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Issue 35

Discussion in 'The Alias Newsletter' started by Azhria Lilu, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. Azhria Lilu

    Azhria Lilu Rocket Ranger

    Nov 18, 2002
    Derbyshire, UK
    The Alias Newsletter

    The weekly Alias newsletter of AllAlias.com – http://www.allalias.com

    Issue 35

    Monday, January 13, 2003

    In this issue:
    1. Next Episode: Phase One
    2. Latest Episode: The Getaway (quotes, summary, and more)
    3. Article of the Week
    4. Browse more news
    5. Quote of the Week
    6. Feature of the Week: 2002 in review, 2003 Preview
    7. Affiliates
    8. Final Thoughts

    1. Next Episode: Phase One

    Next week is a repeat of Cipher. The week after that is the super bowl,
    and directly after that “Phase One” will air. Originally, it was thought
    that an episode called “Double Agent” was going to be the episode to air
    after the super bowl, but it was later learned that it was actually
    going to air a week after it, as the actual super bowl episode was
    surrounded in a lot of secrecy.

    Phase One is supposed to be one of the best episodes ever, written by JJ
    Abrams (the creator of Alias), just for the after-the-super bowl spot
    (which should draw in millions more viewers).

    If you are interested in spoilers, feel free to browse the AllAlias.com
    Spoiler Forum at http://forums.allalias.com/?act=SF&f=9

    9. Latest Episode: The Getaway

    Summary (from ABC.com


    “If the alliance thinks you’ve betrayed them, they’ll kill you. That
    concerns me.” - Sydney

    “Actually, Mr. Sloane, I realized your not wearing the tie I gave you.”
    (Sloane stares)

    MICHAEL: Your life is already complicated Sydney. Forgive me for trying
    to make it easier.
    SYDNEY: I don’t need you for that

    “Stay safe Jack. Good luck.” – Sloane

    "Okay, let's be honest, there's really nothing worse that being
    kidnapped. Actually third grade kinda sucked too.......there was this
    thing with my lunch money..." - Marshall

    “Hey? Three months in the hospital and I get a ‘Hey’?” – Weiss

    “Man I like this tie” – Marshall, after just accidentally cutting it

    “Listen, do you want to go to dinner” - Michael

    “Two things. First, I don’t think it’s that big of a risk and two I’m
    hungry. Aren’t you hungry?” – Michael

    “Sydney Bristow just left the airport with a man, not Dixon” – man

    “I’d be rude to overlook such a generous offer without proper
    considerations.” – Michael

    SYDNEY: We win
    MICHAEL: At the airport you took both of them…
    SYDNEY: Always be prepared

    “We did it… we’re free” - Sloane

    Artist: No Doubt
    Song: "Hella Good"
    Label: Interscope Records

    Artist: Beck
    Song: "Guess I'm Doing Fine"
    Label: Geffen Records

    Artist: Charles-Francois Gounod
    Song: "Salut Demeure"
    Label: N/A


    NI[C]E (Nice is in France, but this wasn’t mentioned)

    In a Dixon quote, something like “I’ve already made 47 heroes…”

    Ring that cuts through almost anything (including Marshall’s tie)

    3. Article of the Week

    This week starts a new feature: Article of the week. Each week, I’ll try
    and select one article that is very important, very good, or just very
    interesting. This week’s article is about ABC, the super bowl, and
    promoting Alias.

    BEGIN ARTICLE (long)

    NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Terrorists, torturers and a troubled family
    background aren't enough to stop super spy Sydney Bristow. Her greatest
    escapade is about to take place right after this year's Super Bowl.

    Whether she succeeds or fails in her mission that night is less
    important than how many people watch her do so - and decide to watch

    Agent Bristow is the lead character on "Alias," an adventure drama
    airing on Walt Disney Co.'s (DIS) turnaround-mode ABC network, and her
    ultimate victory or demise hinges on executives at the Alphabet Network
    transforming the show from a cult fave to a massive hit.

