The second season of ‘Bull’ is winding down, with the series finale airing tonight at 9/8c on CBS. Glenn Gordon Caron discusses what we can expect on the finale, and how he balances his many roles of writing, producing and more as ‘Bull’ showrunner.
Dr. Bull has a lot going on going into the season finale. What can we expect on the final episode?
You can expect all of those things to come to a head. Which is to say, Bull is clearly more affected than he anticipated with the re-marriage of his wife. He’s starting to feel in a very profound way a sense of disconnection with the people he works with. I think he’s starting to feel the weight of consequence of this young man, Elliot’s life, which is the story that consumes the episode just prior. All those things are coming to a boil, in addition to the fact that the last five or six months, he hasn’t been taking care of himself. Whatever it is that’s been eating at him has led him to drink too much, to eat too much, just not take terribly good care of himself.
As showrunner, you wear a lot of different hats at once. Can you talk about your different roles and how you handle everything?
Gosh. I guess it all starts with an idea for a story, which can come from a variety of places. From one of the writers, from a notion that’s been kicking around in my head. I will work with one of the writers to develop that and try to turn it into a full-fledged story for the show. At the same time, as these things are all happening at once, I’m working on pre-production on the show that’s getting ready to be shot. That means I’m approving locations, weighing in on casting, talking to the director. At the same time, I’m doing post-production on whatever show was just shot, which means I’m working with the director and the editor on the final cut of the episode, working with the composer on the music, working with, to a lesser extent, the colorist and those sorts of people. And at the same time, I’m trying to have a dialogue with the actors. I pretty much have a constant dialogue with Michael [Weatherly, who plays Bull], and to a lesser extent, with Geneva [Carr], and Jaime [Lee Kirchner], and Annabelle [Attanasio], and Chris [Jackson], and Freddy [Rodriguez]. But I’m always trying to be in their ear, and always letting them know that they can be in mine. I always compare running a show to being in a band. You’re always watching the other players, and if you pick up on someone having an unexpected talent, or an unexpected color as an actor, that’s something that you want to chase down and use. That’s what keeps the show alive. You’re doing all those things, and you’re talking to the network, and you’re talking to the studio. This all sounds like I’m complaining, and I’m not. This is a fantastic job. It’s just infinitely, creatively exciting, particularly with this cast, because they’re a really wonderful cast.
What’s it been like working with the cast?
I really did not know Michael at all until the possibility of getting involved was brought up. He graciously flew from New York to Los Angeles, which is where I live. We met for three or four hours and just instantly hit it off. I instantly liked him and I think he felt the same way. We had a kind of short-hand that I take tremendous pride in. I’ve had it with other actors in the past. You recognize it almost instantly when you sit with someone and you think, “Oh, I could write for this person, I can bring out things in this person that I think people would find very exciting.” I had that experience in the beginning of my career with Bruce Willis, just instantly clicked. I had it with Michael Keaton. I’ve had it a few times. And I’m having that experience right now with Michael Weatherly. It’s so satisfying, it’s almost difficult to put into words. Freddy also, because Freddy’s been around for a while. We’ve both had quite a bit of work, so we both have things to compare. Freddy’s really, really skilled, and just a ball to write for, and just great fun to be around. Geneva is really interesting because up until this, she’s been primarily a stage actress. It’s been fun watching her get to understand film and television, how to perform, where the gauge is, how to contour a performance. She had some wonderful story opportunities in the last episode, a really interesting, heartbreaking arc. Since her character’s usually cast as the one person who can look a person in the eye and tell them the truth, she tends to have these wonderfully intense scenes.
The “Bull” season finale airs tonight at 9/8c on CBS. Check local listings for more information.