Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
As its 13 first-season episodes are wrapping production, executive producers of FX’s The Bridge assured today’s TCA crowd that the Texas-U.S. bordertown crime drama will not fall into the formula of solving one crime per season. The murder mystery in Season 1 will wrap up “even before the end of the season,” said executive producer Elwood Reid, who with EP Meredith Stiehm developed the series based on the Danish/Swedish series Bron. Of the second season, Reid said: “There won’t be one big crime. We are not going to have the killer of the season every year.” Stiehm said that, for the first season, the producers had the 10 episodes of Bron to use as a road map but “then we got to a place where there was no guide…we have not decided which path we start on yet.”
Oscar-nominated Mexican actor Demian Bichir (who stars with German Diane Kruger and American Annabeth Gish) was asked why there were not more Latinos on American TV. “I don’t know. There’s one fact that is really crucial in this economy, at least in California: We spend a lot of money. Mexicans, Latins, Hispanics — we shop,” the actor said. “So advertisers need more windows to [introduce] their products.” Bichir added he has been surprised by the lack of Latinos on TV. “We have a lot of great stories to tell. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more in the future,” he said. The producers called it a “happy accident” that they were developing their Mexican border-themed series at the same time FX was already looking into that arena.
Kruger portrays a different minority: Her character, Detective Sonya Cross, has Asperger’s syndrome. Her condition remains mysterious during the first episodes, a move the the producers called deliberate. “We really strongly liked the idea that the original is bold enough not to define it,” said Stiehm, adding that in real life people don’t say: “Hello, I’m Sonya and I have Asperger’s.” Added Reid: “This is cable, where we don’t have to hold the audience’s hand, explain every little thing.”
The Bridge has gotten off to a strong start for FX. The series premiere July 10 drew 3.04 million viewers the first night, a number that grew to 4.64 million viewers when DVR viewing was factored in — making it the network’s most time-shifted new series debut to date. Inclusive of Live+7 ratings, the premiere delivered 5.07 million total viewers and 2.17 million adults 18-49. The viewership total makes it the second-most-watched series premiere in FX history behind The Americans.