Veronica Mars
The Second Rob Thomas Interview

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"The Word 'Coma' Bugs The Hell Out Of Me"
RT: Very. I really liked the pilot, and it was set in my hometown of Austin. NBC told me that if I accepted, they would definitely pick it up. I was very torn, and I went to the network and asked if they could guarantee that Veronica Mars was going to be renewed. They said they couldn't, but that they could tell me that if I left, it definitely wouldn't come back. Renewal felt to me about a 70% shot, so Friday Night Lights was the bird in hand, and if it had been some show I was only moderately interested in or I didn't think was cool...I really loved the way it looked. I haven't watched it all year, kinda because it's a little painful, but I've been TiVoing it, and I finally watched a couple of episodes. I think it's interesting the way it's shot and the way it's acted, so that's a regret, but Jason Katims is doing a great job with it. CB: Speaking of life beyond Veronica Mars, what do you want to do when the show's over, whenever that may be? RT: You know, I love television. I love the rhythm of it, I love writing something and seeing it on the air, I love going to work each day; four years and a development deal, it was miserable. In a way, sometimes a month of that sounds really good, just sitting at home doodling on your pilot script would be nice, as opposed to having scripts in production, scripts in post-production, breaking episodes -- it's a crazy job, but there's no better job in show business. I get pretty much final say on script and cut and cast and music, and I really dig what I do. I often get really frustrated, and there are good days and bad days, but overall, there isn't anything I would want to trade it for. Certainly even if you offered me the same amount of money to be a feature writer and work a fifth or a tenth of the hours that I work now, I wouldn't trade it. Twenty-two hours of produced material on air as opposed to working all year and hoping -- I mean, you can make a good living as a feature writer without ever getting anything made. So I certainly dig movies and would love to have my name on a movie that I thought was great, but I think I'm more naturally a television writer. CB: And as far as TV goes, is there any type of story or a particular genre you'd like to explore next? RT: I have a pilot out right now; I wrote it for Fox, and they seem kind of lukewarm on it right now. It's kind of a return to Cupid: it's a romantic comedy. Think Love, Actually in a hotel. I'm doing the second pass for Fox this weekend. I'll turn it in on Monday and probably hear something very soon after that. I don't know whether it will go or not. This is the position I was in last year: I want a show on the air. It's like, writing a pilot is hedging my bets. I don't know if Veronica Mars will be back. There were times in the first nine episodes when I felt certain it wouldn't, but the uptick and the reaction to the finale -- I think we finished strong, and I think it's looking back up. In comparative terms -- looking at the ratings for the other shows on the CW -- I think we have a strong shot at returning. But for me personally, I have to have a show on the air. I don't ever want to have to go back to being that writer at home trying to get a show on the air. It's a drag. There tend to be showrunning positions available every May, and the good news for me is that if Veronica Mars didn't come back, I'm sure I would be offered things. However, they wouldn't be my things, and that would really bum me out. But I would certainly go run someone else's show before I would stay at home.

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Veronica Mars

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