Horror naturally extends its claws on cable nets where its gruesome imagery can bloom. “American Horror Story” frightens FX viewers, while “Walking Dead” and “True Blood” flaunt gore on AMC and HBO respectively. This fall, however, horror is creeping over to ABC with the premiere of “666 Park Ave.” During the show’s panel at ABC’s TCA press tour, exec producer David Wilcox offered insight as to how he and the skein’s creative team bring scares in spite of the limitations of broadcast nets.
“I’ve been a horror fan for a long time,” said Wilcox to the audience at the Beverly Hilton. “It’s the kind of genre that has a real, direct connection with the audience. I’ve thought there could be a show in the horror genre that could work on network TV for a long time because it’s so successful theatrically.”
From the creative inception of “666’s” TV adaptation, however, Wilcox knew his team would face certain challenges within the genre. “I told my writers, we don’t have the tool of gore and blood and that kind of spectacle. It has forced us to be a lot more clever in how we tell these stories.”
Wilcox and the “666” crew have looked backwards, then, while moving forward with the project. “We looked at Hitchcock films, and how so much of those stories keep playing in your head even when you’re not seeing [action] on screen. That was very instructive for us as we were getting into the [‘666’] stories.”
If fans of the genre are looking for gore, Wilcox knows the new ABC drama may fall short of expectations. “There are people that love to see blood, murder and mayhem,” Wilcox remarked. “And there are shows on cable that have freedom to do that.”
However, Wilcox is confident in the “666” product. “For us, it’s a different kind of horror. It’s a psychological horror,” he said. “That’s not to say there aren’t some shocking, visceral moments in the show…But [‘666’] is driven by suspense and mystery.”