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Fox's `Chronicles' will keep its Terminator on leash

July 24, 2007|Kate Aurthur | Times Staff Writer

"The Sarah Connor Chronicles," a midseason drama from Fox, certainly carries the heaviest burden of expectations going into the new season. Because the more common shorthand for it is "the 'Terminator' TV show."

The story of the series follows Sarah Connor (Lena Headey from "300") as she continuously tries to protect her son, John (Thomas Dekker, Claire the cheerleader's is-he-or-isn't-he-gay friend on "Heroes"), from a Terminator sent from the future. The action takes place after the events of the second movie.

On Monday, during the panel for "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills, the elephant in the room had a name: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the show's pilot episode, there are two Terminators, one good (Summer Glau, late of "Firefly"), who protects John, and one evil (Owain Yeoman), who comes to kill John.

But what about the Governator? Might he ever make an appearance on the show?

James Middleton, a consulting producer on the show, fielded the question. "We've talked a lot about it," he said. "But the reality is that as governor, he's incredibly busy. As a star, he's incredibly expensive. We don't know. We just don't know."

OK, because Schwarzenegger is understandably both busy and expensive, what about images of him used somewhere in the show? No, the producers said, they don't have any ability to use the iconic Terminator images.

Earlier in the panel, critics asked the producers about a key scene in the pilot in which Mean Terminator comes looking for John in his high school classroom. Mayhem ensues, and critics wondered whether it was too graphic and frightening in a post-Virginia Tech era.

Yes, Josh Friedman, one of the executive producers agreed, it was going to have to be reshot.

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