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From Eonline.com


E!Online - Watch With Kristin - December 19, 2003

Friday 19 December 2003

Watch With Kristin

grill, gossip, and gripe

The Globes Giveth and Taketh Away—and See What Show Peeps Will Do to Protect Their Plots by Kristin | December 19, 2003 (The artist formerly known as Wanda)

It’s a War Out There: Once upon a time, back when I began this gig, TV show spoilers flowed like boxed wine. But recently, it seems TV producers are doing whatever it takes to cut off us journalists—employing various schemes to keep inside info out of the fans’ hands.

Case in point: When the long missed Christian Kane recently returned to the WB’s Angel to hop in the sack with costar Sarah Thompson (Eve) and reveal her character was evil, Joss Whedon and his minions went all out to protect the surprise.

"People were freaking out a little, trying to keep it under wraps," Christian told me at the show’s 100th episode junket. "They had me using a fake name—an alias—and they kept me out of the credits. We did this scene at a strip club with a whole lot of extras, and no one was allowed to use my name."

That included his costar Sarah, who herself didn’t know until the last second. "That scene was not even in the script," she says. "And then one day, I went in my trailer and there was an envelope marked ’CONFIDENTIAL,’ with a note attached that said, ’For Your Eyes Only.’ I felt important, like I had this secret to behold."

But Angel is hardly the only show stepping up the anti-spoiler attacks

Alias used an alias (how fitting!) on paperwork regarding Isabella Rossellini last week, in an effort to keep her character under wraps (unbeknownst to me when I blabbed it last Monday—my bad, your bonus).

According to the New York Observer, Sex and the City has filmed three endings for the girls, and blacked out Carrie’s trademark voiceovers in final copies of the scripts.

And 24 is a virtual Fort Knox of spoiler control—thanks to confidentiality agreements, red-paper script pages (which can’t be photocopied) and the alternate-scenes shoots you may have heard about during the first-season finale. They shot one version where Teri (Leslie Hope) lived, which in the other, she died.

Hope (now starring on ABC’s Line of Fire, which we’ll get to later) actually learned her fate with the rest of the world. "We shot both scenarios, and it was clear to everyone involved that the better choice was dead Teri. Kiefer Sutherland was terrific...I was so personally involved in the show, but still I didn’t know, officially, until the episode aired."

Job security is one downside for actors who are kept in the dark. Another is the challenge of playing a character without knowing his or her true intentions.

"In the episode, we had the big reveal," Angel’s Sarah Thompson tells me. "The director was telling me what to do and saying, ’It will all make sense when you shoot your secret scene.’ And I was like, ’What happens?!’ I trusted him, so I said I’d do it. You are sort of at their mercy."

"You have to keep an air of mystery on a show like this," says D.B. Woodside, who joined 24 this season as Dennis Haysbert’s onscreen brother. "They tell you very little, and you need to be ready for anything."

Given all the efforts producers go through, they obviously don’t want actors blabbing anything to, of all people, reporters. Actors can face consequences if they do, even on a silly reality show like Average Joe. A source close to the set tells me John (much ridiculed for his operatic serenades of Melena) revealed too much during an interview toward the end of the show, and Average John was yanked from five subsequent interviews with other media outlets.

All this effort to prevent the average viewer from knowing too much of what lies ahead. It begs the question: Is it worth all that trouble?

When you think about it, in certain circumstances, it is. As much as we spoiler hounds might think we want to know every last detail, there is something so lip-smackingly delicious about picking your jaw up off the floor after a truly unexpected twist.

Vaughn is married...Teri is dead...Rachel is pregnant.

Now, dem dere’s some good TV!

1 Message

  • > E!Online - Watch With Kristin - December 19, 2003

    19 December 2003 18:21, by Lil’dread
    This seems like much ado about nothing! I would wager that the majority of viewers don’t have time to read about upcoming shows, nor do they participate in chat boards on the net! Only we obscessed fans sniff around for spoilers!