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Danny Bilson & Paul DeMeo Chat @ Sci-Fi Auditorium Sept. 30/99 @ 9 p.m.

Session Start: Thu Sep 30 20:32:19 1999

[20:59] <Moderator> OKAY EVERYONE -- WE'RE GOING TO START. PAUL DEMEO IS WITH US NOW AND DANNY BILSON WILL BE JOINING US MOMENTARILY.

[21:00] <Moderator> Okay!

[21:00] <Moderator> Paul -- can you type???

[21:01] <Paul-DeMeo> See us?

[21:01] <Moderator> Yes I do!

[21:01] <Moderator> Hi everyone -- thanks for joining us. Our guests tonight are Danny

[21:01] <Moderator> Bilson & Paul DeMeo, the creative team behind THE SENTINEL which begins

[21:01] <Moderator> airing on The Sci-Fi Channel Tuesday, October 5 at 7 PM Eastern Time.

[21:01] <Moderator> For episode airdates, check out our web site's schedulebot here:

[21:01] <Moderator> http://www.scifi.com/schedulebot/

[21:01] <Moderator> For more information about The Sentinel, set your browser here:

[21:01] <Moderator> http://www.scifi.com/sentinel/ And we also have VERY active message

[21:01] <Moderator> boards, including this one:

[21:01] <Moderator> http://www.scifi.com/bboard/browse.cgi/1/5/1419

[21:02] <Moderator> Brief word about the drill: this is a MODERATED chat and that means

[21:02] <Moderator> your questions for Danny & Paul will need to be submitted through me

[21:02] <Moderator> (Moderator) as private messages. To send a private message, just double

[21:02] <Moderator> click on my name.

[21:02] <Moderator> Our first question:

[21:02] <Moderator> kandacek> to <Moderator>: What were your plans for season five?

[21:03] <Danny-Bilson> After a few episodes at the Police Academy

[21:03] <Danny-Bilson> Sandburg was goibg to flunk out

[21:03] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:03] <Paul-DeMeo> We had thought that we weren't gonna make him a real cop. Return him to academia

[21:04] <Paul-DeMeo> Play with relationships

[21:04] <Moderator> By the way everyone -- Danny & Paul are not hyping tourism in the state of Georgia -- GA means "go ahead."

[21:04] <Moderator> <akablonded> Danny B: What kind of stories did you like reading as a kid? How did it affect your creating THE SENTINEL?

[21:04] <Paul-DeMeo> We were on shakey gtound so we didn't plan too far in advance

[21:04] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:05] <Danny-Bilson> Well, I think I read all of the Hardy Boys

[21:05] <Danny-Bilson> Our guys are like Frank and Joe

[21:05] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:05] <Moderator> <AgtSpooky> : Danny and Paul, Did you have a "theme" in mind when writing The Sentinel? Some sort of message you wanted to get across to your viewers? Like Blair's famous line, "It's about friendship"?

[21:07] <Paul-DeMeo> That was certainly a theme that emerged very quickly. We don't have themes in mind. We want to entertain . The themes evolve organically. Though the relationship was central to what the show was to be

[21:07] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:07] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:07] <Moderator> Danny? Have any thou ghts?

[21:07] <Moderator> <rusty> : Were you surprised that the show attracted so many female viewers?

[21:08] <Danny-Bilson> Yes. We were surprised

[21:08] <Danny-Bilson> But when we began to understand that value we nurtured it

[21:08] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:09] <Moderator> <Stargazer455> : For either Danny or Paul....what type of research did you two do for the Sentinel's abilities?

[21:09] <Paul-DeMeo> I think we had lots of male viewers as well. But they weren't nearly as vocal or active. That surprised us

[21:09] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:09] <Paul-DeMeo> None

[21:09] <Danny-Bilson> We made it up!

[21:10] <Paul-DeMeo> It's like Sandburg says. Some people have heightens senses of smell and taste.

