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 12:00 AM, 13-JUNE-07
 
Dead Zone Changes Scenery

Anthony Michael Hall, who stars as reluctant psychic Johnny Smith in USA Network's The Dead Zone, told SCI FI Wire that the show feels like new again thanks to major changes both in front of and behind the camera going into the sixth season. "We've moved from Vancouver to Montreal this year," Hall said in an interview.

Hall said the change has been good for a lot of reasons. "It's been nice to take it to a new city and have all those production changes occur," he said. "Like, we have a new writing staff, new directors, a new cinematographer, all these things that keep it fresh. It makes it new, in a way. And at the same time, it's been a challenge from a production standpoint of catching this whole French-Canadian crew up to speed on how we do the show. But they've all adapted really well."

As in previous seasons, the show will continue to feature a mix of stand-alone stories and mythology episodes that further the series arc involving Johnny's clash with the shady Greg Stillson (Sean Patrick Flanery), who has now become vice president. What excites Hall most about the new season, though, is the expanded scope of the stories they are able to tell.

"We follow the mythology of the show and those things, but what's great is that we can do episodes that are inspired by movies or more of the classic detective stuff you see on CSI or Law and Order," Hall said. "So that I'm grateful for. Because it gives us the latitude to take chances, and it keeps it interesting."

Being in a new city has also inspired different kinds of stories and ideas that wouldn't have been possible anywhere else. "Montreal is a very modern city, but it's also very European," Hall said. "So it has, like, a whole other vibe to it, because there's a lot of places to shoot. For example, we're doing an episode that will be like a film noir throwback. My character meets a kind of femme fatale on a train, and it turns out she's kind of a con artist, and it's called 'Switch.' I have all these visions of her, because she's running from one guy trying to con another guy. And then I have a horrible vision of her meeting her end on this train. So what we did, for example, is we found this place that has all these antique trains, like a train museum, basically. And we built this episode around the idea that we wanted to do sort of a film noir, Casablanca-esque episode."

The fifth season of The Dead Zone was released on DVD June 5. The show returns with an all-new episode, "Heritage," on June 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. (USA Network is owned by NBC Universal, which also owns SCIFI.COM.) —Cindy White
 


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©2007, SCI FI. All rights reserved.

 
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Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report, 5/21/07 - 5/27/07. Fewer than 10 listings appear because fewer than 10 regular original SF&F shows appeared on broadcast networks during the time period.