It’s that time of year again, when the Grim Reaper gets paid overtime by the television networks to claim the souls of TV shows that have not made the ratings to justify being renewed. Freshly cut by the dealer of death is the freshman ABC drama, Forever.
Forever is an American TV show, a drama with fantasy elements, produced by Warner Brothers TV and created by Matt Miller. The series follows the ongoing adventures of Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd), a medical examiner in New York City who has a peculiar condition: immortality. For over 200 years Henry has been able to experience death, but always comes back alive, naked in a body of water. He spends his time helping the NYPD solve crimes and trying to unlock the key to his own predicament. Working with his quirky assistant Lucas (Joel David Moore), Henry uses modern forensics and his 200+ years of experience to perform autopsies on murder victims. Dr. Morgan partners with police Detectives Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza) and Mike Hanson (Donnie Keshawarz), and using his Sherlock-like intellect, helps them solve crimes that might ordinarily be too difficult to solve using conventional methods of detection. Henry lives with his adopted son, Abe (Judd Hirsch), whom he adopted in World War II. Their relationship makes for a fun dynamic, because Abe appears older and has the aches of pains of natural aging, whereas Henry still moves around like a fit thirty-something. Reigning in Henry and the Detectives is Lieutenant Reece (Lorraine Toussaint), the commanding office who makes sure that the team works efficiently and within the letter of the law.
What makes Forever work? The depth of the characters and how well they interact. Key to this show is how well the characters are fleshed out. Henry has a wealth of knowledge and experience that he has gained over the last 200 years and none of it came easy. He has seen all sorts of crazy events play out, watched loves one grow old and die (while he never ages a day), and had to move and leave his friends behind whenever his past started to catch up with him. Abe is a Holocaust survivor, Vietnam veteran, divorced twice (to the same woman) and a fine purveyor of antiques that he can sell in his shop. Jo is a tough but fair Detective who is still grieving the sudden death of her husband. Each of the members of the cast has their own unique perspective, past and experiences. Adding to this depth, is the beautifully nuanced performances that each of the actors give. It is truly a delight to watch them perform and interact. As the show progresses, the character’s relationships deepen and they develop a rhythm that makes the dialogue lively and entertaining.
Another fascinating aspect to Forever is the rich mythology that they build around Dr. Henry Morgan’s immortality. Shot in the chest aboard a slave ship in 1814, Henry should be dead, but for reasons that he has yet to be able to figure out, he cannot permanently die, and he’s died a lot. In fact, he keeps a journal cataloging his deaths, the experience, pain, how long he remained dead before reviving, the works. In his search for the truth, Henry is discovered by a man named Adam (Burn Gorman), who claims to be immortal as well. Adam has lived well over 2000 years and is hoping to use Henry as a guinea pig for his theory on how they achieved their immortality, and more importantly how it might be ended. The game of cat and mouse they play is intricate, frightening and a tremendous battle between 2 highly intelligent adversaries.
There is so much that works on this show, from the smartly written scripts to the quality production design, that its hard to not like this show. And the show did boast some accolades for it’s host network ABC. For its Tuesday 10 PM time slot, Forever improved the ratings by an average of 70% over the previous year of programming. Also, Forever saw huge increases in time shifted viewing (people watching it within 7 days via DVR) usually averaging between 85 to 100% increase in viewership – essentially nearly doubling its audience each week. Unfortunately, Forever didn’t set the network’s ratings on fire, and as such it has been cancelled by ABC.
The good news!
It’s not over yet! The series creator, Matt Miller, has taken to Twitter to let the fans know that he and Warner Brothers TV are going to be pitching a continuation of Forever to any and all possible broadcasters. Many are speculating that Netflix, Hulu, and TNT are the focus for the pitch. Admittedly, Miller indicated that it was a long process with a ton of negotiating involved, as such it could be weeks or month before we know the ultimate fate of the show.
What can you do to help?
Get involved! There are a lot of ways you can help save Forever.
- Today there is a drive on Twitter to see if we can keep #saveforever trending from 2 PM thru 10 PM EST. get on Twitter and make it happen folks!
- Sign some petitions! Multiple fans have put together petitions with thousands of signatures. Jump on the band wagon here and here.
- Join an online community, get vocal and have fun meeting other fans of the series! You can start here: Foreverists
- Call Netflix! 1-800-585-7265 and request for them to pick up a new season of Forever.
- Get creative! Maybe start a campaign to send 100,000 Oh, Henry candy bars to Netflix or Hulu. Or scarfs, send a mess of scarfs to the powers that be. I do not have the social presence to make this happen, but it would get involved in a heartbeat.
Bottom line, get involved folks! We have an opportunity to keep this show on the air, and I personally think it would be sublime if Dr. Henry Morgan could return from the dead one more time for another season.
New to the series? Check out the official trailer. If you like it, all 22 episodes are available on iTunes, Amazon, and other digital formats.