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this is taken from ifmagazine.com

NIGHT STALKER producer Frank Spotnitz

© 2006 Touchstone Home Entertainment Exclusive Profile: NIGHT STALKER REMAKE CREATOR FRANK SPOTNITZ TALKS ABOUT THE NEW DVD – PART 1

The former X-FILES producer brought his sensibilities to last fall's exceptional TV show remake, but he details why the show was never given its proper due


Contributing Editor


Published: 5/30/2006

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Perhaps one of the biggest tragedies of the 2005-2006 network schedule was the premature cancellation of ABC’s re-imagining of the classic TV series THE NIGHT STALKER. Developed by former X-FILES alum Frank Spotnitz (and based on the classic show from the ‘70s starring Darren McGavin, the series followed reporter Carl Kolchak (Stewart Townsend) and partner/skeptic Perri Reed (Gabrielle Union), as they uncovered the supernatural underbelly of Los Angeles.

One of the best of all the new genre shows that premiered last fall, THE NIGHT STALKER was stuck in the death time slot of Thursday’s at 9:00 p.m. and after six episodes, ABC pulled the series and didn’t give it a second chance.

However, in the age of DVD, cancelled shows do indeed get a second chance – even if it’s just corralling all the aired and un-aired episodes with a bunch of special features which is what Spotnitz has done. In stores today from Touchstone Home Entertainment is THE NIGHT STALKER – THE COMPLETE SERIES. The 2-disc set includes all 10 episodes, in addition to two finished scripts that were never produced. Toss in a Spotnitz featurette, deleted scenes and commentary, and you have a perfect summation of what could have been ABC’s next big hit.

Last week, Spotnitz spoke with iF MAGAZINE about the series, where it was heading if it continued and the scoop on upcoming projects including the potential X-FILES movie.

This is PART 1 of our four-part interview.

© 2006 Touchstone Home Entertainment

Cotter Smith, Stuart Townsend, Gabrielle Union, Eric Jungmann star in THE NIGHT STALKER


iF MAGAZINE: What happened with the series? Why did ABC prematurely cancel it?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: We had three huge strikes against us. You can say, the show just wasn’t very good or not accessible or maybe these three enormous obstacles specific to success had something to do with it. Time slot. That one isn not a secret. They told us they were going to put us on Thursday’s at 9:00 opposite C.S.I., which is incredibly tough time slot to be in. The second thing, they didn’t promote the show. There was not a dime of paid advertising. It all went to COMMANDER IN CHIEF and INVASION. We were not properly promoted in a way you need to be to get people to know you exist in this marketplace. The only thing could take comfort from, we had a lead-in in ALIAS that we hoped would draw viewers to our show. When ALIAS finally came on the air in the fall, it under-performed in a big way. When research came back and said, not only were the numbers small for ALIAS, it was not compatible for NIGHT STALKER because they were two completely different audiences. Even under the best of circumstances and if you had the most amazing show ever made, we would be very hard to succeed with that set of circumstances.

iF: What I liked about the show was, it brought back what was cool with X-FILES -- really cool standalone horror stories Having done X-FILES, was it hard going into something like the NIGHT STALKER because you had that sort of template in your head?

SPOTNITZ: I had to spend so much time figuring out how the show would work. I didn’t realize what I was getting into when I signed up for this. I loved the NIGHT STALKER and original TV movies and I agreed to it based on my love of those old movies and the love of the character and realized all the problems there were making Kolchak the hero of a series as opposed to the TV movies. And in the original series, they never figured out how to lick those problems. The more I got into how to make it work as a weekly series, I moved further away from the original concept. I did hit upon a template that was really exciting to me and it certainly owed something to the X-FILES way of storytelling, in that it really is a different supernatural phenomenon each week. And there was a skeptic character, actually three skeptic characters in the series, the photographer, Perri Reed and the editor [played by Tony Vincenzo]. But really got me excited about the show that was unique to this version of NIGHT STALKER was the whole notion of good and evil and was Kolchak what he seemed to be. That was the biggest disappointment of the show being canceled was that notion not being played out.

iF: These guys are not cops, did you have to find ways around them not carrying guns?

