ABC is sticking to a fairly traditional fall rollout, announcing premiere-week returns on Tuesday for top shows like “Modern Family,” “Scandal” and “Once Upon a Time” while kicking off “Dancing With the Stars” a bit early and giving new drama “Forever” a special Monday launch.
“Dancing” kicks off the Alphabet’s fall with a Sept. 15 bow (one week before the start of the season) that will enable it to avoid going head-to-head with the premieres of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” NBC’s “The Voice” and Fox’s “Gotham.”
One week later, “Dancing With the Stars” is followed by a special sneak preview episode of new drama “Forever,” starring Ioan Gruffudd as an immortal crime-solver. It will go up against the season premiere of NBC’s “The Blacklist” and the season finale of CBS’ “Under the Dome.” “Castle” makes its return on Sept. 29.
“Forever” then bows in its regular Tuesday 10 o’clock the next night. That same Tuesday will also see the second-season premiere of “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” at 9 p.m., where its competition will include the series premiere of “NCIS: New Orleans.”
To borrow a couple terms from TV industry jargon, ABC’s new drama series Forever is a “procedural” with a “mythology.” At today’s TCA, executive producer Matt Miller tried to explain how those two elements will fit together in the new show, about an immortal medical examiner (Dr. Henry Morgan, played by Ioan Gruffudd).
There are some constants to the mythology of Henry Morgan: Whenever he dies and shows up in another place and time, he always arrives in water and he’s always naked: “A little something for the audience,” quipped Miller.
And he won’t die in every episode. Even though Henry Morgan is immortal “the character experiences the pain of the death. We don’t want to kill him every episode — give him a week off. I think he dies three or four times in the pilot which is a bit much,” Miller said. Later in the series, Morgan will experience only “special occasion deaths,” Miller said.
But any explanation of why he’s immortal will unfold very slowly: “Not over 13 episodes or even a full season,” Miller said. (Miller revealed that he and EP partner David Wilcox had developed a full mythology for their supernatural ABC series 666 Park Avenue, but that one got canceled before they were able to complete their planned storyline).
Miller was asked whether he had in mind the 2008 Fox series Amsterdam, about immortal homicide detective, while developing the show. That series only lasted 8 episodes. Miller said he did not know about the show until he saw some comments about on an industry website while Amsterdam was being pitched. He said his show has found an appropriate home on ABC.
Miller told a funny-sad story about how he got the idea for the show: “It was pilot season and I was putting my 5-year-old son to bed. He asked me: Daddy, are you ever going to die?’” At first Miller told him no, but eventually in order not to lie to his son he added: “I will die, but it won’t be for a very long time and by then you’ll probably want me dead. He burst out crying, and my wife came in and continued raising my child and I went off to write television.”
More seriously, Miller said he thought about the concept of immortality and realized that it would mean the pain of watching one’s own children grow old and die. He said that reality informed the decision to make the character a medical examiner, obsessed with studying the human body so he might break his own “curse” of immortality.
Miller was asked: Would any form of death eventually kill off Henry Morgan?
“Cancellation,” joked Miller.
ABC hopes you’ll spend Forever with Ioan Gruffudd. The Welsh actor, who first made his mark on American TV with Horatio Hornblower, stars in ABC’s Forever as a New York City medical examiner with a secret: he can’t die. (Technically, Henry Morgan does die – he just doesn’t stay dead.) Henry hasn’t been around forever, but he has lived for over 200 years, which the show uses to help explain his Sherlock-level powers of observation.
Casting Gruffudd for a man born in a much earlier century was a natural choice, says creator Matt Miller. Because he’s done so much period work, “it already feels like he’s been around for a long time.”
For Gruffudd, the physical challenge of the role stems from the character’s particular way of being reborn: buck naked. “It made me appreciate the fact that I had a muscle suit on as Mister Fantastic (in Fantastic Four)…I’m not getting younger, so there’s a commitment to the cause that one has to make.”
While the fantasy element defines Forever, it’s also a procedural: Henry helps Alana De La Garza’s police detective solve crimes. “I think that’s one of the fun elements of the show and what attracted me to the show,” says Gruffudd. “He’s using his experience and wealth of knowledge over time to untangle the case.”
When Henry dies, everything disappears — his body, his clothes, his wallet, and his driver’s license. “The spin-off,” Miller jokes, “will be Henry at the DMV.”
Two people know Henry’s secret. One is a mystery stalker whose identity is not revealed in the pilot; the other is his best and only friend, played by Judd Hirsch.
“Every once in a while, the intelligence of a show just grabs me,” says Hirsch. It happened with Numb3rs, and it happened again here. “To play someone special and to be able to develop a character? That’s a gift for an actor.”
And why did he do Sharknado 2? “They told me I was going to be eaten by a shark. I said ‘I’m in.’”
In TV, of course, people may die — but ideas seldom do. If you remember the short-lived Fox series New Amsterdam, then you’re no doubt thinking the fantasy-idea behind Forever sounds just like that Fox flop.
Creator Matt Miller is aware of the comparison now – but says he wasn’t when he created the show. “It came up when I was pitching the show,” he says. “I had not seen New Amsterdam.”
Source: USA Today
What if you could be immortal and live forever? Would you find it a blessing or a curse? Meet Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd), New York City’s star medical examiner who has an unusual secret. He doesn’t just study the dead to solve criminal cases — he is trying to solve a mystery that has eluded him for over 200 years: his own inexplicable immortality. Henry’s exciting, adventurous and intriguing long life has blessed him with amazing insight and observational skills, which not only impresses his new partner, Detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza), but peaks her curiosity about who he is. Each week, a new case and their budding friendship will peel back the layers of Henry’s colorful extraordinary past, on ABC’s new drama, “Forever.”
ABC has released a new promo clip for Forever, titled ‘My Life’; a short introduction of Dr. Henry Morgan to the viewers. View the clip below. Who’s excited for this series? :)
Out: Prison jumpsuit. In: Gun and badge.
That’ll be the case for Orange Is the New Black‘s Lorraine Toussaint now that she’slanded a series-regular role on ABC’s upcoming fall drama Forever.
Forever stars Ioan Gruffudd as Dr. Henry Morgan, a New York City medical examiner who studies the dead — because he is secretly immortal. Law and Order vet de la Garza plays the recently widowed NYPD homicide detective who utilizes Henry’s insights in her investigations.
Forever will air Tuesdays at 10/9c on ABC, follwing Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The gallery has been updated with additional & brand new production stills for various movies, including an unseen still for A Many Splintered Thing & The Kid, as well as extra stills for King Arthur & The Secret of Moonacre. :) Gallery links & previews are below, enjoy!