    Putting "Alias" on after the Super Bowl - perhaps the best-watched TV
    event of the year and often a temporary rating booster - is part of a
    "big push" to ensure the program becomes "a big, long-running hit
    drama," says Steve Sohmer, the network's executive vice-president of

    Will "Alias" thrive or die? Ultimately, says Tim Spengler, an executive
    vice president and director of national broadcast at Interpubic Group of
    Cos.' (IPG) Initiative Media, "the unwashed masses across the whole
    country will decide."

    Gripping Episode

    Meanwhile, viewers can expect to be dazzled as "Alias" vies for their
    attention. The episode airing after the big football game "starts with a
    spectacular opening," says J.J. Abrams, the program's creator and
    executive producer, and ends with "the single most shocking thing you'll
    see on TV this year."

    Already, however, ABC has expressed concern over the drama's
    sophomore-year performance. "As well as the show does for us, it should
    be doing better, given the quality," said Lloyd Braun, chairman of ABC's
    entertainment group, during a conference call after the November sweeps.
    "If anything, we've got to make the show more receptive to non-viewers."

    "Alias" stars Jennifer Garner as a twentysomething CIA operative who
    realizes she knows less and less about her family, friends and enemies
    the more and more she deals with them. Like the title, nothing on the
    program is what it seems. Bristow works for the CIA but spends her days
    spying on a rogue operation known as SD-6, which bills itself as a CIA
    offshoot in order to play on its employees' patriotic leanings. By many
    accounts, "Alias' is everything ABC needs - a clever fusion of
    espionage, family drama, gadgets, disguises, exotic travel, humor, a
    breakout starlet and spiraling subplots that keep loyal fans coming back
    week after week.

    The last element may give ABC pause. Like "24," an action series that
    takes place in real time on News Corp.'s (NWS) rival Fox, "Alias" can be
    tough to follow if a viewer skips an episode or two. "It's not a show
    you can watch passively or you can watch hit-or-miss," says Jack Sander,
    executive vice president of media operations for Belo Corp. (BLC), which
    owns four ABC affiliates. "You almost have to stay with it all the time.
    You couldn't have said that about 'ER' five years ago or so."

    Of course, complex storytelling isn't the only challenge. On TV, Sunday
    nights have become as competitive as Thursday nights. For most of this
    season, "Alias" has had to contend not only with "The Sopranos" on AOL
    Time Warner Inc.'s (AOL) HBO, but also "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" on
    General Electric Co.'s (GE) NBC and teen favorite "Angel" on WB, owned
    by AOL and Tribune Co. (TRB).

    "With 'The Sopranos' out of the mix, and 'Angel' moved to Wednesday, I
    think ABC will have a better chance of seeing what 'Alias' can do," says
    Pattie Glod, vice president of marketing and media for Limited Brands
    Inc. (LTD), which advertises for Victoria's Secret during "Alias."

    The network may need to know soon, suggests Kathryn Thomas, an associate
    director at Publicis Groupe SA's (PUB) Starcom Entertainment. Simply
    put, "Alias" isn't cheap, she says, costing between $1.5 million and
    $1.7 million an episode, according to one estimate. Because it is
    produced by Disney's Touchstone Television, ABC and Disney likely bear
    full financial responsibility.

    Show-Biz Economics

    "It's an expensive show to produce. Jennifer Garner has been made a star
    because of this, and will only get more expensive," says Thomas. "If
    they can't find a viable financial model this season," she adds, "Alias"
    could very well "go away."

    ABC disputes that notion. "The shows that are really expensive are shows
    that have gone through one cycle, and then have a chance to renegotiate
    their whole talent structure," says ABC's Sohmer. "I don't know whether
    it's expensive or not, but it's not expensive compared to 'The West
    Wing' and some of those others."

    Nevertheless, ABC might want to look into ways to make "Alias" pay off a
    little faster, suggests Thomas. A DVD of the first season could give the
    show a promotional boost - and a financial one. And repurposing "Alias"
    on cable's ABC Family channel may not be the best use of the program,
    she says; at times, "Alias" can be sexy and violent.

