Inspired by the real-life story of research medium Allison Dubois, an extraordinary young wife and mother who, since childhood, has struggled to make sense of her dreams and visions of dead people, Medium returns for its sixth season, moving networks from NBC to CBS. Last season, after experiencing headaches and other symptoms, Allison (Patricia Arquette) was diagnosed with a brain tumor, but after she postpones her surgery, she suffers a stroke and is in a coma.
I spoke with the show’s Executive Producer, Glenn Gordon Caron, who acknowledges that their new network is an ‘extraordinarily comfortable fit.’
When you decided to make the end of Season Five a cliffhanger, did you know you were coming to CBS, or did you have a moment of thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is the end of the show, and the fans are going to hit us with pitchforks?’
No, I didn’t know we were coming to CBS. I wasn’t certain that we’d be picked up by NBC, so what I was trying to do was write an ending that was so provocative that it would be impossible to cancel the show. It was me being a wiseguy, frankly, and really trying to stack the deck. And for what it’s worth, we don’t make the shows in secret. I said to NBC, ‘She’s going to have a brain tumor, she’s going to go into a coma, and we’re going to put up a sign that says, ‘To be continued.’ And they said, ‘Great.’
How quickly did CBS jump into the breach after NBC cancelled the series?
No, it didn’t happen that way, the CBS conversation has been going on for about five years. We’re made by CBS for NBC, the way House is made by NBC for Fox. When negotiations with NBC for renewal went south, CBS stepped into the breach.
Now that you’re back, what sort of interesting mysteries are you going to be dealing with and where do you pick up?
I guess I can let the cat out of the bag, Allison comes out of her coma, and she’s on a different network! In terms of mysteries, I’ll tell you about one thing we’re doing that’s very interesting. We have a show that’s supposed to play the night before Hallowe’en. It’s actually the vestige of an idea that I had way beck when I was doing Moonlighting.
When I was doing Moonlighting we had bought the rights to this old AIP drive-in movie Mothra vs Godzilla. And we were going to mat Bruce [Willis] and Cybill [Shepherd] into it. So this year we’ve actually gotten the rights to the original Night of the Living Dead, and we going to insert Patricia into it. It’s going to be the landscape of her dreams during that particular episode.
This season you start in the fall, and not midseason.
Yes, and doing 22 episodes. As a storyteller, that’s a huge thing. It means I can say to you, ‘On Halloween we will be doing this.’ That’s a luxury we’ve not had for three years.
Patricia’s brother, David Arquette has done a few horror films, will he be popping up on the show this year?
David has actually come on and directed a couple of episodes. My assumption is he’ll probably come back and direct. I’ve always been looking for something for him to come on and play. As you’ve probably picked up by now, it is my personal goal in life to work with every Arquette.