'Threshold' Conceived Before 'Lost', Say Producers

By Michelle
July 20, 2005 - 7:24 PM

Former Star Trek executive producer Brannon Braga said that CBS "has a tremendous amount of faith" in his new show, Threshold, while CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler denied that the success of ABC's Lost had made the network eager for supernatural thrillers in a similar mold.

"The CSI shows are ground-breaking shows. CBS will continue to take risks. This is a risk for them," said Braga at ComicCon, reported the San Diego Union Tribune. "They invested a tremendous amount of money. They are fully behind it." Threshold, which deals with the discovery of an alien ship and the task force created to assess the risk of invasion, was pitched to the network before Lost was on the air, according to Braga's fellow executive producer David S. Goyer.

"If there's an alien invasion, it won't look like 'Independence Day'...it'll be scarier than we can imagine," Braga told The Kitsap Sun. He described former Star Trek: The Next Generation star Brent Spiner (Data)'s character as a "'60s radical who does not trust the government and is forced to work for the government." The cynical NASA microbiologist, Nigel Fenway, joins a team trying to figure out why a four-dimensional spacecraft is altering the sailors on a naval ship, changing their DNA.

"We're thrown into a situation we don't know how to deal with," explained series star Carla Gugino. "It's interesting to see people out of control trying to be in control.

Tassler maintains that CBS does not make decisions based on what series have worked for other networks, she told Sci Fi Wire at a meeting with television critics. "We don't literally go out to the community and say, 'Because that particular show is successful on another network, please bring us that,'" she noted. "I think there's probably the appetite...every year in development, we've had some version of those kinds of shows represented...I think clearly there is something in the Zeitgeist, but for us, it was based on producing the best pilot scripts that we had."

In addition to Threshold, CBS has a fall series called Ghost Whisperer about a woman who can speak with the spirits of dead people. With Threshold, stated Tassler, "they're really embarking on a very exciting challenge."

Threshold will air on Friday nights this fall on CBS.

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