The executive producers of CBS’s new “Intelligence” say they’ve heard the comparisons to “Chuck,” but weren’t influenced by the NBC comedy-drama — because they haven’t seen it.
Both shows are about government agents with computer-enhanced brains that give them special abilities. Executive producer Michael Seitzman said that since he’s heard the comparisons, he’s deliberately avoided “Chuck” to make sure he doesn’t subconsciously borrow from it.
“You don’t want to steal anyone’s ideas so the further away we stay from it the better it is,” he said. Still, he joked, he’d welcome the passionate fanbase of “Chuck.”
“Those are the best fans I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Star Josh Holloway said he has seen the now defunct NBC show.
“I’ve seen ‘Chuck’ and I liked ‘Chuck,'” he said. But he said Chuck was more powerful than his character, Gabriel: “Chuck could download things and do things. I can’t do that.”
Seitzman and Holloway spoke Wednesday at a Television Critics Association panel for the show, where they also announced that Peter Coyote will appear as the father of Marg Helgenberger‘s character. She plays the head of the intelligence agency built around Gabriel.
One thing the show says it isn’t drawing from: stories about government surveillance. The producers said the show is more influenced by Google Glass, which is kind of a less-advanced version of the kind of tech Gabriel has implanted in his head.
Seitzman noted that Gabriel uses his powers for “surveilling everyone around him, and he doesn’t have a warrant.” But he said the show isn’t casting judgments.
“We don’t really think of it as our responsibility to argue about the morality of these things,” he said.
Holloway, however, said he hoped the show would take a closer look at tough questions about the role technology plays in our lives.
“For me that’s one of the reasons I took this project,” he said. “I really liked the questions it posed about technology and our own humanity.”