Hall Back In The Zone
Anthony Michael Hall, who stars as psychic Johnny Smith in the USA Network series The Dead Zone, told SCI FI Wire that the third season will feature bigger themes and more multi-episode story arcs. "We feel strongly about doing serialized shows, whether it be about a death or a murder or a kidnapping," Smith said in a recent interview. "And I think that's a lot to latch onto as a group of actors. It's helpful for us, too. It's much easier to make something like that plausible and believable, to kind of latch onto that."
Hall said the goal of season three is to expand on the visual and narrative elements established in the first two seasons and to appeal to an even wider audience. "We're in our third season and what matters to me is the evolution itself," Hall said. "Just making it more cinematic, making it more intense and more visually dynamic, everything we can. And that includes, with the support of the network, bringing in name actors."
Two of those actors include Frank Whaley and Sean Patrick Flanery, who will become recurring cast members this season. Whaley plays a mysterious figure from the future who shares Johnny's psychic abilities, while Flanery plays politician Greg Stillson, a character originated in the Stephen King book on which the series is based. "[Whaley's] character kind of alludes to the future and the Stillson storyline," Hall said. "[He] is kind of goading me forward to kind of meet my fate and deal with the Stillson thing and the idea that Stillson will eventually lead to this incredibly corrupt political figure, even more powerful than he is now as he's running for Congress."
This season, Hall will expand his credits from actor and executive producer to director as well. In the episode, titled The Cold Hard Truth, Richard Lewis plays a DJ haunted by a tragedy in his past. Although it was filmed first to allow Hall preparation time, the episode won't air until later in the season. Hall said he was pleased with how his first television directing effort turned out. "I'm proud of it," Hall said. "I think it has a real emotional impact, where it'll be less busy in terms of the look of the show, and technically it really hits the heart and has a real emotion to it."