The CW will premiere it’s new drama, Cult, February 19th. The Vampire Diaries alum, Matt Davis stars as Jeff, an investigative journalist who is in search of his missing brother, but finds a darker journey into the ‘underbelly’ of a TV series with a ravenous fan base. The TCA panel featured EP and showrunner Rockne S. O’Bannon, EP Len Goldstein and EP Josh Schwartz. The trio teased his series’ examination between fans and their shows and spoils that Cult will be putting a ‘magnifying glass’ on the scary passion fans can develop that forms into obsession. Showrunner O’Bannon also spoiled about what his inspiration for Cult was and a little about it’s birth to screen journey.
So the first question from a critic on a TCA panel this morning asked maybe whether there was a danger in looking at passionate television fans and telling them “your passion scares “your passion scares me and I’m afraid you might kill me.” Exec producer and showrunner Rockne S. O’Bannon admitted that the production team is very cognizant of this issue. “But unlike other shows, we have the advantage of putting a magnifying glass on that idea itself,” he reasoned. Exec producer Len Goldstein went on to explain that Cult is absolutely peering at the relationship between fans and their shows, “which is certainly more pronounced than ever before… There certainly is a fan passion for a certain kind of show. (Cult is) generally about the relationship of television to society. For us, there really are questions more than answers.” Exec producer Josh Schwartz added that the difference today is how viewers can combine their emotional ownership in a show with greater access to the people who create and write and star in those shows. “They may feel they control that conversation as well. And when things don’t go the way they have tweeted, there’s a certain level of animosity that can start to grow.”
The idea for Cult was born during O’Bannon’s years making the series Farscape, which inspired “incredible fan passion,” he said. “It started me to thinking, what if the show were to have a little bit darker edge? What sort of fans would it then draw? Then add that with the ability of fans to connect through social media.”