Awake Creator Nixes One Theory, Hints Dream-y Finale Was In Fact Britten's Worst Nightmare

Awake‘s few but hugely passionate viewers came away from Thursday’s series finale with many questions. Of course, we’re still wondering which reality was in fact real. But also: What did the final scene mean? Was it all but a dream? Or was that dream-come-true moment in fact Michael Britten’s biggest nightmare? And what twists were on tap for the Season 2 we sadly never shall see? (Hint: baby versus babe!) TVLine invited series creator Kyle Killen to field some burning questions.

RECAP | Awake Series Finale: Green Means Go

TVLINE | Just to confirm: The season finale played out exactly as you always intended it, even knowing that renewal was looking iffy?
It really did. I mean, our ratings weren’t great, so there was some suspicion that we might not be back, but nobody had any idea what NBC would do. And literally, that last scene was something we had talked about from before the pilot was even written. Post-Lost, [network execs] are looking to make sure that you have flagpoles that you’re heading toward, and that was always our Season 1 flagpole.

TVLINE | Obviously there has been much speculation about what the heck we watched last night. Will you go so far as to say that it was not all a dream? That there was a car accident?
I’ve seen some really interesting [theories], and I wouldn’t say that anyone is wrong — except the people who are calling it a Dallas or a Newhart, any variation on “…and then he woke up.” That is absolutely not what we intended. If you watch the last few minutes again, I’m not sure what the argument for that [interpretation] even is. I suppose there’s the überpossibility that he’s in a coma and now having a third dream in the coma, but in no way should it be interpreted as, “He woke up and his family was fine. He’d just been having two nightmares.”

TVLINE | I reckon those people are just trying make sense of the fact that both Hannah and Rex are alive in the final scene.
Right. For us, while it provided an uplifting and hopeful ending [to the season/series], it probably would have been a sign that he was getting worse. He had reached a place where he seemed to part with Hannah’s world, he seemed to sacrifice that to get the answers [to the conspiracy] that he did. Dr. Evans pointed that out to him, that he’s once again on that precipice of understanding and accepting. Instead, he does what he’s done from the beginning — and that’s where “turtles all the way down” comes from. Infinite regression. “What if I’m still in prison in the red world, and all the crazy stuff that happened after… was a dream? Even if one of these [worlds] is a dream, why can’t I have a dream within a dream?” Once he realized [he could], it’s as if he seemed to dream the thing he wanted more than anything — to be reunited with his wife and son.

TVLINE | His epiphany with Evans was that he can have both worlds and dream within them.
Right. Going forward, I don’t think he would become a lucid dreamer, but in that moment it delivered something that his psyche had desperately wanted for a long time. For me, Twin Peaks was a seminal show, and what we started to miss from the red-versus-green [story] and the procedural crossover clues and the fact that they were both completely grounded and therefore impossible to tell apart, was that despite being a show where half of it took place in his imagination, we rarely got to play with any “fun” imaginary elements. This [finale] was always intended to open up a third space, a dream space, to introduce some of the more surreal elements.

TVLINE | That was my next question, what Season 2 would have looked like. A similar weekly procedural, but now with an added avenue through which Britten could glean clues?
For us, the balance of his personal stories versus the procedural would have taken some time to work out. Toward the end of the season we become more interested in his personal coming-apart, and the dream space. And though it ended with a positive grace note, it would have potentially been a bigger problem, a sign of things worsening for him. One of the elements we were very interested in involved Michaela McManus, who did a fantastic job as Tara, Rex’s tennis coach and a potential love interest in the [“green”] world. In Season 1, the procedural — really the dual procedurals — crowded out those things….

TVLINE | Plus it was too soon.
Totally right. [The onset of the Tara romance] was slotted for the end of the season, but you needed to be planting bread crumbs all the way along, and we ultimately didn’t get to it. In the second season, we would have liked to have gotten into his personal stories and how those two worlds played off each other a little more, while dialing back the procedural element.

TVLINE | Along those lines, many viewers are siding with Dr. Adams, that the “green” reality with Rex was the real deal. Do you want to leave that open to interpretation?
It’s open. Each time someone on staff would say, “Do you realize this pushes it more towards this…?” it always turned out that someone else on staff could make a counterargument in an equally compelling way. I could make a pretty strong argument for “red” being the reality. In “red,” he’s in a place where he’s in prison and the person that ultimately destroyed his family is going to get away with it, so if anything were to cause your psyche to fracture and imagine a world where you do win, where you do catch the person…. I think it would be the horrible pressure of realizing you might be stuck in prison. That’s in some ways a just as compelling argument for “red.”

