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Lois and Clark Producer John McNamara shares Superman Memories

April 27, 2010

In a recent interview session with John McNamara he spoke about his work on Lois and Clark. McNamara is currently helming the USA series In Plain Sight. During the session which focused on his stepping in as the new showrunner for IPS he had this to say about his work on LNC as well as sharing a brief hint about what Smallville’s Jimmy Olsen may be doing on the show:

Question: I was curious, I know you did Lois & Clarke and also Jericho. Can you talk a little bit about that?

J. McNamara Both really good jobs, both fun, both great people to work with, the writers of both those shows, very few similarities between those shows, Lois & Clark and Jericho. Jericho was a much wider canvas, much more a show about humanity pushed to the very edge of how would you behave if all the … of society were suddenly gone. Lois & Clark was much, much, much more of a childhood wish fulfilled. Somebody once said the definition of happiness is a childhood wish fulfilled without fear. That was one of the best jobs that I ever had because I love Superman. I have never really outgrown Superman. So the fun of that show was to look at Lois & Clark, the Superman mythology skewed through the lens of romantic comedy.

I do think that there’s some echoes of that in In Plain Sight, not literally, but the idea that you could take something like a very tough, almost….U.S. marshal concept like the show, but remember that you keep skewing it through unique characters who have a really unique point of view that sometimes is that they’re at odds with each other. And that’s Marshall and Mary. Even though that’s not per se a typical love story, whereas Lois & Clark really was, you knew they were going to end up together eventually, this one is I think less defined and maybe a little bit less archetypal. It’s still the same skill set of don’t go for the cliché, go for the character and go for the humor. Don’t go for the shtick or the gag. Go for the humor that comes out of character. That was the real fun of Lois & Clark was trying to mime the character in a way that you’ve never seen before.

Question: …….. you talked a lot about USA networks and you talked about the difference between working for USA and the major broadcast networks. Considering your experiences with shows like Jericho and how the network interference ruined Lois & Clark, are you scared that’s going to happen again? And then do you think the fact that it’s on cable, there’s a whole different expectation for the show beyond just the basic rating number?

J. McNamara I want to, first of all, point out, I don’t think network interference ruined Lois & Clark. I think that the decision, a big decision by a lot of us to get them married probably was not the most brilliant decision of the century. You try stuff. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, lesson learned. But I wouldn’t blame any one individual or corporation for that decision. It had a good run. It was a good four year run that just didn’t quite get to that whatever, ninth year. But it was a really good show, and I’m real proud of that show.

Question: We did hear that Aaron Ashmore is coming on the latter part of the season as Mary’s half brother. Can you tell us a little bit more about that, whether we’re going to possibly see Mary’s father?

J. McNamara : I don’t want to give anything away. I want to be really careful about that. I think that there’s some good stuff coming up. That’s all I’m going to say.

Read the rest of the interview session on our sister site TheEntertainmentHotline HERE

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