One of the most upsetting cancellations of the 2008 -2009 season was ABC’s October Road. Faithful viewers were truly tied into the characters’ struggles and emotional journeys. When the show ended, there were many unresolved questions. Now, thanks to the creators and cast, it looks like we’re going to get some closure.
October Road was moderately successful in the ratings in its first season and earned a renewal based on ABC’s belief that the audience would grow. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and viewership only dropped in season two. There were some discussions about moving the series to another channel but there weren’t any takers. As a result, the series finale aired on March 10th.
Thankfully for the fans, the creators of October Road are just as invested in the show as the viewers. Though Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg had already committed to running ABC’s new Life on Mars series, they wanted to finish the Knights Ridge saga properly. Appelbaum told Zap2It, “We got the call that the show was cancelled on Tuesday at 9:45 in the morning and by 10 o’clock at night, [we] were writing the finale. It’s sort of like therapy for us, but the most important thing is that it means closure for the fans.” Soonafter, the team called each of the castmembers about being involved and they all signed on without question.
Rosenberg told TV Guide that he and the show’s writers felt they had a commitment to wrap up the show. “We had a small audience, but they genuinely fell in love with these characters, and I feel we owe it not only to them, but also to the cast.” They came up with a 15-minute episode called, appropriately enough, “Don’t Look Back: An Epilogue for an Epic Love.”
The mini-episode will pick up where the series left off, starting with the wedding of Ray “Big Cat” Cataldo (Warren Christie) and Hannah Daniels (Laura Prepon). It will then skip ahead seven years and viewers will be given answers to most of the series’ outstanding questions — including the identity of Sam’s papa, the Commander’s health, and the fate of each of the relationships.
Applebaum says that the team has always known how they would end the series. He tells Zap2It, “Whether the show went two years or seven years, there’s always been a particular moment and piece of closure that we wanted and we’re going to be able to get to that intended end.” Series star Bryan Greenberg says that he’s in the same boat as the show’s loyal viewers — he’s got a lot of questions and can’t wait to have them answered.
The actual shooting schedule hasn’t been firmed up as yet but that shouldn’t concern fans. Lindy Booth (Pizza Girl) notes, “We all love the show, so we’ll all be there.” Applebaum echoes that sentiment by saying, “The nice thing about this whole experience is that this show about friendship has created an environment of friendship and community among the cast. And when we look at the message boards, we feel like that’s sort of extended to our viewership too. We’re happy to do this for them.”
The October Road creators won’t have to look far for one of the castmembers. Jonathan “Ronnie Garrett” Murphy has just signed on as a regular on Life on Mars.