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'Medium' executive producer Glenn Gordon Caron is 'honored' to work for CBS again

May 20, 2009 | 12:32 pm


You would think that when a TV show moves from one network to the other that the executive producer who runs it and the star would be the first ones to know.

But that's not really how the TV business works.

It wasn't until "Medium" show runner Glenn Gordon Caron ("Moonlighting" and "Now and Again") and actress Patricia Arquette arrived in New York City on Wednesday morning, after a red-eye flight, that they were told that their 5-year-old series had been rescued by CBS. Of course, they both had heard the rumors Tuesday that CBS was interested after NBC unceremoniously dumped the show about a psychic and her family, but they had no confirmation that their show was alive.

Then late Tuesday evening, Caron said, he got a call from CBS Paramount, which produces the show, asking him to get on the next flight to the Big Apple. Knowing that today is CBS' turn to wow advertisers with its new fall schedule at Carnegie Hall, Caron had a feeling things were looking up, but, still, he wasn't sure.

"If you make television shows in 2009, you’re always worried," Caron said.  "You’re never sure that there will be a place for your show. CBS is the No. 1 network. They don’t have a compelling need to add new shows to their schedule.  Frankly, I’m very honored and gratified that they want to take the show on."

Caron, who produced "Now and Again" for CBS in 1999, knew that his friend, CBS Corp. President and Chief Executive Leslie Moonves, had always been fond of his series. When his plane landed and he was told that CBS had ordered "Medium," he learned just how much.

"[Moonves] has been an enormous friend and supporter and advocate of mine," Caron said. "He’s always been interested in the pilot. We’ve all said — wouldn’t it been funny if the show had somehow ended up on CBS at one point or another? This has been a five-year conversation."

The million-dollar question remains: What happened at NBC? Two weeks ago, it seemed like the show was poised for renewal.  Then, all of a sudden, on Tuesday Co-Chairman of  NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios Ben Silverman announced that it was over. As the show runner, Caron said, he wasn't privy to all of the negotiations but, "We had an expectation that we’d be back on NBC and I think NBC had an expectation that we’d be back on NBC. But, obviously things changed."

At issue was the number of episodes NBC wanted to order and the costs involved. As series age, they become more expensive as writers and actors make more money. NBC also faced the challenge of no longer having its 10 p.m. slot available for scripted programming.

"I think it’s pretty clear that when a studio sells a show to a network, there’s a deal worked in anticipation a show might last five, six, seven years," he said. "And, in turn, NBC wanted to modify those terms, both in terms of the number of episodes and what they were willing to pay for them. So this was a negotiation and this is how it ended up."

Caron said he is excited about the Friday-night time slot. "Medium" will be sandwiched between "Ghost Whisperer" and "Numb3rs," a line-up that has served CBS well for years. Fans need not worry: The quality and content of the show, Caron said, won't change.

"I make the show primarily, frankly, to please myself," Caron said. "I try and please myself. I try desperately not to embarrass Patricia. It’s my hope that if I do those two things, the audience will show up. And that won’t change. And the end of the day, it's just a show about a marriage -- a man and a woman, a character study in camouflage."

--Maria Elena Fernandez

(Photo courtesy CBS)