[21:10] <Paul-DeMeo> That much is true

[21:10] <Paul-DeMeo> The rest we made up

[21:10] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:10] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:10] <Moderator> There are a LOTTA questions along the lines of these next three:

[21:10] <Moderator> kandacek> : Did you have any plans to delve deeper into the mystical parts?

[21:10] <Moderator> <Nightowl> : Where did you plan to take the mystical elements (panther, wolf, etc.) of TS in the 5th season?

[21:10] <Moderator> <Geli> Do you think Jim has a six sense, like in Waiting room?

[21:11] <Danny-Bilson> Yeah, I think he does. We might have done another few episodes along those lines

[21:12] <Paul-DeMeo> We didn't intend to turn it into X-Files.

[21:12] <Paul-DeMeo> But we enjoyed exploring the supernatural. It was a natural area to explore

[21:12] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:12] <Moderator> <CelestialCat> : Would Jim and Blair have stayed with the Cascade PD, even if Blair was an observer, or would they have branched into a different direction?

[21:13] <Danny-Bilson> I think they would have stayed with the PD. Perhaps loaned out to a different city for story arcs elsewhere

[21:13] <Danny-Bilson> gA

[21:14] <Moderator> <wnnepooh> : For Danny or Paul: Watching your shows, not just Sentinel - I've noticed a lot fo the same faces. Do you find certain actors like to stick with you through your numerous works?

[21:14] <Danny-Bilson> I think we stick with them

[21:14] <Danny-Bilson> If it worked for John Ford it can work for us

[21:14] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:15] <Moderator> <SenFan13> : Paul or Danny - do you have a favorite

episode of THE SENTINEL, and if so why did you like it?

[21:15] <Paul-DeMeo> All the way back to the first movies we did in the 80's there are a lot of the sma efaces, the same crew, and the same writers

[21:15] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:16] <Danny-Bilson> I think Warriors

[21:16] <Paul-DeMeo> For me. The pilot. The first episode. The excitement of doing it for the first time and seeing it work

[21:16] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:16] <Moderator> For late-comers: our guests tonight are the creative team behind THE SENTINEL -- Danny Bilson & Paul DeMeo. THE SENTINEL begins airing on The Sci-FiChannel October 5. To ask Paul and Danny a question, please submmit yr question to me (MOderator) as a private message.

[21:16] <Moderator> <Geli> : Do you like the combination of dashing hero with brilliant, nerdy sidekick?

[21:17] <Paul-DeMeo> Pretty classic. Worked for us

[21:17] <Danny-Bilson> Obviously. Of course

[21:18] <Paul-DeMeo> But I don't know how nerdy he was...Ask Garrett next week

[21:18] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:18] <Moderator> <JenCat004> : Will any scenes be edited out for time on SciFi, or edited back in, for content?

[21:18] <Danny-Bilson> Nothing will be edited back in. We don't know beyond that

[21:18] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:19] <Moderator> <kellessan> If Sci Fi Channel asked you to do a brand new 5th season of The Sentinel, would you do it?

[21:19] <Danny-Bilson> Yes

[21:19] <Paul-DeMeo> Sure

[21:19] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:19] <Moderator> <bjkira> to <Moderator>: Are you interested in doing a 'Sentinel' movie anytime?

[21:19] <Danny-Bilson> Sure

[21:20] <Paul-DeMeo> Yeah. We'd do it. Speaking for ourselves

[21:20] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:20] <Moderator> <Chief> : If the show had continued for another

season, would Blair really have become a cop?

[21:20] <Danny-Bilson> No

[21:21] <Paul-DeMeo> Nope

[21:21] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:21] <Moderator> <blairtime> : is there a chance for books to continue the series?

[21:22] <Paul-DeMeo> Nobody's asked us about it. Paramount would be involved and it hasn't come up

[21:22] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:22] <Moderator> CJ> :Does it surprise you that the show is still this popular?

[21:23] <Paul-DeMeo> That's tough. I never felt that it was that popular. I'm happy that it has a continuing life with its loyal fans.

