UNFORGETTABLE: Poppy Montgomery on CBS Canceling (and Then Renewing) Her Series, and What Season 2 Might Look Like
August 3, 2012 by Marisa Roffman
For fans of UNFORGETTABLE, the past couple of months have been quite the wild ride.
First, CBS pulled the plug on the drama series. Then — shortly afters rumors swirled that the show might end up on Lifetime or another cable channel — word spread that CBS was looking to pick up the show (again) for a summer run, before it became official nine days later.
Now, with the series all set to go next summer at CBS, I spoke with series star Poppy Montgomery (Carrie) about what this entire experience has been like for her, what she hopes to see for Carrie next season, and what she thinks the format might be like…
Many people seemed to be shocked when CBS canceled the show given its ratings, but what were you feeling?
Poppy Montgomery: You know, I have a very philosophical view about it, which is, there’s so much good content in television…it’s a difficult job. I don’t understand what makes a show stay on or what makes it go away, but I sort of accept that it’s right if they make that decision. And so when it was gone, I was sad, I will always love that character and the people I work with, so I understood. And I’ve worked with CBS for so long that I was like, “They’re family. We’ll do something together again.” And when it came back, I was genuinely flabbergasted and thrilled.
What has the entire experience of the cancellation and renewal been like?
PM: It’s like Christmas came twice! It’s like, oh my God! It’s like someone told me Santa Claus didn’t exist and then he appeared. So I’m thrilled. I was like, oh wow, Santa Claus really does exist! It’s been fantastic. It’s been so exciting.
Were you following all the rumors? There were whispers it might land at Lifetime or another cable channel before CBS eventually picked it up.
PM: I don’t even have an iPhone, I’m still on the Blackberry. I don’t have a computer, I don’t have an iPad; I follow nothing. I mean, I would hear from my manager, “It may go to Lifetime.” And I was like, “Cool. Well, keep me posted.” But outside of that, I didn’t really — I think I’ve been doing this for so long, which makes me sound old. I’ve been doing this since I was 19. But I’ve gotten used to “what will be, will be.” And it’s meant to be.
Have you had the chance to talk with the writers about what’s going to happen with the series going forward?
PM: We will now [that it’s official]. I don’t think we start shooting until probably January or so, so we have time. We’re going to settle in and figure out what’s going on.
When you thought you were saying goodbye to this character, what was your biggest disappointment about that?
PM: Oh, wow, that [aspect] I don’t think I ever really processed, because I didn’t have enough time. But there was so much about her that I loved. And still love. I don’t think I had time to process the sadness I would have gone through had it not been resurrected. I was also sad about leaving New York, you know?
So now that are you coming back, what do you most hope Carrie gets to do?
PM: I want Carrie to have some blond in her red hair [figuratively speaking]. That’s gonna happen this season. I think it would be interesting to see Carrie and Al really explore their relationship. And I want to see what happens with Jane Curtin’s character (Joanne) and my character. There’s so much. And we’re all going to sit down and brainstorm.
What do you think was the highlight of the first season? Do you think there was something specifically that really worked well?
PM: I really think everything was good. I think it was a wonderful cast, I think it was a wonderful group of writers. Great studio, great network. They let me do some badass shit and I loved it. I got to be a leather jacket wearing, gun shooting…yeah, she was a really cool female character with a superhero gift, if you will. And they allowed me the freedom to explore that in a way that normally women don’t get to. And I got to be angry and sensitive. There was a lot I got to do.
Given how much you enjoyed the cast last season, is there regret that aside from Dylan Walsh (Al) and Curtin, the other season 1 cast members won’t be returning?
PM: That’s what I’ve heard. But again, I’m not sure entirely what’s going on and why, and when I actually sit down [with the writers], I’ll get the scoop. But I think there’s an idea that our characters will actually move out of Queens and travel, so you might meet new people wherever we go. That’s a rumor, I don’t know if it’s entirely true. I don’t know if we’re going to stay in the same environment. I’ll get back to you as soon as I sit down with them. I’m like, “Oh my God, we got picked up!” That’s all I know.
UNFORGETTABLE returns to CBS in summer 2013.