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NBC UNIVERSAL Moderator: Tracy St. Pierre 02-15-12/10:30 am CT Confirmation #21579717 Page 1
NBC UNIVERSAL Moderator: Tracy St. Pierre February 15, 2012 10:30 am CT
Ladies and gentlemen thank you for standing by. And welcome to the Executive Producers Howard Gordon and Kyle Killen from NBC's "Awake" Press and Media conference call.
During the presentation all participants will be in a listen-only mode. To queue up for a question please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. We ask that you please limit yourself to one question and one follow up at a time. You may then requeue for any additional questions. As a reminder this conference is being recorded, Wednesday, February 15, 2012. I would now like to turn the conference over to Ms. Tracy St. Pierre with NBC. Please go ahead. Tracy St. Pierre: Hi everyone thanks for joining us for our Awake call this morning. On the line we have Executive Producers Howard Gordon and Kyle Killen.
NBC UNIVERSAL Moderator: Tracy St. Pierre 02-15-12/10:30 am CT Confirmation #21579717 Page 2
Please note Awake premieres March 1st and if you need anything, any follows up from this call you can reach me at 818-777-2940. I am now going to turn it over to the first question. Operator: Thank you. So again ladies and gentlemen as a reminder to register for any questions please press the 1 followed by the 4. And our first question comes from the line of Jamie Ruby with Scifivision.com. Please go ahead. Jamie Ruby: Hi guys thanks for doing the call. I am really excited about the show it looks great so I can't wait to see it. So first Kyle can you kind of talk about just how you came up with the whole concept of the series? Kyle Killen: Sure I think, you know, it had some things in common with the last series Lone Star and when that ended I think probably some of those questions of duality and trying to make a go of living a life in two spaces was still floating around in my head. So that was something that was still of interest to me and this seemed like a good vehicle for exploring a lot of that. And then, you know the concept of the way your dreams feel real, the way you seem to experience them as something that you don't blink at until something crazy happens that sort of bursts that balloon. I think I became interested in the question of what if nothing ever popped that balloon. What if you couldn't tell the difference between when you were awake and when you were asleep?
NBC UNIVERSAL Moderator: Tracy St. Pierre 02-15-12/10:30 am CT Confirmation #21579717 Page 3
And then I started looking for a way to marry those two ideas up and a few months later we had Awake. Jamie Ruby: Great and can you both talk a little bit about how you decided on casting and everything for the series? Kyle Killen: Howard do you want to jump on that one?
Howard Gordon: Well we obviously started with the lead, Michael Britten since he had to shoulder so much of the story. And actually at the very beginning we were afraid until we decided we could actually break point of view. It seemed that he might have to be in every scene which for anybody who has ever done hour long television knows that's, you know, pretty impossible. Anyway there is a very short list of leading men of a certain age, who are substantial and who Jason Isaacs was at the very top of that list and we were lucky enough to get him. I mean we met with him. I had met with him a couple of months before just simply as a general (unintelligible)? And I know he was very sketchy about whether he wanted to do television. And he was intrigued as I was by Kyle's pilot and he jumped in. And from there build out the molecule. Who worked with, you know, your lead. And so (unintelligible) and BB were slightly different. Well BB was (unintelligible) I think wasn't he Kyle? Kyle Killen: Yes he was pretty much what was called for.
NBC UNIVERSAL Moderator: Tracy St. Pierre 02-15-12/10:30 am CT Confirmation #21579717 Page 4
Okay great well thank you for that.
Howard Gordon: Yes so ahead. Jamie Ruby: Operator: No I just said thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Mike Hughes with TV America Gannett. Please go ahead. Mike Hughes: Yes let me ask this to Kyle first and then Howard because it applies to both of you. We have seen a real trend this year of people who made very serialized shows in the past. This time making a show in which they made sure it was something the story that ended after every hour. The people who had made Heroes are doing that. The people who made Lost were doing that and certainly you guys with Lone Star and 24 both made shows that before were very serialized. And this one although it is serialized in one way it looks like you are absolutely going to solve a crime or maybe two cases every single episode. Do you see that as a real thing? Is that kind of a priority now that people realized well maybe the audience wants something to end at the end of each hour? Kyle Killen: Mike Hughes: I think, you know, both the shows you referenced. This is Kyle. Yes.
