Tag Archives: Blindspot

The Hardy Boys’ Chris Pozzebon previews spooky Season 2

The Hardy Boys are back and spookier than ever.

The series, which returns Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on YTV, leans into the supernatural for its sophomore season. Picking up six months after the events of Season 1, the 10 episodes follow Frank (Rohan Campbell) and Joe Hardy (Alexander Elliot) as they investigate a missing classmate and the odd circumstances surrounding it. Before long, Frank, Joe, Callie (Keana Lyn), Chet (Adam Swain), Phil (Cristian Perri) and Biff (Riley O’Donnell) are plunged into a case where no one can be trusted.

We spoke to Chris Pozzebon—who joined The Hardy Boys for its second season as co-showrunner and head writer—about what fans can expect.

This is your first season on The Hardy Boys. How did you end up on the show?
Chris Pozzebon: They were looking for a head writer and co-showrunner. I had just moved back to Canada from Los Angeles when the pandemic was kind of ramping up and this kind of came about. And I guess it was a right fit for everybody.

It was pretty simple. I was available and interested, and they liked me. And I was able to pitch out a version of Season 2 that I think everybody responded to and that we all collaborated on with the networks. It was very fortuitous for me just to be in the conversation because I was such a huge fan of the books as a kid and just The Hardy Boys brand in general. So it was a very cool thing to start doing when a global pandemic hit.

What else excited you about the project?
CP: I had been working on a show that I loved, Blindspot for NBC, and that show was massive. And you’re working with these FBI agents who are like these big adult heroes. The thing that Blindspot didn’t have was that element of magic, actual magic. I mean, the show was magic on its own, but when I found out that The Hardy Boys had a supernatural element to it that wasn’t in the books, I was like, ‘Oh, well, that’s really interesting to me.’ The Hardy Boy‘s brand was always mystery and adventure.

At first, seemingly, part of the mystery was always debunked. Right? That ghost howling in the wood was always like, oh, it was an owl. And it was screeching because bank robbers were out there. They figure it out.

What was appealing about this version of the show was that it actually could be a ghost in the woods this time. Season 1 was a slow burn towards that reveal. But once we established that, I was really excited. Just kind of going full force into the possibility of the supernatural, even if some things may not be what they seem.

On Monday’s return, Frank experiences dreams and visions. Was that something hammered out in the writer’s room organically?
CP: It was part of the big Season 2 pitch. It was looking at where we ended last season and thinking about how to lean into that magic and mythology and the eye relic that they find as a central part of the show. It was about still keeping that mystery and that magic connected personally to our characters, not just starting fresh with a new adventure. It’s always with an eye towards the past and the backstory.

But at the same time, we did want to build in an actual new mystery. It’s not just the visions that Frank’s having and the supernatural stuff that stems from Season 1 that is going to be the throughline. There is a brand new mystery afoot.

I mentioned this to co-showrunner Jason Stone last year when we chatted. I love the 80s setting and all that entails.
CP: That’s kind of the appeal for the people making the show too, is that you get to include these little nods to your own youth and you can separate yourself from the technology today and the way people would solve history today and focus on other avenues to solve a mystery. And it allows being in that time and helps our young folks and the heroes of the show pursue actual clues that aren’t just punched away on their cell phones.

In Episode 1, a fellow student goes missing. By the end, there are teases about the eye, as well as something going on in an abandoned mine. Is that all part of the A-story this season?
CP: Everything is wrapped into each other. What’s going on with Dennis is the main focus. What’s going on with the eye plays into the main focus. Both of those things are kind of just the beginning. The story is going to take twists and turns that we don’t even allude to in Episode 1.

That said, those are the through lines and it is all deeply connected. And one of the things that we really wanted to do was just start building out the world. We are introduced to some shady characters and some people we can’t trust, maybe who are closer to us. That was just something that we felt we could push a little further in the second season.

Who else did you have in the writers’ room with you aside from yourself and Jason?
CP: It was myself, Ramona Barckert, Laura Seaton, Madeleine Lambur, Sabrina Sherif, Heather Taylor, Nile Seguin and Michael Hanley.

What is your strength in the writing room?
CP: I think finding a way to make an absolutely bonkers idea work would be my strength. You got to be good at everything, but, I mean, no, one’s going to pitch a crazier idea than me. That’s both a blessing and a curse.

The Hardy Boys airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on YTV.

Images courtesy of Corus Media.


