Yahoo! TV Interviews HUMANITAS Trustee Howard Gordon


Howard-Gordon-MainAs this summer's TV lineup, with dozens of new and returning dramas, attests, there is really no off-season in TV land anymore. But Emmy-winning producer Howard Gordon is taking that idea to the extreme, with a workload that includes producing currently airing 24: Live Another Day and FX's new drama Tyrant, TNT's new August spy drama Legends, and a fourth season of Homeland, scheduled to premiere on Showtime in October.

Gordon took time from his crazy schedule — 24: LAD recently wrapped filming in London, while Tyrant is still filming in Israel — to talk to Yahoo TV about his deep bench of programming, the arc and controversies of the first season of Tyrant, whether or not Jack Bauer will live another day in primetime, and what's in store for Carrie Mathison, post-Brody, on Homeland.

How are you, besides incredibly busy in this Howard Gordon-filled TV world we're living in?

[Laughs.] Yes, just a little [busy]. I keep telling my friends I feel like Icarus. I know what he was going through. We'll see. It's exhilarating in its own perverse way, I have to say.

Like 24: Live Another Day and Homeland, Tyrant is particularly timely. What draws you to this subject matter that runs through all your series?

It just happens to be where, as a civilian, my interests lie. Like everybody else, 9/11 had a profound impact on me. I was coincidentally on a show [24] that retroactively contoured itself around that event and all the implications of it. I think that's where I dipped my toe into that and found myself wading neck-deep into it. New, impossible, but entirely predictable events seem to be happening in [the Middle East]. Its unwieldiness, I think, is what's attractive to me dramatically, because of its complexity. It's about order, creating order out of the chaos of the real world. In a way, that's, I think, what this is about for me, trying to wrestle with some of these impossible questions, and finding characters who themselves are interesting and compelling enough, but the stakes of their actions have much broader implications.

Jack Bauer and the presidents Jack interacted with in that time were ways to sort of put faces on some of the impossible choices that their real-world analogs were wrestling with. Carrie Mathison, certainly, and Brody… Barry and Jamal and Leila and Molly [from Tyrant] are also characters who are ways to put faces on what I think are emotionally real challenges for those real-world analogs. There's sort of an obstinate kind of hope in all of them, too, but there's also an inevitable tragedy. I would say that's sort of the common theme, one of the common themes, in all these lead characters.

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