    For his part, Abrams is aware of some of the challenges. "There is some
    truth to the confusion factor, but I love the show so much that the last
    thing I would do is dumb it down," he says. "There is a difference
    between dumbing it down and eliminating unnecessary confusion." Viewers
    can expect subtle shifts in the storytelling, he says, that bring Sydney
    and her CIA handler, Vaughn, together romantically. What's more, the
    show will demonstrate more clearly who Sydney's enemies are, never an
    easy task.

    "Ultimately, the show is a mystery, and that's kind of the fun of it,"
    says Abrams, "but in a mystery, if you don't know who you are, it goes
    from being a mystery to being a mess. That, to me, is something we're
    going to be able to deal with."

    Expect lots of "Alias" promotion over the next few months, says Sohmer,
    on ABC as well as in print and on radio. Promotions for the show focus
    on "the foreground adventure, the caper," he says. "The adventure of the
    week is a real potboiler, with a beginning, middle and an end." Ongoing
    subplots take a back seat. After the Super Bowl, ABC hopes to attract
    new viewers, and then keep them. "You can look for us to be hammering
    away," he says, through February and March.

    Meanwhile, ABC might enjoy an added boost when the 20th Century Fox
    super-hero movie "Daredevil" comes out on Feb. 14 - "Alias" star Garner
    has a featured role as the knife-throwing assassin Elektra. "Getting her
    out on the talk-show circuit, getting her into promotional places could
    help a lot," says Belo's Sander. If so, then "Alias" may well be armed
    for its most harrowing assignment - staying on the air.


    4. Browse more news

    The article of the week is interesting, but there is more going on each
    week in the world of Alias than that. That is why I invite you to browse
    the AllAlias.com News Archive, which includes many articles, not just
    “articles of the week”. Browse it here:

    Find all of the latest news, polls, and more:

    5. Quote of the Week

    “We did it… we’re free” – Sloane to his wife Emily [2.12, The Getaway]

    6. Feature of the Week: 2002 in Review, 2003 Preview

    Also new this week is “Feature of the Week”, where we will feature one
    unique thing each week (that I have the time to do so).

    This week is a double dose of features. These were featured on
    AllAlias.com while I was gone (luckily, I am no longer the only one who
    maintains AllAlias.com).

    The first is a look back at the 5 top Alias-related moments of 2002:

    5. Alias's Season One finale
    -- After rumors that the season finale would be two hours, Almost Thirty
    Years turned out to be a one hour episode. But fans were still not
    disappointed. In this episode, Will is captured by Sark from a CIA
    safehouse. He is brought to Taipei, where Suit and Glasses makes a
    classic return, torturing Will through his teeth. Sloane kills his wife,
    Emily, contingent to becoming a full-pledged Alliance member. Dixon
    suspects Sydney of being a traitor of the United States after he catches
    her gaining unauthorized access into an SD-6 vault. In Taipei, Jack
    meets with Sark to exchange the Rambaldi artifact for Will. Sydney
    breaks into one of Khasinau's labs where she has to destroy a Rambaldi
    device. She plants a bomb and the explosion causes a flood. Sydney and
    Vaughn try to escape it. Only Sydney makes it out, while Vaughn gets
    trapped. A guard then captures Sydney. She wakes up, handcuffed to a
    chair, and meets Khasinau. She also finds out that he is not The Man.
    The Man's shadow is seen, heading closer to the room.

    "I've waited almost thirty years for this."


    4. Alias's Season Two Premiere
    -- After four months of waiting, the last episode's cliffhanger was
    finally continued, only to leave more cliffhangers and mysteries. In The
    Enemy Walks In, Lena Olin was cast into the show with a recurring role,
    playing Irina Derevko, Sydney's mom, who was once believed to be dead.
    Irina added a whole new storyline to Alias, giving it the family drama
    that was more hidden in the first season. Also in this episode, Will
    finds out the truth about Sydney and is injected with heroin as a cover
    story for the article he wrote about SD-6, pretending he was high the
    whole time. Sloane believes that Emily's ghost is haunting him. And
    Irina Derevko turns herself into the CIA.