Blindspot’s Canadian creator on The Goonies and fighting to make good TV

Thank goodness for The Goonies and National Treasure. If those two movies hadn’t existed, we never would have gotten Blindspot. Turns out the show’s creator, Martin Gero, is a fan of the two flicks and in puzzles in general. The Swiss-born, Ottawa-raised writer and producer came up with the mind-bending Monday night drama while living in New York City and vividly pictured that dramatic first scene in his head.

We spoke to Gero—who cut his teeth on The Holmes Show and the Stargate franchise before moving on to write and produce Bored to Death and create The L.A. Complex—about how Blindspot came about, the challenges of making TV in Canada and the U.S.

How did the whole idea for Blindspot come about?
Martin Gero: I had been developing various things for Warner Bros. for a couple of years. I actually wish I had a better story for this, but basically I love puzzles. I’m a huge fan of riddles and The Goonies is one of my favourite movies of all time and it’s very sad that I’m to living a Goonies existence every day of my life. I love all the Dan Brown books and I love National Treasure more than an adult male should. Like, I love National Treasure 2.

It was definitely something I had been trying to figure out how to do in a TV show every week. People have tried it and it’s just really hard to make treasure map shows. I lived in Times Square—which is another one of my failings as a human being—during the attempted Viacom bombing. One morning I woke up and was just like, ‘Man, what if they went to disarm a bomb in Times Square and there was a woman in there instead of a bomb, and she had an FBI guy’s name tattooed on her back?’ I thought, ‘Well, that’s something. Wait, what if she has a whole map tattooed on her back? This is going to be great.’ And I sat down and figured out how to make that a show.

How much research did you do into how the FBI works as you were writing the show?
We have some amazing FBI consultants on the show, so they really vet everything we do to make sure the language is right and make sure we’re not so totally off-base. In last week’s episode there was a CIA/FBI Mexican standoff and I thought, ‘No, that would never happen.’ And they said, ‘Well, no, it could.’ [Laughs.] Things get complicated out in the field. I’ve been continually surprised, thinking, ‘Well no, this is stupid,’ and they tell me it could actually happen.

You’ve worked both in Canada and the U.S. on TV shows. Is it harder to get a series on the air in the U.S. than Canada?
I think it’s hard to get a show on TV, period. Canada has its own gauntlet that you have to run that is unique to Canada and America has its own gauntlet to run. Volume-wise, the U.S. just makes a lot more TV than Canada does, but there is also way more people trying to make TV here. I think it balances out. I think it’s equally difficult.

One morning I woke up and was just like, ‘Man, what if they went to disarm a bomb in Times Square and there was a woman in there instead of a bomb, and she had an FBI guy’s name tattooed on her back?’

You know how tough it is to make TV when it’s based on ratings. In the U.S., if a show doesn’t perform, it gets yanked off the air after mere episodes. Are you pinching yourself because not only do you have a show on the air, but it’s performing well and has a full-season order?
It’s not something that feels real to me. The good news it, the job is the same no matter what. When I did The L.A. Complex, we had the lowest-rated show in the history of television and the job is exactly the same. You just have to put your head down and do the work because whether people watch or not is, weirdly, not up me. I feel extraordinarily grateful to be having the fun that we are on a show like this. To have people watch on top of that is gravy.

How many people have you got in the writers room over there?
We have nine writers, four of whom are Canadians [Brendan Gall, Katherine Collins, Chris Pozzebon and Gero]. It’s a big Canada room. It’s a little on the bigger side for a show like this but a lot of the writers are staff writers. It’s a young room.

Every episode of Blindspot gives answers while uncovering more questions. How do you balance those reveals and queries without upsetting the audience? You can piss them off if you string them along.
That’s a great question. It sounds crazy, but we’re making a show for us. We’re the first audience, so when we’re in the room we’re saying things like, ‘We’re dragging our feet on this,’ or ‘We’re doing this too fast.’ Sometimes the story is taking up too much space and we need more room for the characters, or the characters are taking up too much space. You really have to rely on your internal compass. What’s also great is that we’re working with Berlanti Productions, so Greg and his team are involved. It’s a fantastic set of eyes to have when you get lost and can’t see the forest for the trees. To have another producer there that isn’t another ring to jump through but is actually helping make the show better is great.

When you pitch a show, whether it’s in Canada or the States, when you leave the room everyone has a different idea of what the show is. It’s a flaw in the system. One of the lucky breaks in this is that everybody is trying to make the same show, so you’re not having crazy conversations with the network and the studio about, like, ‘What if Weller owns a cotton candy stand?’ ‘Wait, what?! I don’t even know what that’s about!’

Blindspot airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail