Beyond The Fringe With J.J. Abrams

LOS ANGELES–Somewhere in Ontario, a cow has been put out to pasture.
J.J. Abrams and the producers of the big buzz series Fringe told reporters today at press tour about a real live cow used as comedy relief on the big budget sci-fi series. The pilot for Fringe was shot in Toronto but the series has moved to New York and “Bessie” or whoever her name is was not able to follow the show across the border. Talk about Mad Cow!
The producers had to hire a new, American cow and actually discussed using makeup to match the Canadian heifer. Read all about it here at the story I filed off today’s press tour session for CP. It will a-moo-se you. I’m milking this.
It wasn’t all cattle tales at press tour. Abrams copped to the fact that he is the King of convoluted TV shows, with Lost and Alias among his past bafflers. This show is about an FBI babe (Aussie Anna Tory) who investigates when a bunch of passengers on a commercial flight turn to goo. A mad genius is pulled in, as is his cranky son (Joshua Jackson). Their pal is a cow.
So, yeah, another “what the hell?” show, although Abrams insists this one is a little easier to decipher.
“I was (at a friend’s) house and Alias was on, and I was so confused — literally, it was impenetrable to me,” said Abrams. “I saw the show from that place … so I understand how tough that can be.”
Critics got three chances to screen the pilot last night on the closed circuit hook up in the hotel room. Some loved it (including sci-fi fan Rob Salem at The Toronto Star). Others not so much, nit picking about the female lead, the dull part in the middle, the goofy animated bumpers and doodles.
Abrams and the other executives touched on how bootleg copies of the pilot are already all over the Internet. It pisses them off, and no, they didn’t plant it there, but they’ll take the buzz and hope fans stick around for the real deal when the show premieres Sept. 9.

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