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Matt Roush on Traveler, Heroes and Drive

(c) TV

July 30, 2007

Question: Please give me some good news: that "Traveler" is coming back. I was treated to eight episodes of twists, turns, suspense and drama. Not to mention all-around good acting! I was happy to see such a thought-out and well-written show. If it is indeed gone, I am sick and tired of networks pulling this. If you don't think your show has the slightest chance of doing well, then please don't put it on the air. I purposefully stayed away from shows last season (e.g., "Heroes") because I was afraid they would get canceled before they had a chance to go anywhere (like "Drive"). As for "Traveler," I'd even be happy with another eight-episode mini-arc (next summer?) or a few "movies" to close it out.— David

Matt Roush: Lots of questions about "Traveler" since it signed off, but sorry, no good news. It was pretty obvious from the start that this show, being launched outside the regular season, was being burned off, and unless the numbers had somehow gone through the roof (which didn't happen), these eight episodes were the sum total of the show. (At least all eight episodes aired. These days, that's hardly a given.) When ABC's entertainment chief Steve McPherson talked to the press last week, he pretty much admitted they'd given up on this one, choosing not to support it after being "disappointed in the way that show creatively developed." Given the sorry fate of most serialized thrillers on the networks last season, he probably feels justified in his decision. But it's also something of a self-fulfilling prophecy if you don't even try. In this case, you may be right that the best decision might have been to just shelve the project altogether. But from what I can tell, plenty of those who watched it (I wasn't among them) liked it for as long as it went. Would you really have rather not seen it at all? And speaking of self-fulfilling prophecies, I'll state my contention again that if you choose not to get behind shows out of a fear they'll get canceled, you may only be contributing to the problem.

Ausiello on Traveler, August 1, 2007

Question: Regarding ABC's "Traveler," fans are all abuzz about Stephen McPherson's press tour comments. I was just curious: In what context was the comment made?— Lori Swanson

Ausiello: A reporter asked why the show was banished to summer, and here's his verbatim response: "We were disappointed in the way that that show was creatively developed, and [it] ended up being just not… not to the level that we thought it could succeed. And so it didn't get the kind of support that, you know, we gave some other shows that we believed in a lot more." Don't shoot the messenger!

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