Most of the five seasons “Medium” ran on NBC wrapped with cast and crew wondering if they’d still have jobs the following season, and whether CBS — which produces the show — would swoop in to save “Medium” if and when it got the ax.
That’s precisely what happened this year.
“Frankly, we’re made by CBS, and there was always this quiet sort of acknowledgement that ‘Medium’ would fit well on CBS,” says creator and executive producer Glenn Gordon Caron. “That’s not to be negative about the NBC experience, which I’m very grateful for. We premiered very well initially on NBC. We had really good numbers, and they seemed excited to have us.
“But it became clear after that first season that their mandate at the network had changed; they were very much more about growing material inhouse,” Caron adds. “That meant we were always going to be considered sort of a utility player — something to be brought in when other things didn’t work out. So going to CBS has been pretty terrific for us, because here we’re treated like part of the A-team.”
“Economically and businesswise it’s a smart move because CBS has been the producing entity of the project for so long,” notes executive producer Ron Schwary.
Airing on a network with a vested interest in the show (including a commitment to a specific time period) is proving to be a positive, new experience for cast, crew and ultimately the viewers. “I’m an executive producer of the show, and sometimes I didn’t even know when it was airing (on NBC),” Schwary adds.
“Our audience has never known when we’re going to show up, if we’re going to show up,” says star Patricia Arquette. “I can’t tell you how many times people have said, ‘I’m so sorry your show’s been canceled,’ for the last five years.”
While its new timeslot on Fridays at 9 p.m. might not seem like a dream come true, the folks at “Medium” are simply happy to have a steady home after numerous scheduling changes at NBC. Schwary also points out that the burgeoning DVR market is already making Friday night shows more accessible.
While Caron jokes that the biggest challenge in changing networks was swapping the NBC peacock icon at the bottom of the screen for the CBS eye, the greatest change is finally knowing ahead of time how many episodes they are making and when they will air.
“So this year there’s a real sense of invigoration because we can actually point to a calendar and say, ‘OK, we’re doing this episode that’s going to air the night before Halloween. How do you want to deal with that?’ As a storyteller, that gives you a sense of purpose that we didn’t have before. We’re doing a special Halloween episode, so we’re kicking up our heels we’re so excited.”