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'Big Love' creators talk Emmys, Season 4 surprises

July 27, 2009 |  3:07 pm

672021_BL5306_05a File it under things that are awesome: “Big Love” has been nominated for a best drama Emmy! It’s sweet vindication for fans of the acclaimed HBO series who have seen this extended family drama finish its strongest season yet.

And the show runners don’t find it too shabby, either. “We're beyond thrilled to be recognized, finally, and honored to be a part of a really amazing group of nominees,” wrote “Big Love” creators/executive producers Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer in an e-mail. “Honestly, we feel just to be nominated is already to have won. And to be nominated, for a first time, for our third season, suggests to us it really is about the work -- not the buzz or the hype, but the bone-crushing, sleep-depriving, punishing, yet exhilarating work that all of us invest in the show.”

The news is a little bittersweet, however, as the series failed to garner any nominations aside from best drama. “Of course, we're disappointed that our actors, writers, directors and creative team were not nominated,” Olsen and Scheffer wrote. “But we're hopeful this nomination opens the door for a fuller, longer look by the Academy next year. A show really can't be recognized as being superior without recognizing the superiority of its constituent parts. In fact, we think our show is so strong in all of its elements, from acting to costumes, music and editing (not to mention writing), that we're confident it really is just a matter of time, and that due recognition will come.”

In the meantime, Season 4 is just around the corner, and we asked Olsen and Scheffer to give us a little glimpse as to what we can expect come January. The biggest doozy comes with the patriarch. “Bill is going to take an action that is fundamentally more dramatic and potentially game changing than anything he's done before,” the creators declared. “He's seeking political office in Utah.” Gasp -- and risk exposure for his entire family? “Let’s just say the stakes are life and death and that he sees no other way but to batten down the hatches and dive into the fray,” they said.

672028_BL3LT_308_1297 Bill’s run for office doesn’t put a stop to the  Indian casino storyline, however. “We will be there on the reservation in Idaho to fully participate in the Casino opening and everything that new franchise implies,” the creators said. “And where there is a Casino, intrigue follows, and Barb will play significantly in it.” The creators confirmed reports that Adam Beach (“Law & Order: SVU”) has been cast as gaming bigwig Jerry Flute’s son. According to the creators, Beach “is going to be a great character in terms of opening up that world for our family and our viewers.”

Back on the homestead, Nicki has her hands full now that teenage daughter Cara Lynn is back in her life. Also, “things are still a bit rocky with Bill after her indiscretions last year, so expect some more trouble for her and from her around her ex husband J.J coming back into the picture,” they wrote. Back at Juniper Creek, Roman is still dead (alas), and “compound life is never going to be the same.”

It’s going to be a banner year for the women. “All of our females (including Adaleen, Lois, Wanda, Heather, Cara Lynn, Lura) are starting from completely new positions of reality and conflicts,” the creators wrote. “It’s a season of rebirths, with all the excitement and danger that implies.” Margie’s chugging along with her new jewelry business. “She's coming into her own in a way that's unprecedented for her character,” Olsen and Scheffer wrote. “Her struggles to reinvent herself in the midst of the patriarchal family system she's a part of is going to resound and echo through the season for her and Bill, and also for the other wives.”

“Sarah is becoming her own woman,” the producing team offered. “Even Teenie is back from her long summer away at various camps and an extended ‘rehabilitative’ stay with Barb's side of the family. So she's like an entirely different person, too.”

As for the oldest Henrickson son, “Ben is maturing and he's reaching that moment in his life where simply living out his father's wishes for him may not be enough to satisfy him anymore,” Olsen and Scheffer said. They concluded with a phrase that could be summed up for the entire season: “Expect surprises.”

-- Allyssa Lee

Photos: Lacey Terrell / HBO