Does network TV really need more jargon? Just in case, producers of CBS’ new drama series Scorpion offered a new one at today’s TCA: Fun-cedural.
The series — based on the true story of genius Walter O’Brien (IQ 197) who created a company to defend the world against high-tech threats — has a “procedural engine” but is not really a procedural, said executive producer Nick Santora. “It’s a fun-cedural”, he said.
There was a lot of talk on today’s Scorpion panel about how the socially-awkward geniuses of the company, including O’Brien, would connect with an audience. The real Walter O’Brien, who serves as executive producer with Santora, Orci, Nicholas Wootton and director/EP Justin Lin, appeared on the panel along with the other EPS and cast members.
Santora said the series starring Elyes Gabel as O’Brien will offer “kickass action” but unlike its emotionally stunted protagonist will have “a huge amount of heart.” O’Brien acknowledged that he is an extremely ”left brain” individual who suffers from a lack of right-brain emotional intelligence in real life.
O’Brien said he worried about dealing with right-brain actors but the process has gone more smoothly than he might expect. He has willingly answered their questions and told the actors: “Don’t worry about hurting the feelings I don’t have”. He says he often pitches real-life story lines from his own company.
Of working with his onscreen alter ego Gabel, O’Brien said: “He is learning to act like a genius, and I am learning to act normal”.
The series introduces a relationship between O’Brien and a waitress of normal intelligence who has a genius son. Is the waitress-genius thing a direct result to capture chemistry of Big Bang Theory in a CBS drama?
Joked Orci: “O’Brien is so smart that before he was born he predicted the Big Bang series, and here we are.” Seriously, Santora said he’s not enough of a genius to have tapped into that connection. But when “someone at CBS” said “It’s like Big Bang Theory in the field, “ the producer was quick to reply that it is. “I was smart enough to fake it and lie”.