Tired of Alcatraz flashbacks? Producer agreed, so she cut 'em

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Dec 17, 2012, 3:16 PM EST

Considering that J.J. Abrams is behind Fox's Alcatraz, it's not too surprising that the show features quite a few flashbacks. Abrams elevated character flashbacks to an art on Lost, and the stories told in 1960 on Alcatraz are usually pretty good. But did you know the initial cut of the show was apparently even more flashback-heavy than what made it to air?

In an interview with Assignment X, Alcatraz producer Jennifer Johnson said one thing she did when she became co-showrunner was to shift toward more modern-day cases, toning down the attention on 1960s storylines.

"The flashbacks were always fantastic, really vivid and alive, and we just wanted to make sure that the A stories were moving as fast as the premise promised," she said. "So we made that adjustment. It's nothing that anybody [as a viewer will notice], because they'll be seeing it for the first time."

Johnson hinted that the initial scripts may have focused a bit too heavily on the 1960s prisoners and staff, so she opted to use the flashbacks—ironically enough—as Abrams did on Lost: To complement the primary, modern-day stories.

"It was just to make the A stories more at the forefront of the show and make the flashbacks reflect what was happening in the A story a little more," she said.

Very interesting to hear how the show evolved from conception to execution. But if the ratings don't rebound, Alcatraz itself could be a flashback—as Fox has already canned fellow sci-fi stable mate Terra Nova. Some prognosticators think the show still has a fighting chance, but only Father Time, and the suits at Fox, know for sure.

Sound off: So, do you prefer the modern-day stories, or do you wish the show had stayed rooted in the past a bit more?

(via Assignment X)