Believe it or not, this is a production shakeup that’s not really a shakeup.
Nor is it unexpected.
David S. Goyer has become the new showrunner for the ABC series “FlashForward,” replacing Marc Guggenheim after 12 episodes. But is the network upset with Guggenheim as Ain’t It Cool News suggested when it broke the story late Tuesday night? Or is this simply a planned move by ABC all along as soon as the network was convinced Goyer could run the show on his own?
It all depends who you talk to, apparently.
Goyer, best known for his work writing blockbuster films like “Batman Begins” and its sequel, “The Dark Knight,” was in line to take over showrunning responsibilities for the show from the beginning. However, his experience in running a show like “FlashForward” — or any show for that matter — prompted ABC to bring in Guggenheim, probably best known to genre fans as the co-creator of the short-lived “Eli Stone.”
Once Goyer learned the ropes, Guggenheim was allowed to pursue other aspects of his development deal with ABC, and Goyer took control, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It’s a similar move to what CBS did earlier this week when it removed temporary showrunner Dee Johnson from its freshman hit “The Good Wife” and allowed creators Robert King and Michelle King to take over.
Goyer will be be the man in charge for the recently picked-up back nine order of the show, which is trying to build on a somewhat average audience in its first year. It premiered with a 7.7 rating/13 share, according to Fast National ratings from The Nielsen Co., and dropped 13 percent after its premiere. “FlashForward” lost another 12 percent in its third week to finish with a 5.9/9, and has averaged a 6.5/11 as a direct lead-in to ratings powerhouse “Grey’s Anatomy,” which is building its “FlashForward” audience by 51 percent.
“FlashForward” beat out comedies on NBC, and tied with “Bones” on Fox for second place in its timeslot, all behind “Survivor: Samoa” on CBS.
Goyer, however, didn’t develop “FlashForward” for television by himself. “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Star Trek: Enterprise” co-creator Brannon Braga, who has had plenty of experience running shows in the past, worked with Goyer to bring the Robert Sawyer novel to live on the small screen. However, he is contractually committed to continue his work on the hit Fox series “24” through this season, and thus has done limited work on “FlashForward” since its premiere.
“FlashForward” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.