. We recapped, the final season of what I believe will be celebrated in the future as one the finest examples of “short-form Television,” when the HBO Original Series “The Newsroom,” completed it’s run. We recapped the bounce-back season for the Showtime series “Homeland,” as the show recovered from sticking with the Brody story-arc, a season too long. We witnessed our readers get caught up in the murder of a 12-year-old boy, in a Northern California, fishing village in “Gracepoint.”

What may come to a surprise to many of you, is the recap that’s received more hits than any other, by a very wide margin. It’s acquired 40% more readers than the runner-up, yet according to the Nielsen Ratings, the show has no business being our most widely read recap. We entitled the recap, “Forever: Sax Player’s Song Costs Son His Life,” however the title it aired under, was 6AM. The Forever episode about Jazz sax player Pepper Evans and the song stolen from him, still receives double-digit hits daily, more than two-months after it aired.

I’ve made no attempts to hide the fact that I’m an unabashed fan and proponent of the freshman ABC series “Forever,” since seeing the show’s pilot online, before the start of the 2014-2015 TV season started. There have been many new shows, that I’ve turned off after ten-minutes, never regretting the decision. Every so often, a show crosses my path, that shows me it’s got long-term potential, some fulfill their potential, while others fall short of the mark.

There have been very few times in my almost six-decades on this rock, that I’ve walked away from a pilot episode, thinking I love this show, Forever slipped quite comfortably into that category. It’s the first show that I’ve felt that way about since the debut of the now departed “The Newsroom.” I walked away from my laptop, telling anybody and everybody about this new gem of a series on ABC and after thirteen episodes, my affection for the show’s only grown stronger.

What’s the premise of the show you ask? Well let’s hear from the protagonist of the series, Dr. Henry Morgan: “My name is Henry Morgan. My story is a long one. It might sound a bit implausible. In fact you probably won’t believe me. But I’ll tell you anyway, because beyond all else, I have lots and lots of time.”

We soon find out that Morgan, born in the final quarter of the 18th Century, got shot to death, trying to defend a slave on the ship he was the doctor of. However after his corpse, got dumped into the sea by the crew, Henry regenerated, coming back as healthy as before he got shot, but unfortunately stark naked, which causes problems from time-to time. Morgan’s gotten killed scores of times since the incident on the ship and every time, he bounces right back.

The show’s based in the present, as Morgan’s now a Medical Examiner for the NYPD, a brilliant man who keeps to himself. His assistant Lucas Wahl, idolizes him but he can’t even get his boss to compliment him, wanting Henry as a friend far exceeds his wildest dreams. Morgan’s become a Medical Examiner for many reasons, one being the study of death, in hopes that he can find a way to end his life.

The other reason’s more compelling for the viewers, Morgan’s become a Medical Examiner, to minimize his contact with living people. The man’s lived over 200-years and surely lost many near and dear to him over the years and he doesn’t want the pain again. However we find out that Morgan lives with a companion, a man in his seventies named Abe, portrayed by Judd Hirsch, in his finest performance since starring in “Taxi.” In fact Hirsch  and the premise of the show, were what drew me into watching initially.

The only performance of the series lead Ioan Gruffudd’s, I’d witnessed, was as Reed Richard in Fantastic Four, a movie and a role that was underwhelming, to say the least. (Though he had a great American accent, I had no idea he was from the UK.) That barrier melted about ninety seconds into the pilot, as Henry Morgan’s a man of many complexities.

Henry meets two NYPD detectives in the pilot, that he’s destined to spend a lot of time with as Detective Jo Martinez and her partner Detective Mike Hanson check with Morgan about the autopsy of the subway operator, that allegedly died at the controls causing a major crash. If he had a heart-attack, it’s ruled an accidental death, if influenced by alcohol or drugs, it’s murder. Henry tells Martinez that the operator died of poisoning.

Photo Courtesy Of ABC/Bob D'Amico

Photo Courtesy Of ABC/Bob D’Amico

If you’d like to read the entire recap, you can find it elsewhere on our site, however we do learn that Henry had a great love in the fifties, as we meet his young and beautiful wife Abigail and the feelings between them are palpable. However we’ve no idea of the fate of Abigail in the current time period, or what became of their great love.

Morgan helps Martinez capture the man who poisoned the subway operator and Jo asks him to accompany her on her next case as Medical Examiner and a friendship starts to flourish. However there was a scene that aired shortly before Martinez arrived at the shop, that elevated this show from good to great for me.

We get one final flashback; the year’s 1945 and Henry’s in Germany in a Red Cross jeep, as the war’s ending in Deutschland. A beautiful young blonde English woman asks Henry if he’s a doctor and we realize that this is the first time Morgan and Abigail met. He replies that he’s a doctor, and she presents him with an infant boy, imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, but except for the number tattooed on the baby’s arm, he’s in perfect health. We return to the present as Abe’s sitting in his shop and we see the same number tattooed on the old man’s arm, meaning Henry and Abigail raised him as their son. Henry kisses the old man on the top of his head and I was hooked-line-and-sinker.

