Josh Freidman Talks SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES Season Two

terminator set visit
Reporters, including your very own TV Addict [purple tshirt, sunglasses] on the set of TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES. Josh Friedman front row, left [wearing a lovely all blue ensemble]

You just found out your show’s been officially picked up for a second season. TERMINATOR THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES showrunner Josh Friedman, what are you going to do next?

Okay, so spending forty-five minutes trying to fend off spoiler hungry reporters isn’t quite a trip to Disney Land. But nonetheless, executive producer Josh Friedman was in good spirits earlier this afternoon and was more than happy to take some time out of his busy schedule to talk to a group of reporters about the continuing adventures of Sarah Connor and Co.

Did the show’s budget give FOX pause when thinking about green-lighting a second season?
No, I don’t think the budget gave FOX pause at all. I think people think we’re spending a lot more money than we are [TV Addict note, I think he’s talking to you Mr. Ausiello]. The production team is incredibly responsible and have remained within the parameters Warner and Fox have given us. If the show looks big, it’s just because we’re all doing our job so well!

So what you’re saying is no underwater Terminator this season?
[Laughs] While I do believe heavily in underwater Terminators, someone’s going to have to write me a big cheque to make that happen! Thinking about the buoyancy of Terminators, how they propel themselves, do they sink? Swim? It’s a weird hobby/infatuation of mine.

Looking back on the first season, can you name one aspect of the show that really worked, and one aspect that you’d like to see improved heading into season two.
This is kind of generic, but I love our cast. When casting a series you never know what you’re going to get. But they really did what they needed to do. In terms of things that could be improved, I want to write a show that is complicated and sophisticated and subtle — everyone does, I guess — but I tried to write something that was very serialized and there were some points where the storytelling was a little muddy where I think we could do a better job.

How does the condensed first season [courtesy of the WGA Strike] affect the second season’s story-line?
Initially we had a plan for the whole first season. But in coming back, a lot of the discussion has revolved around what we’re going to carry over from season one and what we have to prioritize in terms of important story. [TV Addict Note: When I asked Josh about the mystery surrounding the high school student’s suicide, he said that at least in the short-term, the story will not be re-addressed. And that while he was a fan of the story himself, most of it ended up on the cutting room floor due to episodic time constraints.]

Along with today’s pick-up announcement, it was also announced that Brian Austin Green is joining the cast as a series regular, what other changes might fans expect in season two?
We’re getting rid of Summer Glau [Editor’s Note: That noise you heard, the TV Addict fainting]. Just kidding. In case anyone’s worried that we blew her up [in the first season finale], she’s coming back. In full force. 

Can you talk a little bit about the success of Brian Austin Green’s character Derek Reese.
I had hopes that Brian’s character would work, but I also knew in terms of expanding the mythology it was somewhat of a risky step. Thankfully, people really responded to Brian’s portrayal of Derek and we’ve got some really interesting things planned for season two. One of the ironies is that because of Brian’s success on the show, all of a sudden everyone wants to hire him. So we really had to make sure we signed a deal so he couldn’t escape ‘Terminator Land.’

Since we all know what a big fan of spoilers you are [Note sarcasm], what can you spill about season two.
I’m not going to give you any spoilers because I never do. But the show is about the family and everything that concerns the family concerns us. Last year John was still in denial and didn’t want the problems of being a hero. This season will be his coming of age year. John will grow up and what will be interesting is that as the boy grows into a man, the less he’ll needs his mother. Sara’s ex will also be back. As will Agent Ellison. And I think it’s fair to say that Agent Ellison has seen some things that will make him re-consider everything he’s known before. He’ll be much less of a doubting thomas.

Will Michael Biehn be back?
I know fans like it, but I’m not a big fan of cameos. We’ve worked really hard to have Lena be Lena and not Linda Hamilton. When you bring characters over from the movies it becomes this weird ‘Where’s Waldo’ You want to have a world that’s self-contained and real. I find it distracting, although I love Michael Biehn.

