ALMOST HUMAN Boss Talks Serialized Balance, FRINGE Actors ‘Will Appear’


Fringe showrunner J.H. Wyman has opened up on the serial/procedural balance of his upcoming sci-fi series Almost Human.

Almost Human, starring Karl Urban and Michael Ealy, is an action-packed police drama set 35 years in the future where police officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids.

Speaking to IGN, Wyman further shared his plans on shaping the serialized/stand-alone balance of the show, citing Fringe and its deployment of ‘mythalones’ (overarching mythology and standalone episodes) as a basis:

Here’s the thing; it’s the age-old battle. The age-old battle is the networks want it to be standalones, and us guys want it to be mythology — so that’s the problem. I don’t know if you remember, but I figured it out on [Fringe’s] “White Tulip.” For me, I thought it was the right balance. So yeah, we want that. We’re going to take everything that we learned from Fringe and bring it over to this and say, “Okay, we want to have a very compelling case of the week,” because these are really cool cases. Criminals in the future, murders aren’t the same. Yeah, sure, they murder — the motivations are the same — but how they solve it and how people are killing, it’s very, very interesting. So we have a chance to show some incredible cases that you’ve never seen before, but you also want to see the mythology. So we don’t want to short shrift either.

Related – Almost Human Trailer

almost human pilot photos

Wyman is wary that building a layered and enduring mythology on network TV takes time to unfold, just as it did with Fringe. However, he believes Human‘s cop drama conceit will cast a wider net than Fringe‘s more kooky and downright delicious concoction:

We have a really rich, compelling mythology that we’re very proud of and that we can’t wait to roll out. But it’s going to have to take it’s time coming out and making it kind of “wow!”, you know what I mean? Because the fans — what we want to avoid is the freak of the week. This isn’t like that, these are really compelling cop cases. In particular, Fringe had a very specific audience that was very loyal. This sort of has a much wider target, because this is a cop show. So it has all the vitamins and minerals of a police drama, but it’s a different spin. We’re hoping that it’s going to be reminiscent of Fringe, but it’s going to have its own feel to it.

Fringe Saturn Awards

But could Fringe actors appear on Almost Human? Wyman suggests that it will at some point:

I can guarantee you that we’re going to see Fringe actors. I miss all of them so much, and we’ve been keeping in touch. Anything I can do — it’s just got to be worthy of them, because they’re all in my heart. I want to write them great stuff and make sure they come out with a big bang.

You can read more from Wyman on Almost Human at IGN.

Almost Human launches November on Fox.

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  1. says

    It’s good to hear that Wyman believes he’s learned from experiences on Fringe! One of my main problems with Fringe was that it took WAY too long to find its ever-changing niche… Hopefully his words here will hold weight and Almost Human will be grounded in a realm that’ll keep everyone happy. I’ll accept stand-alone episodes, but they need to have some relevance to them and they need to be appropriately placed. Fringe often suffered due to having filler episodes jammed into inorganic spots in the story. Narrative-wise, it almost felt like a Shonen Jump anime (all of which are NOTORIOUS for randomly slapping a painful number of filler in the middle of a heavy arc) at times. I’m really optimistic about Almost Human not having to deal with that to such a high degree.

    I’m also sky-high happy that Wyman plans to cast Fringe actors in new roles. There were a lot of stellar faces (both major and minor), and they’re all sorely neglected by the rest of the world, so it’d be great to see friends stick together and Wyman give a few Fringe alums new and fun roles. Just promise me you won’t make their new characters extensions of who they played in Fringe! I’d be pretty upset if Michael Eklund popped up only to play another Milo Stanfield.

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  2. Jim says

    This made me so much more excited! The same crew that worked on Fringe, with the possibility (Wyman seemed pretty certain, in fact) of Fringe actors appearing… I hope they won’t mess it up.

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  3. Dan says

    I’m torn here. On the one hand, I’ve come to despise normal cop shows. On the other, this sort of seems intriguing. I’m not sure if I should watch it every week, or just wait and watch a bunch of episodes in succession.

    I agree, Scott, if he brings back people that were on Fringe, I’d really hope they don’t play the same roles. It would be boring. Maybe some of them could have recurring mythos roles, like Lance Reddick on Lost (though hopefully more resolution than on Lost!).

    I’m not sure how much I trust that Wyman learned his lessons on Fringe. I always thought that Pinkner was the better of the two, and that Wyman leaned on the love/emotional aspects too much, but I’ll hold out hope for a bit.

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    • Page 48 says

      “On the one hand, I’ve come to despise normal cop shows”

      That’s my issue with this show. I know I’ll watch it, of course, but I do have a serious dislike for the standard cop/lawyer/doctor show. Clearly, this isn’t the standard cop show, though, and “Bad Robot” gets a very long leash from me (“What About Brian?” notwithstanding).

      I’m definitely a keener to have actors from the Robot’s growing stable appear on AH (as several have appeared on this season’s “Person of Interest”). My personal preference would be recurring roles (or regulars) rather than one-offs. Amy Acker and Sarah Shahi are working their way into the fabric of POI, but Jorge Garcia’s token appearance on “Fringe” was nothing more than a novelty. I would hate to see “Fringe” cast members used as ratings bait for AH and then disappear as quickly as they appeared. That would be a waste.

      Still, buddy-cop shows give me pause, but I’m prepared to be impressed.

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