[21:23] <Paul-DeMeo> There was alot of effort and love involved

[21:23] <Paul-DeMeo> If it was REALLY popular there would be another season

[21:23] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:23] <Moderator> <debbield> : I always enjoyed the multiracial makeup of the regular cast as well as guest stars. Was this a conscious decision?

[21:24] <Moderator> Start writing those letters, folks...

[21:24] <Danny-Bilson> Absolutely

[21:24] <Danny-Bilson> We always try to have a multi-ethnic, multi-racial cast in anything

[21:24] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:24] <Moderator> <Sorka> : Was there a lot of adlibing in the show as far as dialog?

[21:25] <Danny-Bilson> More than we would have liked

[21:25] <Danny-Bilson> We cut alot out

[21:25] <Paul-DeMeo> WAY toooo much

[21:25] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:25] <Moderator> <rusty> : Danny - Did you ever go on sets, like maybe the Andy Griffith show, with your dad when you were a child?

[21:25] <Moderator>

[21:25] <Moderator> Rusty must know something I don't, Danny...

[21:25] <Danny-Bilson> To be fair -- sometimes the ad libs were great and we left them in

[21:26] <Danny-Bilson> Yes. I walked the streets of Mayberry as a child

[21:26] <Danny-Bilson> I played with Opie

[21:26] <Paul-DeMeo> He inspired Otis the town drunk!

[21:26] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:27] <Moderator> You were -- a child star? A child of one of the cast or crew? Explain!

[21:27] <Danny-Bilson> No...no...My dad was the assistant director

[21:27] <Moderator> But in case you don't want to...

[21:27] <Moderator> <blkequus> : The Sentinel was a blend of cop and sci fi. Do you have a preferance of one over the other?

[21:28] <Danny-Bilson> I think I prefer the scifi. You can do more with it

[21:28] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:28] <Moderator> santana> : With all of the joking around on the set by Richard, how did you ever find time to tape the shows???

[21:28] <Paul-DeMeo> We created the Sentinel to spin a cop show in a new direction

[21:28] <Paul-DeMeo> We're you there?

[21:29] <Danny-Bilson> It's called...Overtime

[21:29] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:29] <Moderator> For late-comers: our guests tonight are the creative team behind THE SENTINEL -- Danny Bilson & Paul DeMeo. THE SENTINEL begins airing on The Sci-FiChannel October 5. To ask Paul and Danny a question, please submmit yr question to me (MOderator) as a private message.

[21:29] <Moderator> <<mamoru> Asking from Germany, I was wondering, if there are certain episodes you would like to change in retrospect.

[21:29] <Danny-Bilson> A lot

[21:30] <Danny-Bilson> Making a television show is so fast and furious lots of stuff has to go out unpolished

[21:30] <Danny-Bilson> Every episode has room for improvement

[21:30] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:30] <Moderator> Kind of a related question...

[21:30] <Moderator> <Whiskers> : Danny: What was one thing you *really* wanted to do on The Sentinel that you couldn't?

[21:31] <Danny-Bilson> Bigger episodes

[21:31] <Paul-DeMeo> Spend more money

[21:31] <Danny-Bilson> We always wanted to do an episode on an airliner and we never had the money

[21:31] <Paul-DeMeo> Like Air Force One

[21:31] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:32] <Moderator> Ash> : Speaking of ad libs, we loved the blooper reels! Will there be another??

[21:32] <Danny-Bilson> We never made one for the last season

[21:32] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:33] <Moderator> <PA> Do either of you ever do "solo" projects or is it strictlt teamwork?

[21:33] <Danny-Bilson> No. Not really

[21:34] <Paul-DeMeo> We done seperate work on the same project. I might write and Danny direct...But we were always connected to the same thing

[21:34] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:34] <Moderator> <Siberianne> : What did happen to Grace/Mrgaret Ellison?

[21:35] <Paul-DeMeo> I think the idea was that the parents split when Ellison and his brother were very young

[21:35] <Danny-Bilson> The mom runs a brothel in Spokane...I think

[21:35] <Paul-DeMeo> I remember we had a mom episode and we never did it

[21:36] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:36] <Moderator> <SenFan13> Any theories on who Blair's father was?

