Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
At today’s TCA, Hannah Ware, who plays Sara in ABC’s new drama Betrayal, said she could not speculate on what might have happened to her character in her other recent TV drama, the canceled Starz series Boss, because that show might have a new life “in some film format.”
On the panel for Betrayal, Ware said in response to a question that she believes Boss had the creative juice to last for a third year. She added that a “bad time slot” contributed to Boss’s demise after two seasons. But when pressed about how her character’s story might have evolved, she said she couldn’t reveal that because of the tentative film plans.
But she quickly added “I don’t know” when asked for specifics, and did not confirm whether she’d been asked to reprise her Boss role of Emma Kane in a film.
Earlier in the session, the panelists — executive producers David Zabel and Lisa Zwerling, cast members Ware, Stuart Townsend, James Cromwell and Henry Thomas — spent their time defending a story line that involves an affair between two married characters (Ware’s Hanna and Townsend’s Jack). “If you embark on an affair and both of you are married it’s never going to be easy,” said Ware, apparently without irony.
Quicker to acknowledge the potential audience turnoff, Zabel said that there had been much discussion about the affair took place at both at the creative and the network level. He acknowledged it is “a challenge” to get audiences to find sympathy for two adulterous characters but added: “They’ve overcome it on Scandal.”
Zabel said both the affair and the thriller elements of the story will work to blend a typical ABC show with “a cable sensibility. “We are aiming for threading that needle that is a conventional ABC kind of soap opera and something that is much more sophisticated and adult,” he said. Producers added that Betrayal was conceived as a 13 episode limited series and that the story line arc will be completed within that format.