"You've gotta really rub a piece of coal to make a diamond"
How did you even get them to let you do that?
I had a really close relationship with the network from my days at Dawson's, and the executives there were really encouraging to just say what was personal to me, and figure out a way to say it. That was when the WB was great, because the executives that were running it at the time said, "Look, we know we can't make shows for as much as bigger networks, but we can give Joss Whedon or Kevin Williamson or Amy Sherman-Palladino or J.J. Abrams a chance to say what they want to say." And so you got shows with a real personal perspective, and that's what made the network great. And when the network stopped doing that, it fell apart.
And we all know what happened then.
Let's talk about the show in terms of the actual cancellation. How much of the storyline did you change when you found out that it was going to be gone?
The last two years, there was a lot more combativeness than there was initially about the show, so we learned to not trust what was being said. The cliffhangers that we ultimately didn't use were more setups for next year than they were payoffs for this year. We really constructed an end that we wouldn't have to change, and that was mostly because I drew the line in the sand -- we weren't going to go out with a cliffhanger, and then the show gets cancelled, and the fans, who have been the only thing keeping this show going all these years, get screwed the most. So I was sort of the wall, if you will, but Rina was really the inspiration for the whole finale. And I think she did a masterful job, with the writers, of making sure to hit as many of the beats as possible.
So you were happy with everybody's story?
I was. I really was. And you know, you always think, there's more to tell...and we definitely had some fun stuff planned for next year.
Well, tell me about it!
[laughs] Okay. Nina was going to be pregnant with Jake's baby.
OH MY GOD.
Yeah, that was going to be the big, explosive, kind of "Oh, TYPICAL Everwood" thing. And we were flirting with the idea of trying to bring Ephram and Hannah closer together, to see if we could play with that a little bit.