SPOTNITZ: Not having a gun was not that big a problem. On X-FILES they always had guns, because they were FBI agents, but in reality, a gun doesn’t work with a supernatural villain. There were a couple of times, the network and studio would raise their eyebrows about Kolchak or Reed go into a situation without a gun, but that wouldn’t help them. I didn’t perceive that to be such a problem. To me, the bigger problem when your heroes are reporters, was "why does it matter?" Who cares whether a reporter goes and writes a story or not, how is going to change the outcome? I think that’s why you don’t see shows about reporters. Does it matter whether the story gets written in the newspaper? I answered that, by having them be investigative reporters. They’re investigating stories no one would investigate unless they didn’t do it and having them change the outcome. Each week, because of their investigation, somebody lives or dies who wouldn’t live or die if they hadn’t got involved and the fact that Kolchak is willing to answer these questions, when no one else is, changes the outcome of the story.

iF: Was there an episode where you feel you finally hit your stride?

SPOTNITZ: Of the episodes that were broadcast, "Five People You Meet in Hell" was very successful. I felt it was not like anything else that had been done and it was really scary and entertaining and it embodied so many things I want the series to be. The show that I really felt, "we got the series now," was "The Sea," second part of the two-parter which never aired. That was the one I felt we finally had everything in place in terms of the characters, their voices and the way they relate to each other.They really began to gel as a family of characters and it was frustrating

IF MAGAZINE: Before the officially cancelled you, why didn’t ABC at least take the show and put it on another slot to see if there was an audience for it.FRANK SPOTNITZ: We were very actively lobbying the network for that very thing. The studio, Touchstone, was enormously supportive of the show and really believed in it and people at the network were supportive of the show. We were begging, just repeat us after LOST one week, anything, to let people we’re on the air , but we couldn’t get a yes.iF: Were you trying to wrap things up with the last episode filmed -- "What’s the Frequency Kolchak?" – knowing the writing was on the wall and the show would likely be cancelled?

SPOTNITZ: Until the last night, I continued to hold out hope it would prevail. So many people at the studio and network really believed in the show and were passionate about it and were trying to find ways to give us another chance. The ratings were at about the level they said they had to be at in order for us to stay on the air. And they took us off the air for a week, and brought us back on and no one knew we were on. I continued to believe they were going to recognize the value of the show they had and find a way to stick with it until the day they cancelled it. I wasn’t shocked that they cancelled. I wasn’t expecting it.

iF: If you had the time to wrap the series up, could you?

SPOTNITZ: There was no way I could and there were enormous amounts of questions I had set up in those first few episodes. I don’t know how I would have tried to make it feel like an ending, I certainly couldn’t resolve everything with a finale.

iF: Did you have an idea how the season would have wen if you had a full 22-episode order?

SPOTNITZ: I had so many twists and turns with Kolchak’s character Agent Bernie Fain (John Pyper-Ferguson). In February, I was introduce the other person who had the mark on the wrist, who was actually the person standing outside of Emily Gale’s house in the pilot. It was not Kolchak, it was this other guy with this mark on the wrist. He was going to tell Kolchak what the mark meant, that "you and I were meant to fight evil and not a role we asked for in life, it was what we were born to do, that’s why you have to do what you’re doing." And as the season went on and we went into Season 2, we become suspicious of this guy, and distrustful of him and sure enough we would find out in Season 2, that this guy is evil. What he said the mark means, is exactly the opposite of what it means. It means that you’re born evil and Kolchak was born evil. There were a lot of twists and turns and just when you think he’s a good guy, he’s suddenly a bad guy.

iF: Would Kolchak have turned really bad?

SPOTNITZ: To me, what you would have realized in Season 2, everything he’s done has in fact been bad. It didn’t seem like it, because good outcomes came about, but he was doing it for the wrong reasons. That was one of the things that was so fascinating to me about this whole idea of good and evil, I think what the series had to say, was you need to be aware, you need to open your eyes, because you can serve evil thinking you’re doing good, unless your eyes are open. That was going to become interesting for Perri Reed especially. She was the character of light and good in the series. And that’s what I thought would be increasingly clear to people. When they first saw it, it was the believer/skeptic thing like X-FILES, but more than that, it was good and evil and here is a character who is selfish and an egotist, really only interested in what matters to him. And here’s a character in Perri Reed, who is not selfish, who is an idealist and wants to do the right thing and is challenged because she is partnered with this guy whose agenda is much darker than that.

iF: What happened to Kolchak’s wife?

SPOTNITZ: He didn’t actually kill his wife, but he was aligned with the forces that did, and he was probably used by those forces, to drive out onto the highway that night and get her killed. He was not the agent of her death. All his life he was headed in this direction, serving evil, and he wasn’t aware of it yet.

iF: That would have been a tricky balance to turn your hero into a villain. They’ve done it before, like on ANGEL, but it is challenging.

SPOTNITZ: My intention from the very beginning, before ABC picked up the show, they made me write up a five-page document, answering everything I set up in the pilot and saying what the last episode of the series would be. And when Stuart Townsend signed on for the role, I said he’s actually bad and Stuart loved that and got very excited. You’ve never seen that before. That to me, the design of the show, someone who was suspected of killing his wife and when you find out he really is evil and then you’re forced to re-evaluate Agent Fain. He comes off as a bad guy in the early episodes, but is he really a bad guy if the guy he is pursuing is actually evil. To me it was really rich all the things you could have done with it.

iF: So what would have been the last episode of the series if you continued on?

SPOTNITZ: In the audio commentaries on the DVD, I try to reveal as much as I can, but the one thing I don’t do is tell how the series would have ended, simply because you never know.

iF: You had to tell the network?

SPOTNITZ: I did, but it’s a secret. I don’t expect the show to come back and you never know and if it ever should come back in any shape or form, I would sabotage myself irreparably if I revealed what the last show would be?

iF: Did you look for another network for THE NIGHT STALKER after it was cancelled?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: When the show got cancelled, we had discussions with a number of people about continuing the show on another network. The problem was an economical one, it is not an expensive series. It just didn’t work financially to produce it at another network. I don’t think we could do the show in the manner which we were ding it on another network.

iF: The two scripts that are featured on the DVD – are they the final shooting scripts?

SPOTNITZ: We just started shooting "Ascendant" the night we got cancelled. The 12th episode, "The M Word" was written by Darin Morgan, who wrote so many of the funniest and best episodes of THE X-FILES.

iF: What are they about?

SPOTNITZ: "Ascendant" is a stand-alone mystery about people who are dying after horoscopes predict their deaths and why that is happening. "The M Word" I was really excited to produce, because it is a flat out comedy. It is a very funny script. If you listen to the commentary and you hear about the difficulties we had with ABC about the whole subject of monsters, they really didn’t want monsters on the show at all, the title of Darin’s episode takes on an added significance. The M Word, the words you can’t say – monster. It’s very clever and funny and one of the reasons why I wanted to include scripts on the DVD, a certain segment of the audience would really enjoy it.

iF: Such a great medium to be able to archive things that would never see the light of day.

SPOTNITZ: It’s great way to see the show. Not only is the video and audio quality superior to watching it on broadcast, you can watch it at your own pace and without commercial interruption.

iF: Did you think of putting that footage of "Ascendant" on the DVD?

SPOTNITZ: We were only shooting for a few hours, when they pulled the plug. I never even saw the dailies from that day.

iF: As much as I loved the original series, when I bought the DVDs last year, I didn’t realize how dated the show feels.

SPOTNITZ: I got a lot of flak, which I knew I would from NIGHT STALKER fans about how different it was from the original series. I wanted to say, go back and look at that series, it really doesn’t age that well. Darren McGavin is wonderful, but the series itself was kind of silly and certainly would not survive in today’s television landscape.

iF: You were a journalist before you became a screenwriter. How did it help being a reporter when it came time to write THE NIGHT STALKER?

