If having relatable characters is the key to successful television, Kevin Williamson must figure he has a massive hit on his hands with his upcoming CBS drama “Stalker.” Because, the way he sees it, we all have a little bit of stalker in us.
“Everyone can be a stalker. Everyone can be a victim — women, men, children, groups, gangs. I mean, there’s so many versions of stalking,” Williamson said during a panel for the series — which stars Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q as a pair of detectives on the LAPD stalker unit — at the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday. “There’s so many different crimes of stalking … it’s a very complicated, insidious kind of crime.”
Williamson returned to the topic of the relatability of stalking later in the panel, when he was reminded of the fact that McDermott’s character, Det. Jack Larsen, displays some latent stalker tendencies himself.
“We all could be stalkers; we’ve all stalked someone at one time,” Williamson suggested. “How many times when we’ve broken up with someone, when we were young, and we had to drive by their house just to see who’s parked in their driveway? You know, you’re stalking.”
During the course of the panel, Williamson also strove to distinguish “Stalker” from his Fox offering, the serial-killer drama “The Following.”
“In my mind its apples and oranges,” Williams said, brushing off comparisons. “It’s a totally different show; it’s eerie, it’s creepy, it’s suspenseful like a thriller and it’s a sort of ‘what lurks in the dark’ quality,” Williams said, but at the end of the day, “this is a crime drama. We’re on CBS; this is a procedural.”
In keeping with the stalker theme of the panel, Williamson admitted that he himself had been the victim of stalking, which led him to discover the LAPD stalking unit that “Stalker” is based on.
“I had an overzealous fan, yes,” Williamson recalled, adding that the incident involved someone breaking into his house but that “it did not reach any big set piece finale.”
During the panel, Williamson emphasized that the series will try to strike a balance between raising awareness about stalking and providing an entertaining drama every week. Asked why the topic of stalking should be considered fun or entertaining, Williamson offered a pithy bit of advice for those unable to do so.
“Turn the channel,” Williamson suggested.