Behind The Cape: Producer Speaks on New NBC Series

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The Cape is coming to NBC.

Set to premiere with a two-hour episode on January 9, before moving to its permanent time slot on Monday nights, this NBC drama will star David Lyons as a cop who takes on the persona of a superhero in order to remain close to his family.

Check out an extended promo for The Cape now and read on for excerpts of a conference call interview with creator Tom Wheeler.

The Cape Photo

On creating a fictional universe: I knew I wanted costumes... and I’ve been sort of approaching it from a couple different places. I want it to have kind of a pulp sensibility. I wanted Palm City to feel like it had some timeless elements to it.

The nightlife I wanted to feel sort of old Hollywood. I wanted a feel of different worlds within it and yet still be a relatable world. So I think you'll see kind of a mixture of both. But that was the genesis of some of it and how they ended up combining a little bit.

The issues within this city, it's gangsters. It's corrupt businessman, corrupt cops. It’s a little bit of this police state within this city that I thought would help kind of contain it and give it the stories of sort of certain unique flavor.

On grounding a comic book series in reality: It's going to be sort of limited in what characters can actually do. I prefer that because I feel that will bring us deeper into our characters. And there’s a fugitive aspect to this story about a guy trying to get home.

We tackle it in a pretty realistic way. It's not sort of just we set up the premise and then he just goes and sort of punches bad guys in the head. I kind of approach these things as a novelist.. I tend to tackle these things with a sort of lot of ambition and scope. But I think they have to start from a very intimate emotional stakes place.

So what launches The Cape into existence is this struggle to get back to his family and to send a message to his son.

On attracting non-comic book fans: There's a Palm City [with] real people living their lives part of this story.

For instance, Vince’s wife Dana (who is just played terrifically by Jennifer Ferrin), she's a single mom now suddenly who has been forced to move to a scarier part of town, who is now the sole breadwinner for her family... she's coming up face to face with sort of the corruption and the stuff that's going on... there's influences and story influences that are pretty embracing to all audiences.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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    From what I’m hearing and seeing in the promos and interviews with the principles, it stands a good chance of being a great show. The show runner is seriously invested in the concept and appears to have spent a lot of time working out the fine details. The lead actors are first rate and the concept isn’t quite as hokey as it seems.

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    If a show based on a Buy More nerd being embedded with a CIA computer database isn’t ridiculous, I find it hard to understand why The Cape is any more ridiculous. The Cape is presumably intended to be less of a dramedy than Chuck, but there still is room for some humor in the show. Clearly it’s not intended to be a dark drama. It’s more along the lines of The Spirit than The Dark Knight, albeit with elements of the latter. As usual, it will depend on execution as much as premise. But I suspect the show will surprise. In any event, it’s NBC’s last chance to salvage this season so they better hope it pulls it off.

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    When I heard about this I thought...oh boy..they are going to have another stupid network drama, and in the end the superhero aspect of it will be total cheese. I AM HAPPY TO SAY I WAS WRONG! This looks to be a fresh, serious take by NBC on the Superhero Genre! LOOKS BADASS!

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    This series is looking up for the better with every news article we get, fingers crossed it will have the magic "Heroes" once had and become a must watch show of the week if it makes a series. i'm tired of recycled cop dramas with the same "loose cannon"-type protagonist, the same old medical dramas, family shows, etc. I'm looking for something different, I'm not expecting much but it sure would be a breath of fresh air if this turned out to be at least a solid show.

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    I’m glad to see Summer Glau still getting work (though I secretly hope they are planning a mini-movie finale to tie off that really great Sarah Connor Chronicles cliffhanger), and The Cape DOES sound tempting… It could be a light-hearted take on the superhero drama, so as long as they make engaging characters like in Chuck, it could be a hit!