    3. Alias is nominated twice for the 2002 Golden Globes
    -- Best Series, Drama
    --Best Actress, Drama Series - Jennifer Garner
    In a year where fresh stars were big winners at the Golden Globes, the
    best actress category was no different. Jennifer seemed as stunned as
    some of the critics saying, "I know I was good in 'Dude, Where's My
    Car?,' but seriously!"
    Jennifer Garner took home Best Actress, Drama Series
    Jennifer Garner was again nominated for Best Actress, Drama Series, for
    the 2003 Golden Globes

    2. Alias Gets The Post-Superbowl Spot
    -- The post-Superbowl spot is a highly coveted spot for TV Networks. It
    has been the launching pad to several shows. Alias has gotten that spot
    after the Superbowl on January 26, 2003. This episode, title Double
    Agent, was written by J.J. Abrams, the show's creator. As an ABC source
    put it, he wrote a "kick-ass episode" specifically for this spot.

    1. Alias is nominated for eleven Emmys.
    -- Outstanding Art Direction For A Single Camera Series
    -- Outstanding Casting for A Drama Series
    -- Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series
    -- Outstanding Costumes For A Series
    -- Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Series
    -- Outstanding Hairstyling For A Series
    -- Outstanding Makeup For A Series (Non-Prosthetic)
    -- Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
    -- Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
    -- Outstanding Stunt Coordination
    -- Out standing Writing For A Drama Series
    Alias won 'Outstanding Art Direction For A Single Camera Series' and
    'Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series'

    The second (and final) is the top 5 things to look forward to in 2003:

    5. Daredevil - Jennifer Garner (Sydney Bristow) co-stars in this movie
    based on the comic book series. It opens Valentines day, and looks like
    it will be a great movie.

    4. The post-superbowl episode and the new fans because of it - ABC has
    announced it will air Alias directly after this years super bowl, which
    it will also air. This will mean millions more people will watch it, and
    that means more fans. In addition, JJ Abrams (the creator of Alias)
    wrote this episode to be one of the best this year. We can't wait.

    3. Alias on DVD - according to reports, Season 1 will come out around
    the time (probably just before) Season 3 begins. We can't wait for all
    of the episodes in good quality, and all of the extra features that
    should be included.

    2. The Season 2 Finale - The season 2 finale was just great and JJ will
    probably throw us even more cliffhangers this year. This may make for a
    long summer, but it also makes great entertainment.

    And the thing we look forward to the most in 2003:
    1. Season 3 Premiere - that is, if there is one. The starts of Season 2
    and Season 1 were great, so we assume this one will be too. It also
    means an entire new Alias season.

    Darn it, the thing we can't wait the most for is the last thing that we
    will see that is on this list!

    Anyway, these next things deserve honorable mention even though they
    didn't make this list:
    - Alias: A Secret Life - the sequel to Alias: Recruited, the Alias
    fiction novel.
    - Awards season (early 2003) - Alias did well last year,
    - Emmys 2003 - maybe it will finally take home a big award this year?
    - Alias #3 - the 3rd book in the Alias Fiction Series
    - Alias Action Figures - go on your own mssions with Sydney Bristow
    - Alias on PS2 - An Alias game may be coming to the PlatStation 2, but
    we're not sure.

    7. Affiliates

    Browse our affiliates at:

    8. Final Thoughts

    Thank you for reading this edition of The Alias Newsletter, a newsletter
    from AllAlias.com

    As always, feel free to send your comments and suggestions to me at
    char-@allalias.com - subscriber comments is one of the main ways this
    newsletter improves. I’m especially interested in hearing your thoughts
    on our new features: article of the week, photo of the week, and feature
    of the week.

    Have a great week.

    Editor, The Alias Newsletter
    Webmaster, AllAlias.com

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