When you cook a meal for the first time and decide that you like certain parts and not others, you can always just customize it more to your liking the next time you cook it. TNT is embracing that approach in delivering Season 2 of Legends, which is basically just taking Sean Bean’s character and putting him in a completely different kind of series.
Season 1 of Legends was neither a critical smash nor a ratings success, and while those elements alone have sealed many TV shows’ fates in the past, everyone seemed to agree that Sean Bean was the best part of the show. And so, under the new iron fist of network head Kevin Reilly, TNT and Legends’ producers brought in a new showrunner, Ken Biller, a former writer/producer for shows such as Star Trek: Voyager and Smallville, along with the TNT drama Perception. Instead of merely trying to fix a few supposed mistakes, though, Biller decided to just pitch the network an entirely new show.
Here’s how Biller explained the process of connecting this show’s new dots to THR.
Basically what they said to me was ‘We love Sean Bean, we love Howard Gordon, and we’re interested with this source material – but we thought that the show in the first season was too traditional, too case-of-the-week.’ I hit upon a notion of how to tell the show in a more modern, novelistic, serialized way, and I pitched that approach to the studio and the network. They really liked it. I pitched it to Sean and Sean loved it. Once he was on board with it, we hired a whole new cast with the exception of Morris Chestnut. It didn’t have anything to do with not liking any of the actors from the first season, but because of the new approach, the new storyline set in new locations, we started recasting all of the new roles.
So with the new season, we won’t just be watching the identity-troubled Martin Odum taking on a bunch of different cases. Biller used the Season 1 discovery that Martin was a former MI6 agent and uses it as a jumping-off point for a new serialized storyline. So does that mean we’re saying goodbye to Crystal, Maggie, Nelson and Martin’s family? Looks like it.
In fact, we might not be seeing all that much of Morris Chestnut’s Tony Rice, either. As Chestnut is now the leading man in Fox’s popular procedural drama Rosewood, his schedule is pretty packed. Biller says that in order to honor fans of Season 1, they worked out a specialized arc for Tony to fit into so that his story could be told in three episodes.
Thankfully for viewers hoping to not be taken through years of storytelling before we find out who Martin really is, Biller also says that by the end of Season 2, the audience will learn his real identity. So keep that in mind when tuning into the premiere of Legends Season 2 tonight, Monday, November 2, on TNT.