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Feature:

Flights of fancy!

Behind-the-scenes dramas and conflicts of both travelers and staff transpiring daily at the bustling Los Angeles International Airport.

NBC’s new drama LAX explores the behind-the-scenes conflicts for both travelers and staff, transpiring daily at the bustling Los Angeles International Airport. So many stories were crammed into the show’s pilot, including a suicide, a bomb scare, tearful reunions, a roaming pet and a drunken pilot, one wonders if they’ll run out of scenarios by mid-season. But producer Nick Thiel insists there are countless tales to tell. “There are 50 million passengers that go through LAX. They all have different stories. Some will be dramatic, some will be funny.”

“Some will be emotional,” adds producer/director Joe Russo. “What attracted me to this project is that it was a totally adventurous show. And the way that Nick talked about it was that he wanted it to have the freedom to roam wherever it could. There certainly will be episodes that take you to emotional places, and episodes that feel more humorous.”

In the first scene of the pilot, the airport manager commits suicide on one of the runways. This leads to the ongoing conflict between Harley Random, an ambitious runway chief, portrayed by Heather Locklear, and the airport’s terminal boss Roger De Souza, played by Blair Underwood, as they vie for the top job. Both actors admit they were drawn immediately to the project. “The fact that it was at an airport was very unique and different,” says Underwood. “We haven’t really seen this on television in an hour dramatic series. It just sounded exciting to me.”

Locklear concurs, adding, “I had read the script a year before, and I loved the character. Then when it came back around and Blair was with it, I went, ‘Oh my God, this is going to be such a great show.’”

by Judy Sloane

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Photo © NBC
Feature © Visual Imagination 2004. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone #182
November 2004
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