Looking for a ‘Following’ on television

In “The Following,” Kevin Bacon plays a former FBI agent who is called back to work to track down a killer and his cult of followers. The series premieres Monday at 9 on Fox.

It’s taken surprisingly long for Kevin Bacon to find his way to the lead role in a TV drama, but he’s finally doing so with “The Following,” from “Scream” creator Kevin Williamson. And the biggest surprise, at least to Bacon, is that it’s on network television. “I honestly thought I’d end up on cable,” says Bacon, whose wife, Kyra Sedgwick, has done well for herself in the cable world with “The Closer.” But Bacon doesn’t mind guessing wrong about his own career.

What did this show have that other TV?projects you may have looked at didn’t?

Well, it was a couple of things. First off, I tried to develop two [shows] that didn’t quite get there by the time this one came along. Sometimes they were amazing pilots and people would say to me, “Yeah, but is there really a show there?” And since I’m really not used to reading something with the eye on four years down the line, that was kind of a new thing to me. And then other things had strange network or cable politics around them that they just didn’t fall into place, and this one did.

So this one has something in it that could carry on for years, you think?

Yeah, but what do I know? I mean, look how many f–ing movies I’ve done, and how many of them are hits — 2 percent, 5 percent — not a lot of them. So I’ve made a lot of bad choices. I’m not someone who thinks too carefully about what the long-term implications are.

For years, the line’s been: “All the good writing is on cable.” Do you see that changing now? Are the broadcast networks catching up?

There’s got to be some network guys around here you could interview about that idea. I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to these questions. I’m much more following it, if I can say that now, but I don’t have the answers.

You said that you thought you’d end up on cable when you got to TV.

Well, yeah — when I first approached the idea of doing a show, yeah, I thought cable. Well, first off, I went from the idea that cable was just going to be Showtime or HBO. Premium, right? And then in the course of a year or so, that’s when it started to morph. All of a sudden I’m like, “Holy s—, ‘Breaking Bad’ is off the chain!” Look at shows that are on FX, you know, and “The Closer.” And now all of a sudden it’s like, “Well, what about Netflix?” You just do a show and there is no network. Things have changed and morphed so much.


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