[21:36] <Danny-Bilson> Tinmothy Leary, of course!

[21:36] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:36] <Moderator> <Nestra> : How difficult was it to cast the roles of Jim and Blair?

[21:37] <Paul-DeMeo> Well, we cast Blair pretty quickly. We knew Garrett would be the guy

[21:38] <Paul-DeMeo> Ellison was much more involved and difficult. We knew what we wanted, but the network didn't necessarily agree. We'd known Richard for awhile He was almost the Flash

[21:38] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:38] <Moderator> <BlairAngel> : Was Jim's mother a Sentinel?

[21:38] <Moderator> <Geli> : Does Jim's mom still live?

[21:39] <Danny-Bilson> No. She wasn't a Sentinel... And I think she's still alive.

[21:39] <Paul-DeMeo> Maybe somebody out there knows... You guy know the details even better than we do

[21:39] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:39] <Moderator> <JenCat004> Is there any kind of plot thread or ideas you wanted to do that UPN wouldn't let you do? We've all heard how they edited out the hug in 'Flight'

[21:40] <Moderator> For late-comers: our guests tonight are the creative team behind THE SENTINEL -- Danny Bilson & Paul DeMeo. THE SENTINEL begins airing on The Sci-FiChannel October 5. To ask Paul and Danny a question, please submmit yr question to me (MOderator) as a private message.

[21:40] <Paul-DeMeo> Well the one they wouldn't let us do until the last season when we said "what the hell" was The Waiting Room

[21:40] <Danny-Bilson> And they wouldn't let us do a dog story

[21:41] <Paul-DeMeo> K-9 unmit thing

[21:41] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:41] <Moderator> <Lockeheed> : Mr. Bilson, what was the first thing that went through your mind when UPN cancled Sentinel just after the cliffhanger. After dragging you and Richard all the way up there?

[21:41] <Moderator>

[21:41] <Danny-Bilson> I was shocked and disappointed

[21:41] <Danny-Bilson> But I took it as well as I could

[21:42] <Danny-Bilson> Things happen in our business that don't make sense or seem unfair all the time

[21:42] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:42] <Moderator> <BlairAngel> : Please explain the reasoning behind having Jim become "attracted" to Alex Barnes in Sen Too P2. I thought Jim out of character...

[21:43] <Paul-DeMeo> I think the idea behind that was instinctual. That somehow the two sentinels should mate. It was primal and beyond his control

[21:43] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:43] <Moderator> <brill> : msg Other shows have made use of the internet to keep track of fan comments, critiques and kudos. The Sentinel has a rather substantial net presence, have you ever checked it out?

[21:44] <Danny-Bilson> We were very aware of it while the show was in production. Feedback from the fans guided some storylines

[21:44] <Paul-DeMeo> I was not only impressed by fan webpages, but also how sophisticated some were. Fun to cruise through

[21:44] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:45] <Moderator> Sorka> : I've many of the different shows you've produces, The Flash, The Rocketteer, Viper and The Sentinel. Do you have any new shows in the works at the moment?

[21:45] <Danny-Bilson> We're working on a pilot for CBS called Copper

[21:46] <Paul-DeMeo> It's about a female dective who is haunted by the ghost of two crimals. Fantasy comedy with lots of action

[21:46] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:46] <Moderator> <JenCat004> : What story lines were influenced by the fans input?

[21:46] <Danny-Bilson> Sentinel Two was

[21:47] <Danny-Bilson> To Go So Far Into thte Mythology for sure

[21:47] <Danny-Bilson> And the last episode was for the fans

[21:47] <Paul-DeMeo> Absolutely the finale

[21:48] <Paul-DeMeo> The fact that we were able to have the story conclude in case we didn't get another season

[21:48] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:48] <Moderator> <brill> Instinct seemed to play a rather large role in the Ellison character, indeed seemed to excuse or explain some of his less than sterling moments. Is this a message that you felt would be popular with your target audience?

