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ABC's 'FlashForward': Producers talk up early buzz

June 17, 2009 |  4:17 pm

Ff Under penalty of being blacklisted from all things ABC, we bring you news -- but not a review -- from a press screening of the network's coming sci-fi-tinged drama "FlashForward." (The title! That's the first piece of news. It has gone from two words to one. Buh-bye space between H and F!)

"FlashForward," loosely based on Robert J. Sawyer's novel of the same name, revolves around a mysterious global event in which all of mankind suffers a brief, simultaneous blackout and gets a glimpse of their lives six months from now. Joseph Fiennes stars as FBI agent Mark Benford, the man charged with unraveling the cause behind the event. His own gritty vision includes what appears to be clues to cracking the case. Other so-called easter eggs -- try a kangaroo hopping around downtown L.A. -- appear to be scattered throughout the hour.

Which means show runners David S. Goyer and Marc Guggenheim were mostly tight-lipped at the Q&A that followed, but managed to talk (a little) about . . .

Dominic Monaghan: TV biz watchers have been tracking -- but will still not get confirmation -- on the rumors that the "Lost" casualty has been added to the cast. Goyer and Guggenheim declined to speak to the online speculation. "Obviously, we're not going to tell you that," Goyer said. "So much of the speculation is so . . . wrong; it's awesome."

Sonya Walger: Otherwise known as Penny, Desmond's beloved on "Lost." She plays Benford's wife, Dr. Olivia Benford, a series regular, but will it spell doom for Penny? Of course, no one's talking.

Seth MacFarlane: Yes, Seth MacFarlane, creator of "Family Guy," has landed himself a recurring role on the show as part of the FBI team working alongside Benford. Goyer said MacFarlane liked the script so much he "begged" for a part on it. Ditto "E.R." alumna Alex Kingston, who also appears in the pilot.

April 29, 2010: It's not much of a spoiler to say it's an important date on the show. The first season will build to this day -- but it won't be the finale.

A contained story: Provided ratings are strong, Goyer said, the series could be completed in as few as three seasons or as many as seven.

You think you know the story they're telling . . . : But producers promise: You don't! After the first seven episodes, the rules will be established and will be so not what we were thinking. And that's all they're saying about that.

Advance planning in a post-'Lost' world: If anything, the producers were full of assurances that there would be no loose ends on the show. "By the end of the first season, we'll have caught up to their future and things will be resolved," Goyer said. In regard to the first 24 episodes, the fates of the 10 main characters have long been decided, he added. 

Also, of note, Brannon Braga, who created the show with Goyer, will remain an executive producer, but will continue day to day as a co-executive producer on "24."

-- Denise Martin

Photo credit: ABC