Veronica Mars
The Rob Thomas Interview, Part I

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Sometimes Those Who Teach Can Also Do
CB: Getting back to Cupid, some posters have wondered, since you've already got Paula Marshall on the show, if Jeremy Piven will make an appearance at some point. RT: Well, in fact, I've wondered if I could have Veronica handle a case where Paula and Jeremy are lovers. CB: No way! I think someone on the boards had a similar idea. RT: It's occurred to me, anyway. Jeremy and I didn't have a great relationship on Cupid. We got along, but we fought over words a lot. But I'd certainly ask him to be on the show -- I just don't know if he'd say yes. CB: Now, speaking of Paula Marshall, she's been a common presence on all the shows over which you've had creative control. I saw from your post in the forums that you're aware of the little nickname I gave her [Back, Show Killer!]. You should have seen the anti-hex rituals the posters did when she turned up on the show. They thought it was imminent cancellation, right there. RT: [laughs] Yes, I was aware of the nickname. I tried to remind myself that other actors have had the same reputation -- George Clooney, I seem to remember, killed a bunch of shows in his day. CB: Well, he killed The Facts Of Life. RT: Yeah. But Paula's great. CB: Oh, people love her on the show. RT: And we loved her and Keith together, but the problem there was that, much like my fiancée, Paula is seven and a half months pregnant. CB: Oh, wow! You covered that up really well. I don't think anyone noticed that on the boards. RT: Well, the only recent episode she was in was "Clash Of The Tritons," and for most of that, she was sitting behind a desk. There was one shot in which she had to cover up her stomach with a folder. But we didn't think we could write a storyline for Keith and a pregnant Miss James. CB: So that's why you broke it off so quickly. RT: Yeah. CB: Well, maybe if there's a second season, they'll get back together. Speaking of which, a lot of posters have wondered whether I'm going to drop the nickname now, but it's not going anywhere until I hear you're renewed. RT: [laughs] Please don't. CB: So moving on to the show: how did you get the idea for Veronica Mars, and what was your original vision? RT: Years ago, I came up with a couple of story ideas, one of which evolved into Veronica Mars. The earliest conception of the idea was that a teen detective, at that point a guy, was the son of a shamed local sheriff who, in the wake of his ousting, became a private eye. I actually pitched the idea as a book first, and if it had ended up being a stand-alone novel, it wouldn't have been particularly case-driven. I think he would have had some detective work throughout the show, but I think it would have been more about his applying his skills to regain his social position, and to do it in sort of a dark way. It was going to be about a kid who, through fear and intimidation through information, clawed his way back up through the high school. It would have been more of an internalized novel. When I decided to write it as a TV show, however, it was right around the time Freaks and Geeks got canceled, which to me meant the death of small-story television. I loved Freaks and Geeks -- I was actually as upset when it got canceled as when Cupid did. But you could no longer have these tiny moments with teenagers having these small epiphanies and very real life lessons. It had to be in The O.C. territory of lesbians and affairs and fucking the pool boy.

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Veronica Mars




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