SPOTNITZ: It gave me great comfort, because I felt I understood this world without having to do research because I knew it first hand. We went down to the L.A. Times, to see how a newsroom operates today, because it’s been ten years since I worked in a news room. I ran into six people I knew, because it’s my past. Unlike, people who are writing shows about lawyers who have never been in a law firm, if you’re writing about reporters and have been a reporter, you have a sense of what the politics of that job are. What you would ask and not ask. So it makes it much easier to write the shows.

IF MAGAZINE: What’s the X-FILES movie status?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: My deal has been done for a really long time and David Duchovny, Chris Carter and Gillian Anderson all have deals. There are legal issues between Chris and the studio relating to the old show that are holding everything up. It has nothing to do with the deal with the movie, it has to do with the TV series. The movie will not happen until and unless he resolves those issues I’m hoping he will soon so we can get to work on it. We would all love to do it still.


iF: Do you still think there is an X-FILES audience?

SPOTNITZ: I would like to think if you do good work, people would come out and see it. Those are such great characters and David and Gillian are so perfect in those roles and we have a really scary story for those characters to operate in?

iF: Does it deal with the "M" word?

SPOTNITZ: It’s not an alien mythology conspiracy type movie, it’s a stand-alone movie. I’ve never pretended I can handicap commercial success in anything I do, all I can do is do good work and hope that we find an audience.

iF: You’re relaunching a franchise so to speak, like a James Bond movie almost.

SPOTNITZ: Obviously we need to catch up where the characters are in their lives now, what they’ve been doing since the series ended. It could easily be a series of stand-alone movies, and that’s what I would love it to become.

iF: Would you still have to deal with messier aspects of the John Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) since they were so pivotal in the last two seasons?

SPOTNITZ: We haven’t figured out what we were going to do there. I would love to include those characters and pay homage to the past of the series, but the thing is, you don’t want to encumber the movie with a lot of expository stuff you’ve got to put in there to allude to the old show. As much as possible, I would like to honor the series without encumbering the movie.

iF: Okay, so even though you have a deal, and everything is still up in the air, if this happened, when would it happen or is it a nebulous thing?

SPOTNITZ: They might never resolve the issues and so the movie might not ever happen. I would think that if they resolve the issues, we would go immediately.

iF: What about the STAR CHAMBER remake you were going to direct?

SPOTNITZ: That’s going to be a feature film for 20th Century Fox.

iF: I thought that was going to be for TV at some point.

SPOTNITZ: It actually began as a TV movie. I was going to direct. It’s a long story, but the script came in late, there was a regime change at the network and it ended up finding new life as a feature.

iF: Are you still going to direct?

SPOTNITZ: I don’t know. At this point, I’m just producing it, and I don’t even know if I would be able to direct it when the time comes.

iF: How different is it from the original movie?

SPOTNITZ: I think the central idea is the same. It’s one of those movies, where I always felt the idea was better than the execution, which is why I think it’s a great candidate for a remake. It’s not like you we're making something that was perfect the first time. The original if you watch it now, it really feels dated. It’s a Reagan-era diatribe against the ACLU and the rights of criminals. That doesn’t apply to the world we live in now. Now, thematically, it’s about pursuing justice at all costs, which really relates to the world we’re living in. I think it can be a much better movie than the first time around.

iF: What is AMPED?

SPOTNITZ: AMPED is a pilot Vince Gilligan and I wrote, that Spike TV has bought.

iF: Have you shot the pilot?

SPOTNITZ: We’re waiting for a greenlight. Their hope is to shoot it in summer and broadcast it some time after that. It’s another scary show. It’s set in a police precinct. The idea is the world outside of this precinct has changed, that a certain percentage of the population has begun mutating in all kinds of different ways. It depends on your individual DNA, what form your mutation takes. So these cops go out into the world every day and they literally don’t know what they’re going to encounter every day. It’s scary and has a lot of humor in it and it has allegories for terrorism, racism and all sorts of other things. I’m really excited to do it.

iF: What else are you working on?

