Las Vegas: Interview with Gary Scott Thompson!
Post by: Sal
You think you're upset that Las Vegas is ending its five-year run on a frakkin' cliff-hanger? Imagine how the show's creator, Gary Scott Thompson, feels. Actually, there's no need to imagine since I just hung up with him! Not surprisingly, he had lots to say about Vegas' unceremonious axing, the cast's reaction, and the possibility of a two-hour movie to tie up all the loose ends.
How are you doing?
Gary Scott Thompson: I've had better weeks.
When did NBC inform you that the show was toast?
Thompson: I got the official word last Wednesday.
What do you think happened?
Thompson: We were probably the first victim of the strike. The strike did us in. We had three more episodes to shoot for the season, which we didn't get done. And the "To be continued… " was actually supposed to be the first part of a two-parter. But that's as far as we got. We had four or five scripts in different stages that we didn't complete.
So, you fully expected to return after the strike to complete those three episodes?
Thompson: I think most people did. I just had a bad feeling having weathered the 1988 strike. For me, I just looked at the numbers and I looked at where we were in the season and I know how much it would've cost to start us back up… I told my writers ahead of time, "If there's a strike, it's going to be shows like ours that get hurt the most." And there will be others. We're just one of the first ones because [our sets] are sitting on huge, massive stages. It's going to take us six to eight weeks to strike that casino.
When does that process start?
Thompson: It's already happening. The body wasn't even cold.
Was the idea of a two-hour wrap-up movie brought up?
Thompson: We had talked about that earlier. At the end of the day, that's NBC's decision. It's a monetary decision. You know, I sold my soul to get a Season 5, so I didn't have a soul left to sell. We fought an uphill battle from day one. We were the little big show that could.
What about doing a direct-to-DVD ending, like Bill Lawrence was prepared to do with Scrubs?
Thompson: I thought about that, but Bill is lucky in that he has a different studio [ABC Studios] producing his show. I'm in the same place: It's NBC Studios and NBC Networks. It's all the same money. That's the difference. I've been making as many phone calls as I can make; I don't know who else to call.
Are fans wasting their time organizing campaigns to bring the show back?
Thompson: I have no idea. I have no control over that at all. That's NBC's decision. I know that [fans] have a valid point, since the last episode said, "To be continued… " Just from our perspective, we all feel bad because we didn't get to end it. Josh and Molly feel very bad, because it's their characters' baby. And I had an ending all worked out.
What was going to happen?
Thompson: My plan was to wrap it up and make it satisfying for all the fans, and, in some ways, give ourselves an incredible curtain call with all the major characters who have been on Vegas.
Do you hold out any hope that you'll be able to deliver that ending in some form?
Thompson: This is Las Vegas; there's always hope.