The Phil Klemmer Interview

Episode Report Card
"Mr. And Mrs. Smith Meets The Office"

CB: Do you guys still talk shop at all?

PK: Yeah, I mean, on our weekly tennis night, there's a lot of television talk now between sets, which is very funny, but we're just also in similar places in life -- he just had a kid, I have a couple of little kids, you know. And we had a pilot together last year. He's the sort of guy that…you know television, from a business standpoint, is totally brutal and scary and dehumanizing, but you sort of find these people -- if you look at anybody, if you sort of play IMDb games with anybody, you can isolate this great corps of people. I hope that whatever came out of Veronica Mars, the clumping of Diane ["Ruggiero" -- CB] and Rob and John and me, I hope that's something we'll come back to. They're pretty incredible people.

CB: Tell me a little more about the differences between the setups on Chuck and Veronica Mars.

PK: Well, Chuck is a larger-budgeted operation, which I thought was going to solve every problem we ever had on Veronica Mars. But I sort of realized that doing action and comedy at the same time, they're both really demanding genres, so pretty much all the fat I thought there would be on Chuck didn't exist -- instead, we're back to the Veronica Mars mindset where you as a writer are thinking about your number of scenes, and which ones you're going to get on your standing sets, and how you can sort of save money here and streamline story there, which is cool, you know? That's what a producer is supposed to do. But I just thought we'd be rolling in money and be like, "Oh, we'll fix it in post!"

CB: Such a good epitaph for a lot of productions.

PK: [laughs] Yeah.

CB: So moving on, when you have a team of writers, it seems like everyone is going to have his or her own personal stamp on each character. For example, when I was recapping Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which was on for seven seasons, some of the more attentive viewers could pick out which writer was writing which character which way. I know it's one of the responsibilities of the showrunner to make sure that each character's voice is reasonably consistent, but has there ever been a situation where the showrunner told you or someone else that the voice of the character was getting a little off, or where you disagreed about it?

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