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Fall 2006 Preview Guide

We Can Work It Out: 'Standoff'

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How exactly does one dream up the concept for a hostage-negotiation procedural/romantic-action comedy like Standoff? “Basically, I had a deal with the studio, and they were like, ‘Come up with an idea,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, shit,’” says creator Craig Silverstein. “I literally came up with it in a coffee shop across the street from the studio an hour before the meeting.” The idea Silverstein pitched was “Mad About You with guns”—the tale of two hostage negotiators (played by Ron Livingston and Rosemarie DeWitt) trying to, yes, negotiate their way through a budding relationship. And, coffee-shop origins aside, it’s a pretty winning premise. “There’s a lot of humor in two negotiators trying to figure out date night,” says Livingston. Expect lots of Sam-and-Diane-style flirtation, tempered with crime ­fighting. “I brushed up on Moonlighting and, wow, they so did not care what was going on casewise,” says Silverstein. “I think we’ve reached a more serious worldview. You can’t flirt when someone’s about to blow themselves up. Though you can certainly flirt before that.”
Standoff, Fox; premieres September 5 (9 p.m.)


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