SPOTNITZ: I just re-upped with Touchstone Television, who I did NIGHT STALKER with. I’m supposed to develop new series for them. That’s a two-year deal. Right now, I’m just dreaming up what I want to do.

iF: Do you like the freedom of the TV world versus movies?

SPOTNITZ: Television is too much of a good thing. You get the order and once you’ve gone through all those incredible hoops of getting the show on the air, you’re just doing the work at that point. There is no time for a lot of other nonsense. You just have to make the show and that’s fantastic. The thing I don’t like is that it’s so much work, it’s overwhelming, you’re doing 24-hours of television, it’s really a brutal workload and it’s not a lot of time to do all that television and do a great job, so you find yourself, killing yourself to get the work done and to do as good a job as you can. I love how big the canvas is on television and how long you can tell these stories and all the different permutations they go through. I really like getting to know the actors you’re working with and writing to their strengths and discoveries you make about theme in the course of doing a series as well as the relationship you develop with everybody, behind the camera as well. It’s a wonderful thing in many ways. It’s also unique as a writer. You get to be the producer and the decision maker. That’s a big advantage TV has.

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And this is from bloody-disguisting.com :

Night Stalker: Writer/Producer Frank Spotnitz

By: Elaine Lamkin


“The X-Files”, “Millennium” and “Night Stalker” writer/producer Frank Spotnitz calls his career with such TV cult classics “dumb luck”. Born in Japan where his father was a military physician, he lived all over the US before attending UCLA where he majored in English and was editor of the school’s newspaper. Thinking he wanted to be a journalist, he worked in Indianapolis, New York and Paris where he reported for The Associated Press as well as UPI and contributed to “Entertainment Weekly”. Realizing he had made a mistake in his career choice and that he really wanted to work in the film industry, he returned to school and received his MFA in Screenwriting from The American Film Institute. But that English degree came in handy when it came to meeting Chris Carter and becoming a part of TV history.

BD: How did you find yourself joining such an amazing show as “The X-Files”?

FS: It was completely dumb luck. I was in a book group with Chris Carter, who was writing for Disney at the time. After the first season of “The X-Files”, a friend of mine wanted me to pitch some of his ideas to Chris. I felt really uncomfortable doing that but I went ahead and, of course, Chris said “No” but that he did want me to pitch him some ideas. He didn’t like what I came up with either but later, he had two writers leave the show so he contacted me. I got the call on a Thursday and I literally started work on Monday. That was in 1994 and I was with the show until the end in 2002.

BD: What are some of your favorite episodes of “The X-Files”?

FS: Oh…wow. There are so many. I would have to say “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose”, “Memento Mori”, “Duane Barry”, “Bad Blood”, “Detour”, “The Postmodern Prometheus” and, of course, the infamous “Home”. I really thought seasons 3-5 were fantastic.

BD: You probably get this question all the time but as a fan myself, I have to ask. Will there ever be another “X-Files” movie?

FS: I hope so. Gillian and David are ready to start and the story has been ready for over two years. But there are legal issues between Chris and 20th Century Fox so those have to be resolved first.

BD: “Night Stalker”, which comes out on DVD May 30th (buy it here) – with all of the supernatural TV shows currently on TV such as “Medium”, “Supernatural” and “Ghost Whisperer”, what do you think happened with “Night Stalker”?

FS: Well, first it was scheduled against “CSI”. Kiss of death. Then there was no paid advertising for the show. “Alias” started to slip in the ratings and “Night Stalker” was pre-empted. Finally, ABC canceled the show in the middle of a two-part episode. There was just not enough support for the show from the network.

Ironically, Darren Morgan, who wrote some of the best episodes of “The X-Files”, came on board “Night Stalker” and had written a script just days before the show was canceled. That script is on the “Night Stalker” DVD for fans to read.

