Carlton Cuse, EP/showrunner/director/writer of FX’s The Strain, isn’t subscribing to the prevailing wisdom that viewers need to catch up on all existing episodes of a series if they are going to commit to watching.
When he was making Lost for ABC, he said today at TCA, they were told regular viewers watched two out of four episodes, according to ABC research. But, for some reason, viewers have “trained themselves” that they must start at the beginning, Cuse observed. They are wrong. “I think the audience would be able to figure it out,” he said of FX’s The Strain, debuting its third season on August 28.
The thriller, from Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse, is based on the best-selling The Strain Trilogy that del Toro wrote with Chuck Hogan. In the series’ second season, New York City was falling to an evil epidemic the network said — as opposed to a good epidemic. Season 3 picks up with NYC as a battleground that has been written off by the federal government, leaving the locals to fight the strigoi for survival. Meanwhile, the Master is close to executing an irreversible transformation of the world, which only sounds like a metaphor for the presidential race.
Today at TCA critics wondered if they’re thinking of expanding the show’s vampire apocalypse to other major cities in the United States this season, or any season going forward. “We started to talk about Season 4 and talk about to what degree it would be interesting to see the Strain in other places besides New York City.” But this coming season “is about the battle for New York City and, as New York City goes, so goes the rest of the world.”
Cuse insisted they’re not beholden to the books – this, when asked why they knocked off Nora last season while she survived to the end in the books. But, when another TV critic asked how divergent from the books they might go on another plot point, Cuse shot back, “I like the spoiler free question asking. That’s awesome.”