‘FlashForward’ Prognosis: ABC’s Next Big Hit

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I was at a screening in New York last night for ABC’s ‘FlashForward,’ one of the buzziest new shows of the new fall TV season. The network began promoting this series during ‘Lost.’ Needless to say, they are very high on it. And for good reason. The pilot was fast-paced, mysterious and immediately addictive, promising future thrills and much morning-after debate around the water-cooler.

Let me fill you in: In an opening reminiscent of the Oceanic 815 crash in the ‘Lost’ premiere, the pilot sets up the holy crap premise (I’m not giving anything away here) by presenting a scene of pure chaos in which downtown LA looks like it has been in the middle of a bomb that went off. People are bloodied and dazed, cars are upside down. Suddenly the camera zooms in on Joseph Fiennes, in the role of FBI agent Mark Banford, who is thinking thesame thing viewers are: What happened?

Then viewers are taken back four hours, where it’s revealed the event was caused by a worldwide, global event in which every person on the planet blacked out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. During the blackout, most of the people seem to have experienced a dream-like vision of the future.

Some tidbits from the first hour:

  • One of the character’s flash forward dream shows their marriage crumbling.
  • One character doesn’t have a flash forward dream- does that mean they’re doomed?
  • One character’s dream details a bad habit coming back into the picture.
  • Seth MacFarlane (creator of ‘Family Guy‘) makes a surprise appearance.
  • A seemingly misplaced marsupial is there for a reason.
  • April 29, 2010 is a very important date.
  • A twist at the end of the hour has me counting the minutes until Episode 2…
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    After the screening, executive Producer Jessika Goyer answered questions. She said the series would not necessarily follow the book on which it’s based, and yes the producers know exactly where the show is headed, have it mapped out, and ideally she could envision a 5-year run (at least). Goyer also said we would see more of MacFarlane, admitting she could be “the biggest ‘Family Guy’ fan on the planet.”

    Goyer said doesn’t see the series as sci-fi or supernatural in nature,explaining “the only extraordinary event that happens in the series is the 2 minutes, 17 second black-out the characters experience.” Goyer went on to say there would be self-contained stories in every episode, but loyal viewers would also find clues to the bigger mystery.

    FlashForward‘ premieres Thursday September 24th at 8pm ET on ABC.

    The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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