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"Rescue Me" producer Tolan: Anti-heroes -- so over

"Rescue Me" creator/writer/executive producer Peter Tolan is, to quote FX chief press wrangler, a "TCA superhero."

His Q&A sessions at semi-annual Television Critics Association's press tours usually cough up the event's most politically incorrect moments. Sadly, by the time Tolan got to Summer TV Press Tour 2010, that distinction had already been won, hands down, by the Fox network, when it compelled some Hispanic employees of the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel, who were helping out with the tour, to wear black T-shirts on which were printed in large white letters the words HUMAN TARGET -- as though we were in Phoenix or something.

But Tolan's Q&A session was not without its moments.

Asked about the series finale of his darkly comedic FX series, in which Denis Leary plays a NYC firefighter and which is scheduled to bow out some time close to the 10th anniversary of 9/11 - Tolan said he and Leary talked thought about bowing out in a "dark place" in which Leary's Tommy "sits down in the middle of a room on a chair, and that's how it ends."

But they ruled it out, Tolan said, because "you create a series that lasts this long, there's gotta be some reason at the end, why people watched it - otherwise, they will feel like they're watching 'The Sopranos' again. I'm kidding of course - that was a very, in its own way, inappropriate finale."

Going forward, Tolan said, "I've made the choice that I really want to do things that say good things about life and people, that are a little more positive. So, you know, when I started this [TV production] company, the first two things that were given to me were hit-men. And I said I'm not going a guy who kills people, even if he's a conflicted hit-man. And by the way, that's the new thing. If you have a conflicted hit man pitch, I've got bad news. There's already a million of them, guys who are conflicted hit-men.

"Frankly, I don't think that happens in real life. I think that's a Hollywood conceit, of the conflicted hit-man. I don't get it. My next show is going to be about an agoraphobic Park Avenue family," he continued. "They just stayed in that really nice apartment. That's every show. They never left. It didn't rain. Didn't matter. It wasn't hot. It wasn't cold. It was just the same temperature all the time....The antihero is on the way out. People are looking for
something else."

By Lisa de Moraes  |  August 4, 2010; 12:55 PM ET
Categories:  Summer TV Press Tour 2010  
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As a faithful follower of the show, I like Tolan's idea for an ending especially if the ghosts of Tommy Gavin appear with him. Perhaps they can welcome him to the here-after? Just a thought.

Posted by: milevin | August 5, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

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