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Monday, July 14, 2008

Harper's Island: Slasher TV?

Admittedly, I’m wary of investing too much of my time and energy in new TV shows these days. Network television is decidedly too fickle for me most days, with itchy trigger-fingered executives ready to pull the plug on promising shows at the first sign of trouble – whether real or anticipated. Too many of today’s network honchos are reactionaries instead of visionaries, talking heads going endlessly roundabout with an entire generation of attention-deficit viewers with too many choices and lightning-fast remotes. The senseless whirligig of modern TV programming.

The last shows I got excited about – really excited about – were Desperate Housewives and Pushing Daisies. Happily, both prevailed (one by default by riding the coattails of the Writer’s Strike). But for every show that makes the cut past its freshman year, three get the axe before their second airing.

So, it’s with great trepidation that I get excited – really, really excited – by what’s promising to be a slasher geek’s wet dream come true: TV’s first-ever weekly slasher drama! CBS has slated Harper’s Island as a mid-season replacement for the 2008-2009 season.

Described as Scream meets Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians (I’m already plotzing!), Harper’s Island is a serialized murder mystery/horror drama that unfolds as friends and family arrive for a destination wedding on the secluded and picturesque island childhood home of the bride and groom. When the wedding guests and island locals start to be picked off one by one at the hands of a mysterious killer, attention turns to the island’s dark history and a homicidal maniac's rampage seven years prior. Here’s a teaser of the pilot presentation, penned by Ari Schlossberg and directed by Jon Turteltaub:



Now that CBS has greenlighted the show, Jeffrey Bell (The X-Files, Angel, and Alias) has been tapped as the show’s executive producer and showrunner with much of the show now being retooled. Although original pilot star Elaine Cassidy is expected to remain onboard as a wedding guest named Abby (whose mother was one of the victims of the original psychopath, long thought killed by the island’s sheriff…who happens to be Abby’s father), recasts of most of the principles are expected. Ryan Merriman (playing Henry, the groom) has already been recast with departing Ugly Betty star Christopher Gorham.


As anyone who has read The Literary Six knows, I’m a sucker for ensemble murder mystery/horror hybrids on secluded islands! File this under “Can’t freakin’ wait!”

2 comments:

Absinthe said...

Actually that does sound pretty cool - but - I'm guessing it will be good for only the first few seasons (if it lasts) and then will degenerate like Lost and Prison Break did when they run out of characters and mysteries. Or we can always hope it may settle into just Twin Peaks weirdness. Non the less I'll be programming the Tivo and crossing my fingers.

Cyn said...

I am so excited about this show and so worried that they won't give it a real chance. Serialized shows haven't gone over all that well lately but I'm hoping.

It kind of reminds me of a fictional version of that reality show where people had to solve a murder mystery. Does anyone remember that?