Much of my day’s spent surfing the web, checking out fan sites on the shows we recap, to gauge the feelings of the fans. I also frequent the Facebook pages of the shows we recap and I’ve found, that I far prefer the fan-run pages, over those that the networks create. A fan who starts a Facebook page about a favorite show or personality, pursues a labor of love. Perhaps their efforts will get rewarded by a message from one of the show-runners or an actor, but they put the work into these pages, because it gives them a forum to gather and discuss aspects of a show they enjoy.

I had the good fortune to discover and get accepted to a Facebook forum, called the “Forever (ABC) Fan Page,” about a week ago and the page and it’s members are fantastic. The Page has about five Administrators, ranging across the United States and one from Scotland. Each member who joins the page, gets welcomed by the page and at least a few of the other members. The tone of the page’s inclusive and friendly, I’ve yet to see any negative feedback, or sniping between members, something that’s usually a given in these forums. These folks do such a great job, they recently got Forever creator Matt Miller to join their ranks. (Which speaks well for Miller also, as he’s interested in what the fans have to say about the show he created and birthed.)

Sometime last week, one of the page’s Administrators Tonya Lindsey, approached me to write an article about the letter campaign, started by two other huge fans of the show, who also host Facebook pages for Forever, Lin Blank and Deb Servey, with hopes that they can convince ABC to renew Forever for a second season, a move that should have happened already in this writer’s opinion. I decided to ask for input from the Page members, about why the show should receive a second season and the results were overwhelming. People from across the country, explaining why this show has become an important part of their week.

Certain topics seem mainstays of most of the comments, the quality, of the acting, writing, directing and production are almost universally praised, as are the characters themselves who’ve become people that the fans want to spend time with, every week. The contrast between what’s occurring in Morgan’s present, against the backdrop of what he’s experienced being on earth for over 200-years. They love the relationship between Henry and Abraham and the burgeoning friendship between the Medical Examiner and Detective Martinez. There’s also huge interest in finding out more of Morgan’s stalker, the man who identified himself as Adam and claims to have walked the earth for two-thousand-years who’ll return in the next episode, airing February 3.

Forever’s able to combine so many facets into 54 minutes each week; An Epic Tale of a man whose experienced over 200-years of evolution, tales of great love between men and women plus parents and children. Henry wasn’t born with the Holmes-like powers of observation he has, however he’s bright enough to realize by being observant, the same clues can help him down the line. Incorporating the flashbacks, is one of the aspects of the show I enjoy the most, whether it’s young Abraham leaning how to “Jazz-Up Chopin” or Henry getting water-boarded (Hydro-Therapy) in 1815. My initial fear was that show would rely too much on Henry getting killed and regenerating, but so far they’ve used it in a limited basis, which keeps the concept fresh when they utilize it.

The bond between Henry and Abe, which has somewhat reversed over 60-years, with the father becoming the son and vice-versa. And Morgan opening himself up to having friends in the present, with Lucas, Jo, Mike and Lt. Reece. If that’s not enough, we have a “BIG BAD” whose lived ten times longer than Henry. No wonder he’s jaded and bored, the thrill of feeling special when he impresses others that Morgan still receives, must have left him centuries ago. The show-runners have announced we’re going to see “Adam’s flashbacks” and he’s going to attempt to endear himself to Henry and become a mentor of sorts!

Photo Courtesy ABC/K.C. Bailey

Photo Courtesy ABC/K.C. Bailey

There are more than enough shows that cater to the Lowest Common Denominator, the Prime-Time schedule works out to 21-hours each week, on the three original broadcast networks and what few outstanding shows on the small-screen, usually end up competing against each other. Forever’s a perfect example as it takes on Person Of Interest on CBS, another one of the mediums finest shows and a perennial top-20-show. I happen to count both shows among my favorites.

ABC doesn’t have a strong record supporting “High-Concept Shows,” with “Flash Forward,” “No Ordinary Family” and the reboot of the series “V,” leaving the shows fans with major unresolved conflicts. The networks have to possess the intelligence, that situations like those, will make viewers more reluctant to try new shows, afraid of being left in the lurch once again.

My Friends Della and Troy, who host a weekly podcast called Forever Fan Podcast, sent me some documents last week, from Thomas Richard who runs a site named Television Town, stating that while Forever’s scoring higher ratings, than previous shows that filled that time-slot for the network, the numbers haven’t convinced ABC, that the show deserves to get renewed. However, he does believe a strong outcry from the show’s fans, could get Forever a second season.

So, how can you help? Well there are a couple of things you can do; first of all you can write a letter to the network. You can reach them at ABC Entertainment C/O Forever 500 S. Buena Vista St Burbank, CA 91521-4551.

Secondly, you can sign the petition, started by Forever Page Member Abigail Bricker. In the comments section make sure you write #RENEWFOREVER.

Lastly, support the show and tell your friends, they’re missing one of the best examples of “Quality Television,” in this era.

The Story Continues Tuesday, February 3, at 10:00 pm on ABC.