VIFF INDUSTRY: Too Much TV? How to Break Through & Keep Audience with FARGO’s Warren Littlefield, HALT & CATCH FIRE’s Christopher Rogers & CONTINUUM’s Simon Barry on October 2nd

Too Much Television. That’s what John Landgraf,  CEO of FX Networks famously said this year. With over 400 original scripted shows airing in the U.S. in 2015, how do creators and producers break through and keep an audience? Especially when competing against other good shows. Is there a limited time and a finite audience now?

Fargo executive producer Warren Littlefield, Halt and Catch Fire co-creator Christopher Rogers and homegrown Continuum creator Simon Barry join The Hollywood Reporter’s Chief TV Critic Tim Goodman for a frank discussion about how to develop and sustain a TV series in what will be a can’t-miss panel on Friday, October 2nd at 10:15 a.m. Click here for tickets.

CONTINUUM, Fourth and Final Season Airing Now on Showcase in Canada and Syfy in the U.S.

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Homegrown writer-showrunner Simon Davis Barry, a UBC Film grad, created Vancouver-cop-from-the-future series Continuum while stuck in traffic and envisioning a future without cars. His future is a dystopian one where rising seas from global climate change wipe out the east coast making Vancouver a world financial centre where corporations have taken over failed governments. Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols), a corporate officer from the future, travels back in time to present-day, chasing a group of terrorists who plan to change the future from the past by targeting the corporations that will come to the rule the world. Always the good soldier in the future, Kiera slowly adjusts “her moral compass” and in the final season — airing now on Showcase and Syfy – she looks for a way to return home to what will be a changed future.  Continuum started out as part-procedural, part sci-fi but became more serialized. Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan is a big fan.

Related: Continuum Filming in Vancouver.

HALT AND CATCH FIRE, Second Season. Aired this summer on AMC.
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Christopher Rogers co-created this AMC series about the personal computer revolution in early 1980s Texas. Not long after IBM launches its groundbreaking PC in Silicon Prairie, a glitch in its operating code opens the way for competition. Former IBM exec and visionary Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace) forms a team — engineer Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy) and prodigy Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis)– to reverse engineer IBM’s tech. Halt and Catch Fire targeted its audience well, screening its pilot at the SxSW Festival and then streaming its premiere on AMC’s Tumblr page a few months later.
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FARGO , Second Season. Premieres  October 12th on FX.

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Former NBC president Warren Littlefield is the executive producer of Fargo created by Noah Hawley from the Cohen Brothers’ classic film of the same name. The darkly funny Calgary-filmed series racked up the awards for its first 10-episode season, winning the Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries and the Golden Globe for Best Miniseries. The first season took place in the winter of 2006 in Bemidi, Minnesota with Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo and Martin Freeman as the nebbish insurance salesman Lester Nyguard. Allison Tolman played fan favourite Deputy Molly Solverson and Colin Hanks a Duluth cop who teams up with her to solve a series of murders.

FARGO -- Pictured: Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard -- CR. Matthias Clamer/FX

Created as anthology, the second series is set 17 years earlier in the winter of 1979 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with a new cast: Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemmons as Peggy and Ed Blomquist,  Jean Smart as Floyd Gerhardt, Patrick Wilson as State Trooper Lou Solverson and  Ted Danson as Sheriff Hank Larrson.
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Season 2 trailer.

 

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