Can Kyle Killen catch a break in this town?
Killen, creator of the new Fox series "Lone Star," saw his show go from critical darling to cancellation candidate in the span of less than 24 hours after its premiere episode Monday drew staggeringly low ratings.
Killen spoke with TheWrap via email about the future of the show and the questions surrounding another of his projects — the black comedy "The Beaver," starring Mel Gibson.
Given the loud cheers "Lone Star" drew from critics, Killen said the show's staff was shocked by its poor performance this week. "Obviously we're all stunned by where we ended up Monday," Killen told TheWrap.
According to Killen, "Lone Star" is still in production, and the writers are still at work on new scripts. Killen said he's unaware of any plans to try to move the show to another time slot or network.
"We've gotten the sort of reviews I would gladly tattoo across my forehead, the response from the people who tuned in has been incredibly positive, and the season long story we've worked out is something everyone on staff is dying to share," Killen said.
Killen said the low ratings for "Lone Star's" debut mean episode two is likely a make-or-break moment.
"The truth is, in a week there's probably only going to be two ways you can describe 'Lone Star': a historically spectacular failure or a truly miraculous comeback," Killen said.
Though he knows the show is on shaky ground, Killen said he's hopeful fans will "get behind the underdog" and support the series.
"At this point if 'Rudy' and 'Rocky' had a baby it wouldn't be as big an underdog as 'Lone Star,'" Killen said.
And it isn't the only one of Killen's projects on shaky ground.
Killen wrote the script for "The Beaver," a black comedy starring Mel Gibson as a businessman who develops an attachment to a hand-puppet. But the film was put on hold by its distributor, Summit Entertainment, following the release of taped recordings of Gibson making violent, racist statements to his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.
Killen said he's still in the dark about the status of "The Beaver."
"Only Summit knows when/if/how it will ever be released," Killen said.
Killen seems to be maintaining his sense of humor in spite of the problems facing his projects.
"When you put the two of those issues back-to-back like that I really look like I'm batting 1000, huh?" he joked.
Killen has had a stretch of bad luck, but the overwhelmingly positive reviews for "Lone Star" and the extenuating circumstances surrounding "The Beaver" should prevent Hollywood from judging him too harshly.
In fact, the internet is abuzz with talk that Gibson and "The Beaver" could be Oscar contenders — if the film ever actually makes it to theaters.
Additional reporting by Jeff Sneider