TCA 2012 Live Blog: LAST RESORT

5:19PM: “What we have on the submarine is our own tight knit family and consequently we have a basis to test those loyalties on the show,” Andre Braugher says on the subject of his character’s relationship with Scott Speedman’s XO Sam Kenda. “Watching us start out as a family and slowly get torn apart is where things are really going to get fun.”

5:20PM: “I don’t have a lot of information to judge the world in which there is a white Andre Braugher who did better than I did,” is how Braugher brilliantly defers what has sadly become the obligatory question surrounding Hollywood’s lack of leading me of color.

5:22PM: “This is a show I couldn’t make five years ago because I didn’t possess the skill set,” reveals Shawn Ryan, who credits his work on THE SHEILD, CHICAGO CODE and TERRIERS with giving him the respective tools necessary for LAST RESORT’s serialized storytelling and incredibly high production values.

5:25PM: Despite the fact that the crew of the U.S. ballistic missile submarine Colorado will be facing three different kinds of threats (One from the faction inside the US government who attempted to shoot them down, two from the inhabitants of the island who are none too happy about their arrival, and three from the crew themselves, many of whom aren’t sure they should still be following a Captain who may-or-may-not have lost his mind), co-creator and executive producer Karl Gajdusek would like to stress that the success or failure of the show lies in the character’s relationships with each other.

5:30PM: Spoiler Alert! Post-pilot episodes will unveil some very interesting details about Captain Marcus Chaplin’s mindset (Andre Braugher). Namely, how desirous he is to discover the truth versus how desirous he is to get back to the United States. Equally intriguing will be how Captain Chaplin deals with his new position of island top dog! Teases Gajdusek, “What is power? It’s one thing to be captain of a submarine… but captain of an island starts to sound more like President or King.” Da… Da… Duh…

5:32PM: What sold Scott Speedman on the idea of coming back to television? Three words: Sub. Naval. Drama. Also not hurting the cause was having the brains behind THE SHIELD on board as Showrunner. When asked if the freedom to raise his voice was another contributing factor for the actor who found his way onto Hollywood’s radar as the soft-spoken Ben Covington on FELICITY, Speedman jokes, “I don’t choose roles based on whether or not I yell or whisper… not this one anyway!”

5:33PM: Addressing yet another question about diversity on both the small screen and large, Ryan had this to say, “I had Dennis Haysbert as the lead of THE UNIT on CBS. I want the best actor for the job and I try to be as color blind as possible. It will be nice when these questions don’t get asked anymore, but unfortunately we’re not at that point yet.”

5:38PM: Aussie import and relative newcomer to America Daisy Betts welcomes the opportunity to show how powerful a woman can be in a man’s world. She also is relishing the fact that every female character on this show is “kick ass great.”

5:40PM: From the files of least surprising news ever, Ryan reveals that LAST RESORT is not begin shot with the cooperation of the US Navy. Evidently, with full participation and assistance of the US Military comes great toys, but also script approval. Script approval Ryan doesn’t believe the show would get. Not so much because the show is a scathing look at the military (Counters the showrunner, “We’re very comfortable our portrayal of the US Naval and Seaman”), but rather because it paints a less than pretty picture of an executive branch gone awry.

5:42PM: Propelling much of the show’s early plot will be how the submarine crew of 130-150 strong will adapt to following orders on a boat versus the island. Do they follow a Captain that many believe is a traitor to the country they swore to protect? Stay tuned!

5:45PM: “I’m thrilled to be on the air,” says Ryan when asked about the family-friendly Thursday at 8PM timeslot paired with GREY’S ANATOMY and SCANDAL. “One of my first questions going forward was does our content need to be different and I was assured by the ABC brass that it doesn’t. In fact, I was reminded that LOST started out as an 8PM show on ABC and we all saw what kind of depth they were able to touch on. We’re going to make the kind of smart, provocative, adult drama and hope the audience at 8PM shows up and appreciates it.” For his part, co-creator and executive producer Karl Gajdusek — who it would appear from his contributions to this session is slightly concerned that ABC is scaring off ABC’s female skewing audience by marketing LAST RESORT as little more than a way story — wants to yet again reiterate that the show is very compatible with the audience that tunes into GREY’S ANATOMY and SCANDAL. “Yes, we have this huge political thrill element that drives our show, but we think LAST RESORT is an epic story. What happens to people in crisis? When a husband is torn from his wife? When a patriot is called a traitor? We don’t want to pigeon hole ourselves. We’re a broad show.”

5:46PM: Fun Fact: The LAST RESORT pilot reunites Andre Braugher with director Martin Campbell who last worked together over two decades ago on the Emmy Award winning HOMICIDE LIFE ON THE STREET.

5:48PM: Spoil Alert II: Autumn Reeser’s investigative reporter Kylie Sinclair, who spends the entirety of the pilot separated from the rest of the cast in Washington D.C., will step foot on the island! But, not before helping figure out who exactly is behind the shocking events of the series premiere. Explains Reeser, “At the heart of them being able to come home is figuring out who fired on them in the first place and it’s actually very exciting for me because I’m going to be driving a lot of those scenes.”

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