[21:49] <Paul-DeMeo> It wasn't about creating a message. It was about making a chacter interessting by giving him flaws

[21:49] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:49] <Moderator> <Bug> : Were there some ways that the last episode fell short of what you wanted it to be? Parts that were left out for time reasons?

[21:50] <Danny-Bilson> I think it could have been two hours, for sure

[21:50] <Paul-DeMeo> Sure

[21:50] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:50] <Moderator> <BlairAngel> : If the series were to continue, would Blair's role of Shaman be expanded?

[21:50] <Danny-Bilson> But all in all I was proud of the last episode. It didn't fall short for me

[21:51] <Paul-DeMeo> I would think so because we would have kept the mystical part of the show alive

[21:51] <Danny-Bilson> I think most of the expansion would have looked at their relationship as people, not mystical stuff

[21:51] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:51] <Moderator> marmoset> : Do you see the character of Blair Sandburg as a heroic one?

[21:51] <Moderator>

[21:52] <Danny-Bilson> Absolutely. I did

[21:52] <Danny-Bilson> A hero without a gun or violence

[21:52] <Paul-DeMeo> A hero with unexpected methods

[21:52] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:53] <Moderator> <Sorka> : Incacha as Jim's teacher in Peru was such a pleasant surprise to many of the fans. As was the way you handled Santeria in the ep The Trance. The thing that stands out to me about this show is how evenly you treated different religions and views. I just wanted to thank you for that.

[21:53] <Moderator> <mamoru> : Why were so many new love interests in the show, if they were obviously misliked by the main audience?

[21:53] <Danny-Bilson> You're welcome!

[21:54] <Danny-Bilson> I think we were trying to find love interests they would like...So we kept trying

[21:54] <Danny-Bilson> GA

[21:54] <Moderator> <wnnepooh> : For Danny or Paul: OVer the four years of the show, the characters grew a lot. Which one did you find you developed most? Jim, Blair, or Simon?

[21:55] <Danny-Bilson> I think it would have to be Blair..And in the cases of all three the actors contributed a lot of themselves --that helped the characters develope

[21:55] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:55] <Moderator> Spectre> : Did you base any of your characters on acutual people? o you see yourselves in you characters?

[21:56] <Danny-Bilson> I think there's more of us in Sandburg than the others

[21:56] <Paul-DeMeo> Yeah. I'd identify more with Sandburg than the others personally

[21:56] <Paul-DeMeo> GA

[21:56] <Moderator> And our final question for the evening -- and Danny & Paul THANKS for joining us here tonight! It's been a pleasure:

[21:56] <Moderator> Rubicon> : Guys, what would you say is the theme of the show as a whole?

[21:56] <Moderator>

[21:57] <Danny-Bilson> It's about friendship

[21:57] <Paul-DeMeo> And... I would also say it's aboutthings happening in the world beyond our understanding or recognition

[21:58] <Paul-DeMeo> Thanks for having us. Hope you all enjoy watching the show

[21:58] <Moderator> Danny & Paul, thanks so much for joining us! THE SENTINEL begins airing on The Sci-Fi Channel next week on Tuesday, October 5. Check the schedulebot for exact times --

[21:58] <Moderator> http://scifi.com/schedulebot/

[21:58] <Moderator> and don't forget --

[21:59] <Moderator> No --

[21:59] <Moderator> I'm being told that it begins airing on Sunday.

[21:59] <Moderator> We will be hosting another chat next week --

[21:59] <Moderator> with SENTINEL stars Richard Burgi and Garrett Maggert!

[22:00] <Moderator> October 4 at 9 PM ET!!!

[22:00] <Moderator> Mark yr calendars.

[22:00] <Moderator> Thanks everyone for joining us here tonight.

[22:00] <Moderator> Great questions -- I'm sorry that we couldn't get all of them answered but there were well over a thousand!

[22:01] <Moderator> There will be a transcript!

[22:01] <Moderator> Check it out!

[22:01] <Moderator> It will be up on our transcript page -- linked off the chat page at http://www.scifi.com/chat/

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