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In Plain Sight Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is the transcript of an Interview on May 5, 2011 with Executive Producers John Strauss and Ed Decter about the USA Network show In Plain Sight.

In Plain Sight

Question:
What was it like to step into an already established show?

Ed Decter:
The thing we both said to each other was this is a great cast. This is a cast you can do a lot of stories with and have them be able to perform really two or three things at once, we're amazed about our cast that they are so intelligent and nimble and adaptable.

John Strauss:
We also felt like there were all kinds of opportunities to expand on what was there already, particularly with creating a little more life in the office and using Paul Ben-Victor more and creating a couple of new cast members at WitSec where we really had a family of people working together. And we're very, very happy with the way that's turned out.

Question:
Obviously the big news this season is Mary's pregnancy. How big of a part is that going to play as the season goes on?

Ed Decter:
It will be major. We keep saying Mary and ???In Plain Sight??? will never be the same again.

John Strauss:
It touches on all aspects of her life from how she is able to conduct herself at work and certainly in her personal life and how her whole world view really is going to change. It was really a blessing for us to be able to add this new dimension to the show.

Ed Decter:
And this season's whole theme was about change, about how everyone around Mary is changing. And then, all of a sudden, the stork gave us pretty much the greatest change that could happen to the show ever.

Question:
Between Mary's pregnancy and Marshall getting this love interest this season, how will that change the dynamic between Marshall and Mary?

Ed Decter:
That's a really good question and one we're going to not answer because you're going to have to see it. But there will be changes. There will be changes.

John Strauss:
We can also say that one of our favorite aspects of the show when we walked into it was this great banter that the two of them have had. And we've really stayed true to that relationship. And despite the changes, I think we will always maintain that, kind of, underlying affection, tension, romantic tension that the two of them have together. Even with the changes, I think you're still going to see the spark between them.

Question:
When dealing with such an unexpected event like a pregnancy in real life, how do you make sure future changes are organic to the character in the show itself?

Ed Decter:
Wit was through preparation. We had all the scripts already written when we got the joyous announcement from Mary that she was having a baby. So we said okay well we know the cases that she's going to be working on. How does her having a baby change the point of view of those cases? And the freaky thing was that we we're so happy about was that it just made them better.

John Strauss:
We got lucky. As Ed said, a lot of it was, I think, we were way ahead in terms of preparation. It was one of those lucky things that happen where it worked. We were able to go back and add this new dimension to more than half of the episodes. And it was a lot of work. But it fit organically versus having to literally scrap half of the shows that had been written. So it was a happy accident.

Ed Decter:
And one of the things about Mary's character is the most entertaining things in the show are things that annoy Mary. And, so she has stated many times in the show the character of Mary Shannon, that she's not a baby person. She doesn't get babies. So there's nothing better than to have this baby coming and seeing how Mary is going to deal with it.

Question:
How do you see the nature of Mary's voice over changing for the season?

Ed Decter:
It's very exciting to see what Mary's going to be thinking about in her voice overs as she is being forced into change. She's not someone who changes willingly. She's someone who has to be forced into change.

John Strauss:
But it's going to make her think more about family. It may make her think even at some point, more about her own father. It opens up a lot of really, really interesting possibilities for the character.

Question:
What were you doing before ???In Plain Sight??? and how did that lead to your coming into the show as show runners?

Ed Decter:
We had been running a lot of TV and movies. We wrote ???There's Something About Mary??? and ???The Santa Clause??? movies. And we had been doing a lot of TV. This opportunity came out of nowhere. Our agent spoke to us about it. And we had known and loved the show. What we really liked about the show before we joined up was that it was a procedural show that concentrated more on character than on procedure. And that was very exciting to us, especially with our past, having written a lot of romantic comedies and things like that because at the core, Mary and Marshall, there's a little bit of a romantic comedy going on all the time between the two of them.

John Strauss:
And we're also just big TV fans in general and, particularly a lot of the cable shows, the hour procedural's. Were both just fans. And this was among the shows that we were fans of and watched. It was a really good fit for us.

Question:
How did you arrive at a way to bring about changes, even before Mary's pregnancy, without sacrificing the unique tone of the show?

Ed Decter:
We just noticed that the best stories were where Mary was provoked by something. So we said, okay, what if she's a very protective person with her witnesses and with her family and with her very close friends. So what if we throw a lot of monkey wrenches in there? And what does the lioness do when she doesn't have so many cubs to protect? Then we thought that Mary would have to force some issues of her own about her father, about what is her role in the world if she's not protecting her sister and her mother?

John Strauss:
It's also a really a fun position to be in where you're coming in after three seasons of a show and you can re-watch all of the episodes and see which were your favorite ones and why were they and what kind of things worked best in episodes and then play to those strengths. It's a great way to actually come in to a show.

Question:
Will Marshall be an influence on Mary's potential parenting?

Ed Decter:
So much. But we wont tell you the specifics. But, of course, Marshall and Stan and also Paul Ben-Victor, their attitude is going to be if Mary's having a baby, we're all having a baby because they all work so closely together.

John Strauss:
And as you know from watching the show Marshall as a character is very opinionated. And we've not shied away from that at all. So he will be very, very involved.

Question:
Will you be giving any hints about who the baby's father is?

John Strauss:
Oh, we cant do that. That would be wrong.

Ed Decter:
That wouldn't be fun at all.

John Strauss:
We wouldn't be good at our jobs if we did that.

Question:
How far into the season are we going to get before we start getting little hints?

John Strauss:
A few in. You'll have to stay tuned. But you wont be disappointed.

Question:
I know you guys don's want to say who the father of Mary's baby is, but can you at least say whether it's someone we've seen on screen before?

Ed Decter:
We cant say that either. But what we can say is it will be a wonderful twist and surprise for the audience.

Question:
How is this also going to affect Brandi and her relationship and Mary's relationship with her mom going forward?

Ed Decter:
We really deal with that in some of the later episodes. At first, Mary's feelings about being pregnant are very dynamic. And so, therefore, she deals with the pregnancy in a very Mary like way. And we're never sure exactly what's going to happen with here. And neither are Jinx and Brandi.

John Strauss:
But it's safe to say that they will still very much be intertwined in each other's lives.

Question:
So Jinx is going to be back on the show?

Ed Decter:
Yes, we're very happy Jinx is going to be in a bunch of episodes. And she's got some great stuff to do this year, some new sides of Jinx that we haven's seen before. So we're very excited about it.

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