NBC UNIVERSAL Moderator: Tracy St. Pierre 02-15-12/10:30 am CT Confirmation #21579717 Page 5
Lost and 24, you know, they inspired a lot of imitators that tried to do the same thing and didn't meet with success. I think the risk with a completely serialized show is that your audience is all in or all out.
Mike Hughes: Kyle Killen:
Yes. And, you know, that is a tremendous gamble. So I think being able to - we are very interested in the serialized elements of the story but we also recognize that in the fractured landscape of television today it is hard to get everybody to commit Week 1.
And what you really want to do is leave the door open so that people, you know, hopefully the good word filters out and people can come to it without feeling like well I'm already hopelessly behind so I give up on that. Or maybe I would - if it goes a second or third year I'll catch up on DVD. Like leaving, promising people that if Week 6 is the first week that you watch, you are going to get a satisfying hour of television that you can completely follow and understand. And hopefully that experience makes you excited about going back and catching up. I just think the trend is towards making sure that your audience has an opportunity even if they are not there Week 1. Mike Hughes: Okay thanks. Let me just ask Howard the same thing because Howard obviously 24 was one of the ultimate serialized shows but do you also have a feeling now that it is important to have something wrap up with each hour and make people be able to come in later on?
NBC UNIVERSAL Moderator: Tracy St. Pierre 02-15-12/10:30 am CT Confirmation #21579717 Page 6
Howard Gordon: Yes I think Kyle is exactly right and I think the, you know, having done 24 and having recognizing from inside how nearly it impossible it was and that particular (unintelligible) worked in a densely serialized format. The barrier to entry that it creates and there's also the one thing I'd add to what Kyle said is that there is a mercenary aspect to it as well which is shows that you can occasionally watch or sporadically watch are more syndicatable. So there is a, you know, the studio is more incentivized to do shows that have standalone, you know, beginnings, middles and ends. Mike Hughes: Operator: Okay cool. Thanks a lot. Our next question comes from the line of David Martindale with Crown futures. Please go ahead. David Martindale: Thank you. Howard question for you. I've got a copy of "Hard Target" here and a stack of books that - I haven't read it yet but it is in a stack of things that I'm, you know, in line to get to. At first, how can you find time to run TV shows and write books too? Is writing books going to become something that you are passionate enough about that TV might lose you one day? Howard Gordon: Well at some point I think, you know, everybody has to know when to hang up their six guns and walk off into the sunset at some point. You know, I have been doing this for a long time so that is certainly on the table as a possibility. And in this case it was just something I did. I started doing during the writer's strike, you know, not being a big believer in idle hands. So I just - I started it and to
NBC UNIVERSAL Moderator: Tracy St. Pierre 02-15-12/10:30 am CT Confirmation #21579717 Page 7
answer your question, I did it in the margins of my day job which I think was ill advised. So you may want to stick that in the middle of your stack somewhere. I'm very happy and I am very proud of it and it was a lot of fun to do it but it I was done very much in the margins, in the early mornings and late nights and kind of weekends of the last three years. I had a very forgiving publisher who happened to be a 24 fan who let me, you know, make sure that I attended to my - to Jack Bauer before I finished the book. David Martindale: Oh okay cool. I understand. Well thank you so much. Howard Gordon: Thank you. Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Alice Chapman Newgen with the Times--Courier. Please go ahead. Alice Chapman Newgen: Hi guys. I hope you do really well with the show. I've been excited
with what I have seen of it. And I am just curious if you could just wrap it up in a nutshell as to how you explain the show? Because to me, the therapists are saying it is not a dream and yet it is almost like a parallel universe where we are in two different worlds. Could you elaborate on that? Kyle Killen: Sure I mean it is essentially, you know it is a detective who has experienced the tragic accident and he has lost either his wife or his son. One of those worlds is real and the other is a dream that he has created to compensate for it.
NBC UNIVERSAL Moderator: Tracy St. Pierre 02-15-12/10:30 am CT Confirm