BD: Do you think there will ever be a “Night Stalker” feature film to wrap up all of the loose ends?

FS: I would be interested in doing something like that and I know Stuart Townsend and Gabrielle Union would be as well. But unless the DVD has amazing sales, it’s really hard to put something like that together.

BD: Is it true that Darren McGavin’s cameo in the pilot of “Night Stalker” was actually an image of him from the original series that was digitally inserted?

FS: Yes, Darren had had a stroke while filming a David Duchovny-directed episode of “The X-Files” and his character had to be recast on that show. The only way we could pay tribute to the original Carl Kolchak on “Night Stalker” was to use an image from the original, as Darren was recovering and unable to work.

BD: Darren made two appearances on “The X-Files” as Agent Arthur Dales. What was it like working with the original Night Stalker?

FS: Darren was very funny, very warm and very direct. His role on “The X-Files” was based on Carl Kolchak.

BD: You are currently back at work with Chris Carter, co-writing a film adaptation of Philip Kerr’s “Philosophical Adaptations” for producer Mace Neufeld and Paramount. And you are also producing a remake of “The Star Chamber” for 20th Century Fox. What can you tell us about those projects?

FS: “Philosophical Investigations” is a near-future thriller that will be a feature film with Chris directing. “The Star Chamber” will also be a feature film but there is no director attached to it yet.

BD: You also have a new TV show coming this fall called “Amped” which you are co-writing with former “X-Files” writer/producer Vince Gilligan. What can viewers expect?

FS: “Amped” will premiere on Spike TV and it’s a scary/funny show. It is set in an LA police precinct where the cops never know what they will be up against as people are mutating into monsters.

BD: So many of the shows you have been involved with have elements of both horror and science fiction – which genre would you say you are a bigger fan of?

FS: I’m a straight horror fan but not just “scare the crap out of you” horror. I love psychological horror too. I love “The Exorcist”, “The Omen”, “The Innocents”, “28 Days Later”, “Jaws” and both versions of “The Thing”.

May 2006


And from TV-Guide.com:

Night Stalker: The Truth Is Out on DVD

by Matt Webb Mitovich

Night Stalker's Stuart Townsend and The X-Files' David Duchovny

Fans of one of the original ghostbusters and his most recent TV incarnation would be wise to scare up a copy of the new Night Stalker DVD boxed set hitting stores today, as it offers up not only four episodes never broadcast during the series' fall 2005 ABC run, but also revealing commentary from creator Frank Spotnitz. TVGuide.com seized this opportunity to ask Spotnitz about his Stalker's unfortunate fate, the frightfully fun show he's working on now and the next X-Files film.

TVGuide.com: First, I want to thank you for blogging for our Insider column last fall.

Frank Spotnitz: Oh, it was fun!

TVGuide.com: Night Stalker is certainly the type of program that benefits from such added insight.

Spotnitz: Yeah, that was good.

TVGuide.com: In retrospect, did the series accomplish creatively what you set out to accomplish?

Spotnitz: Yeah, I feel really proud of the work that we were able to do. I had so much more in mind and mapped out that I wanted to do. I talk about that a lot on the DVD commentaries, about what seeds we were planning for the mythology, and I answer a lot of the questions about what the mark was on Kolchak's hand and whether he killed his wife and so on.

TVGuide.com: Is there anything you could have done different to extend its longevity?

Spotnitz: The truth is I fought every battle I knew how to fight at the time to keep the show on the air. I was aware we were struggling from Day 1, because we were given such a tough time slot. And then over the summer [of 2005] I saw we weren't going to be getting any paid advertising. [Laughs] When we debuted, our one source of hope was that we had this lead-in of Alias, but their numbers were so disappointing. The research showed that their audience was not compatible with ours. We had a number of tough breaks, so I was making the case that this was a really good show and [the problem] wasn't the show but the time slot, the lack of promotion and an incompatible lead-in. I had a lot of supporters, at the studio and the network, who agreed with me, so I was really optimistic — until the day we got canceled — that we would find a way to prevail.

