Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.

In the first Cinemax press conference at TCA in nearly 20 years, creator, exec producer and chief writer Frank Spotnitz and star Melissa George dropped by to promote the hotly-anticipated new original espionage series Hunted that premieres on the HBO sister network in October. Hunted is an eight-episode drama featuring George as an operative for an elite private intelligence firm who survives an attempt on her life that may have been orchestrated by members of her own team. Spotnitz told the roomful of reporters and critics that his years working for The X-Files prepared him well for this show. “Back on that show, we began to realize that you could read clues and then wait two or three years before picking up that thread again”, he said, “and people would love you for it, because you’re rewarding their attention and intelligence. It was clear that it was very hard to be as smart as your audience”. Another thing that Spotnitz took away from his X-Files experience was this: “Be ambitious, be as great as you can, and trust in the people watching to be able to piece things together on their own. People are much more engaged in a show if they aren’t being spoon-fed everything”.

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Hunted was shot on location in Morocco, Scotland and (primarily) in London. And Spotnitz was grateful for the budgetary flexibility to do it. “So when we’re saying that we’re in Morocco and Scotland, we actually are”, he added. “We aren’t faking it. It’s a lot harder and more expensive to do it this way.” But George believes that location commitment was well worth it. “Where the scene sits is where you’re actually filming it”, she said. “What I’m used to is, I’m supposed to be in China and I’m actually in Downtown Los Angeles. It makes a huge difference to actually be there”. Spotnitz also emphasized that he’s already working on scripts for a second season of Hunted and fully expects for the show to be renewed. And if it is renewed, the show will be set in a European city other than London.