FOX Presents ‘Backstrom,’ ‘The Last Man on Earth,’ ‘Wayward Pines’ and ‘MasterChef Junior’ [TCA 2015]

fox tca winter 2015

FOX made an appearance at the Televisions Critics Association (TCA) Winter 2015 Press Tour to introduce a few of their new and returning series.


Backstrom Cast

FOX’s new series from creator/executive producer Hart Hanson (Bones), Backstrom, follows Detective Lieutenant Everett Backstrom (Rainn Wilson), an unhealthy, offensive, irascible – albeit brilliant – detective who is brought back from exile to run the Portland Police Bureau’s Special Crimes Unit (S.C.U.).

Here are some highlights from the panel:

– “I almost fired them on the spot,” Rainn Wilson said of his agents when they sent him the script for Backstrom to read just as he was shooting the 200th episode of The Office. But he ended up loving the script.

– Dennis Haysbert, who plays Sgt. John Almond, explained that what the character of Backstrom is doing is sort of a defense mechanism, he doesn’t want to be liked because then he’d have to admit he is human.

– Rainn Wilson revealed that everyone in the ensemble will get to see a different side of Backstrom. He also shared that we would get to see some of his backstory as well, including meeting his father and his ex-fiancee.

– “This character come from inside this guy’s demonic soul.” -Rainn Wilson on Hart Hanson

– “What he’s saying doesn’t come from a bad human being place but from a bad place in a human being.” -Hart Hanson

– “He hates himself worse than he hates everyone else.” -Rainn Wilson

– “What happens in the finale is fucking brilliant.” -Kristoffer Polaha (Sgt. Peter Niedermayer)

– Executive producer Kevin Hooks shared that the best moments of Wilson’s performance happen when he turns away from people he talks to because we realize that whatever he just told them he feels about himself. He is projecting his problems onto other people.

– “Well it was utter hell to shoot,” Thomas Dekker who plays Gregory Valentine joked about working with Rainn Wilson.

– Something that Wilson enjoys about the show is that every character has a very different voice and sees the world differently, just like in real life.

– “I spent 6 months on an apple box,” Genevieve Angelson who plays Det. Nicole Gravely said about the fact that she is much shorter than the entire cast.

Backstrom premieres on Thursday, January 22nd at 9pm.

The Last Man on Earth

The Last Man on Earth

In FOX’s new series, The Last Man on Earth, Will Forte stars as the last man on Earth (or is he?) after a virus decimates the entire population.

Here are some highlights from the panel:

– Creator and star Will Forte admitted that he didn’t do any research for the show. He shared that he had watched the show “Life After People” a few years ago and tried to remember what he had seen in there. He added, “It would be like if people from NASA watched Spaceballs.” Executive producer Phil Lord added, “It’s more of a thought experiment, than a scientific exploration.”

– We don’t ever see dead bodies in the show.

– It’s hard to make the world look dead because there are sounds around them of planes and trains. In addition, they also have to be careful with the reflection of cars driving around on windows.

– There are no animals either, so that’s something else they need to work around when filming.

– The aquarium/bowling bowl scene was not planned. Will Forte just got in the truck and they shot the scene.

– In terms of what happened to everyone, there has been a virus although the show won’t talk about what the virus is.

– There are no zombies in the show.

– There is at least one other person (played by Kristen Schaal) on Earth.

– “I’ve never said that, I’d like to keep my options open.” Kristen Schaal on whether she has ever said to someone, I will never marry you even if you were the last man on Earth.

– “Will personally drew every single face on every single ball,” Lord said the balls that Forte’s character talks to, an homage to the movie Cast Away.

“Will is the best silent comedian of his generation.” -Phil Lord

The Last Man on Earth premieres on Sunday, March 1st at 9pm.

Wayward Pines

Wayward Pines (FOX) Cast

FOX’s new series, Wayward Pines, is based on the novel “Pines” by Blake Crouch and takes place in the perfect American town, which turns out to be not so perfect when our protagonist Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillion) realizes he can’t leave.

Here are some highlights from the panel:

– After he read the script, executive producer M. Night Shyamalan said, “As long as everyone isn’t dead, I’m in.”

– Shyamalan loves to develop characters, so he enjoys TV because it allows him to spend more time doing it. He added that the dinner table scene is his favorite scenes to write.

– Executive producer Chad Hodge revealed that we will find out the truth halfway through the season and then the story continues from there. Melissa Leo, who plays Nurse Pam, added that in every of the 10 episodes you will learn something.

– If the opportunity arises, Hodge would love to do a second season.

– Shyamalan shared that halfway through the season the show becomes an entire new genre.

– Even as you understand what the truth is and get a different context, the mystery of human beings and the circumstances they are all in continues to drive the show, Carla Gugino explained.

– The show air its 10 episodes continuously.

Wayward Pines premieres on May 14th at 9pm.

Masterchef Junior

MasterChef Junior

Masterchef Junior just premiered its third season with a new group of contestants.

Here are some highlights from the panel:

– When she’s in the kitchen, Judge Christina Tosi tries to think about making food even better than it is.

– Gordon Ramsey said he doesn’t like to waste food and always tries to find ways to utilize leftovers.

– “It’s all about making the judges smile when they taste your food” -Jimmy, one of the contestants this season

– Executive producer Robin Ashbrook shared that it is pretty inspiring to see kids who come to try out for the show who started cooking because of the show.

– Ramsey finds watching the kids pick combinations fascinating because a lot of it the judges wouldn’t do it themselves.

– Contestant Jimmy said that the show makes you learn how to cook under pressure, because it’s not something you would get in a regular cooking class.

– They have just finished casting for season 4 and will start shooting in the next 3-4 months.

Masterchef Junior airs on Tuesdays at 8pm.