TVGuide.com: Do you feel that Supernatural, which also debuted last fall, or all the guys watching CSI were liabilities?

Spotnitz: I don't think Supernatural was; there's room for more than one like that, and their audience is slightly different than ours. But the same research showing that Alias' audience was completely different from ours showed that CSI's audience was exactly our audience. It was the worst possible place to be! [Laughs] A brand-new show up against the No. 1 show, going for the exact same audience.

TVGuide.com: What would have been a better ABC companion show for Night Stalker?

Spotnitz: I don't know their programming well enough. But it was telling to me that what they replaced us with in January was Dancing with the Stars. That is what you do to counterprogram CSI.

TVGuide.com: What was series star Stuart Townsend's reaction to the cancellation?

Spotnitz: Everybody was really shocked. Even though you know you're struggling in the ratings, when you feel the work is as good as we all felt it was, you can't believe somebody is going to cancel it. "How could they?"

TVGuide.com: Kolchak was the sort of rich character an actor like Stuart could really get immersed in.

Spotnitz: Yes. Being a feature actor, in the beginning he was a little taken aback by how heavy the workload was, but by Episodes 8 and 10, he was really enjoying the challenge. Especially Episode 10, which you can see for the first time on the DVD. It's all Stuart. It's a tour de force for him.

TVGuide.com: Then again, he goes home to Charlize Theron, which puts this setback in perspective.

Spotnitz: [Laughs] Right. How bad can it be?

TVGuide.com: This DVD set has four episodes that have never been seen?

Spotnitz: They will be seen on Sci Fi Channel this summer, but they have never been broadcast. I have to say, we shot the show using this new Genesis camera, which is state-of-the-art, high-definition video camera, and it looks gorgeous, especially on DVD. I'm really excited for people to see it this way.

TVGuide.com: Sounds like Night Stalker is begging for an HD-DVD/Blu-ray release as well.

Spotnitz: It's meant for it. The quality is spectacular. The first time our director of photography looked through the viewfinder of this camera, he came away with tears in his eyes. It was so beautiful.

TVGuide.com: What can you say about your and Vince Gilligan's new TV series, Amped?

Spotnitz: Amped is a scary, funny show, with a large ensemble cast, set in a police precinct. The idea is you follow these cops as they go out into the field every day, but the world around them has "changed."

TVGuide.com: What, dare I ask, has changed it?

Spotnitz: A few years prior, a virus swept through the entire planet — everybody got sick, then everybody recovered, and now what's beginning to happen is a certain percentage of the population is starting to mutate, in all different ways. So when these cops go out, they literally might be encountering monsters. We're shooting the pilot this summer for Spike TV.

TVGuide.com: A lot of fans feel you do some of your best work with Vince.

Spotnitz: I love working with Vince. I had to twist his arm to get him to go back to TV. That last episode [of Night Stalker]? He wrote it.

TVGuide.com: What's your involvement in the remake of The Star Chamber?

Spotnitz: I'm producing it. It's one of those movies that had a great idea but really wasn't as good as it should have been, so to me it's the perfect movie to remake.

TVGuide.com: Michael Douglas starred in the original. Is there any casting news yet?

Spotnitz: Not yet.

TVGuide.com: Lastly, is there anything new and exciting going on in the X-Files-verse? Any rumors or truths to discuss?

Spotnitz: The truth is always out there. [Laughs] It's sort of the status quo. We all have our deals but there are legal issues between Chris Carter and 20th Century Fox that are still unresolved. I'm hoping they can be resolved soon and we can still get to work on another feature.

TVGuide.com: But David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are still on board if it happens?

Spotnitz: Yeah, everybody wants to do it. The studio wants to do it, too, but there's this other issue that has to get taken off the table first.

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Guest betweenthelines

Too bad Darin's script was never filmed. I didn't like the new "Night Stalker" but I would have watched 'The M-Word'. Maybe he'll do some work for "Amped"... :praying:

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