Will the show be upping the action quotient in its second season?
We’ll definitely be incorporating more action this season. I think one of the big discussions between the Network and Studio revolved around the levels of action versus drama versus special effects. And I think everyone is excited to try and do a bit more of everything.

Will we be seeing more of the Future War?
I had plans to do a number of Future War episodes [in the first season], but they are the most expensive episodes we do, and the most time consuming. The hard part is the CGI. It not only costs a lot of money, but it takes post-production time. It’s hard to turn those things around. That said, I’m hoping to do more. I love the future.

Hoping to catch up on the first season before the launch of season two in September? Why not check out the series on iTunes, or look for the DVD on shelves this August. According to Friedman, the set will include commentaries for the pilot, the season finale, and the episode that focused on Future War. In addition to some mini-documentaries as well as other features.

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  • Linda B.

    I’m happy for all the fans of this show that it has been picked up for a 2nd season (although I don’t care for the show – even though i watched it).

    What i want to know is, when will we expect to hear the future of Eli Stone? I’m waiting on pins and needles.

  • J

    Has anyone noticed that the guys have been photographed on the Stars Hollow gazebo? Yay! Yes. I am that sad, and did enjoy that show that much…

  • J,

    Rest assured, you’re not the only ‘sad’ one! I was wondering who was going to be the first to notice!

  • Gigi

    I hope Jonathan Jackson will be back next season as Kyle Reese. I really liked his performance, brief though it was.

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  • Aileen

    Good interview. And hurray BAG becoming a regular! Given the huge fan support of his character, I would have been surprised if they didn’t want him back (unless it was pivotal to the plot that he dies).

  • DVD comes out in Aug what about Blu-ray? It was broadcast in 720p so why not put out on HD media. Just a thought. So happy the show was picked up. It was the only one on the air I made a point to be home to watch. No HD DVR yet.

  • yeshermione

    I am sooo happy T:SCC got a second season. (Unlike Firefly…at least that show had a movie ending.)

    LOL Loved the joke about Summer. Yeah more Cameron (and maybe some more John/Cameron).

    I wish the DVD set was coming out sooner but as long as we get a ton of extras I’m ok with the wait. At least the show comes back in September.

    Hmmm besides a DVD set how about some T:SCC action figures of say….Cameron?!?!? Please! 🙂

  • Martin

    the first season was great, glad there bringing a second season, it beats the usual crap on tv.

  • I miss Stars Hollow. Sigh. It doesn’t help matters that Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel’s film career just don’t quite match their Gilmore Girls stuff. But this is a post about the Terminator, so let me just say this: I find the thought of such a gorgeous white gazebo amusing in the dark and rough universe of the Terminators. On the other hand, it does look pretty well sized for one of those time-travel bubbles they arrive in….

  • I’m thrilled at this news. Sarah Connor Chronicles very quickly became “must see” at my house. I’m hoping that the 13 episode order becomes a full season, and that the fourth movie doesn’t cancel out or conflict too much with the current timeline.

    I was disappointed to see that FOX and Hulu pulled the episodes from their sites. But hey, box set in August! I’m there.

  • You need to talk more about about Judgement Day. The Singularity. And The Resistance. (Also, the under water stuff is really trippy, don’t just joke about it.)

  • redrover

    So let’s see, he mentioned plans for Derek, Summer, John, Sarah’s Ex (that would be Charley, BTW) and Ellison. I guess that covers everyone… except, uh, the title character. I find it that a little odd.

  • andruman

    [Quote]: But the show is about the family and everything that concerns the family concerns us.[quote/]

    hopefully they keep this “tight” dont want this to transform into a “happy family solves problems – series”

  • Stuffstuff

    They should sneak a few Future War episodes in on the set of “Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins” — the set is already there, might as well use it!

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  • Man

    I must say this gazebo looks quite like the one Gilmore Girls had…

  • Too bad, Josh’s vision of Season 2 didn’t actually materialize! Season 2 and “The Sarah Centric Episodes” that crawled at the speed of a glacier is what killed this show.

    Nice Job Friedman!