It’s always interesting when a new show with seeming seriable potential comes along, a lot of the time you never quite know exactly where it will fall on the serialized measuring stick (we have one!) until it airs, and even then it might be a while before the show is able embrace its DNA, particularly on network. Still, that’s part of the adventure.
ABC’s supernatural thriller 666 Park Avenue is one such new arrival that we have tagged as having decent serialized potential, which is pretty much how executive producer Matthew Miller described the show’s format at Friday’s press tour. He said:
“The way we’re going to structure the majority of the [episodes] are [that there] will be slightly serialized elements and we’ll explore [different] residents”
While we expected as much, hearing it from the ‘horses mouth’, so to speak, is certainly good news for fans of Serialized TV, particularly those who enjoy a good fright. I always like it when a show with serialized elements just comes out and says so. I understand why creators of some shows don’t, of course, but serial is nothing to be ashamed of, quite the opposite.
Back to the horror aspect, another question concerned how 666 would compete with the relative freedom that cable affords the likes of American Horror Story and The Walking Dead. For creator/exec. producer David Wilcox, it’s less about blood and gore and more about using their own psychological toolkit, ala Alfred Hitchcock films, The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby and Blue Velvet:
“There are people who love to see blood and murder and mayhem and there are other shows on cable that have that freedom to do that. For us, it’s a psychological horror. It’s driven by suspense, it’s driven by mystery [..] Not to say there aren’t some shocking, visceral moments, but we have to be a little different”.
As for the ‘devil elements’ in the series, Wilcox said they are interested in creating their own unique mythology rather than drawing too much from what’s already out there:
“I have no idea what the limits are for ABC, but we’re really trying not to lean into the sort of expected elements of this kind of world [..] We want things to be off the nose. We’re not interested in creating a formula for the show. We want to create a mythology that is very rich.”
Interestingly, the producers already have a plan for Season 2, should the series make it that far, with Wilcox saying they are “writing season [one] with a very specific plan.” As we said earlier, there’s more than one way to construct a serial, and planning the macro story early on is one way to go about it. Here’s an early piece of the puzzle for you: actors Rachael Taylor and Dave Annable are included in the season two plan.
666 Park Avenue premieres Sunday, September 30 at 10pm on ABC