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James Hibberd

‘Kid Nation’ — Last Word

July 21, 2007 12:31 AM

Executives and talent drop into the TCA limelight, spend an intense half hour or so getting questioned by critics, then can spend days/weeks/months kicking themselves for what they said (or didn’t say).

“Nation” executive producer Tom Forman took a break from vacationing with his family, flew to Los Angeles, faced one of the most aggressive inquisitions in TCA memory, then flew right back out after the panel. The experience, the questions and the coverage were definitely impactful, but Forman says he expected the strong reaction.

“Honestly, I was sort of looking forward to it,” he says. “I knew from the minute I conceived ‘Kid Nation’ that the idea would be provocative. And I expected to be asked difficult ethical questions.”

The panel, he says, went about as well as he expected, though he was disappointed by the number of “inside baseball” production questions. “I think I was asked about pretty much everything the viewers don’t care about,” he says. “The program really will open our eyes to a side of our children and ourselves that most people never see. That's what we should have been talking about.”

Ultimately, Forman says, he doesn’t “make shows for the critics.”

“My obligation is to the 40 kids who participated, and the millions who will watch,” he says. “And I'm 100 percent certain I did just fine by all of them.”


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