TVLINE | Was the pseudonym “Ed Munte” by chance an anagram for something — perhaps, as one of my readers suggested, “unmeted” as in “without dimension”?
I wish I could take credit for that. Your reader is more brilliant than we are.

TVLINE | Also, to be clear, that was not Hannah appearing pregnant in the final scene, but just an expectant Laura Allen?
That was just [actress] Laura Allen pregnant, yes. But Hannah’s unexpected pregnancy was going to be the counterbalance to the Season 2 arc with the tennis coach.

RELATED | 20 TV Questions: Can We Get an Awake Spinoff Starring the Two Shrinks?

TVLINE | You have a lot to be proud of here. You pulled off 13 episodes with nary a clinker in the bunch and many of them absolutely outstanding. That said, would it be a bit of added validation if Jason Isaacs scored an Emmy nomination?
I’d love that for him; he did amazing work. It actually would be the supreme validation just to get a nomination, because it would have to come from the work. He’s not going to get a [network or studio] campaign like other actors with resources. You don’t really do that with a cancelled show, so that would be an incredible commentary on the work he did. In fact, while it’s flattering to see the fan base engaged in having the show continue, that’s a little more of a long shot than pouring those resources into mounting an Emmy campaign to have Jason remembered.

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200 Comments
  1. ByeBye says:

    Gone to soon. Good show. Thanks for the interview. ;-(

    • The problem with Awake was that you not only had to be able to think, you had to have a little creativity of your own to imagine what was happening. Those qualities are perhaps rarer than we would like to think.

      Congratulations, Awake, for believing that your viewers might be willing and able to follow a complex idea and relish the experience. Clearly the network bigwigs were not up to the task.

      • Lanie says:

        Well Said!

        • Chris says:

          I agree!

        • Faaron says:

          HE IS IN A COMA!!!
          The last episode showed him in a dream with both his wife and son, which means that he is making the final step to waking up out of his coma…. That is why the show is called AWAKE, because that is what he will do at the end… So the last episode means that he is about to wake up!!! Yay!!! Happy ending… I love it, although i wish the last scene would had been him walking into a door of light and suddenly he takes a deep breath as he wakes up in the real world out of his coma in a hospital and you hear the wife and sons voice in the background calling out his name just for confirmation that the fam is still alive and well… Then “THE END” appears… So here are the reasons why I know the story better than the story knows itself… Like that serial killer who flew to where him and his wife were going to start his new life… I think it was Oregon… I wonder what happen to that dude and is he still in Oregon…? LMAO

          So here it goes::::

          The shrink dude has a medical background, because the shrink dude is probably his doctor in real life…

          His wife and son are both alive and they take turns visiting him which is why somedays he is with his son and the next day with his wife… and ofcourse any concern indivudual who falls into a coma, well his first concern would be if his wife and sone are okay… which his pessimistic ways make him think there both dead in a weird sort of way…

          Also Vega is probably one of the male nurses or his partners new partner who probably visited him a few times

          His son’s gf having a baby, simple, his son told him during one of his visits…

          Penguins, some stuff animal he probably saw at the hospital…

          What I really want to know is that if his dreams within a coma actually gave him superhuman powers to solve who was behind his car crash which then would had been great for season two where he goes after his boss, but then the show wouldn’t make any sense, UNLESS he now has the ability to solve his crimes through psychic abilities in which he goes to sleep and visions the crime scenes in his dreams… Then the show could still be called awake… hint… hint… ;) ;) Sould there be a Season2

          • Danny says:

            Sorry, but your interpretation is a HUGE stretch. There is nothing that confirms it, so you should probably stop acting as if you know how the story played out (ESPECIALLY since it wasn’t even intended for only one season) and immediately giving suggestions on a “better” ending.

          • Bandit says:

            I would have liked the ending with him waking from a coma (which was one of my 2 therories all along, the other being that HE was dead)

          • Bernadette Hygaard says:

            I like your idea of him in a coma. It makes sense.

          • Jedidiah says:

            Too neat.

          • Becky says:

            If he WAS in a coma though and just woke up, how do you explain the fact that neither Hannah nor Rex were surprised to see him awake?

      • nicolay says:

        couldn’t have said it better myself

      • Steve says:

        You are completely right. We are left with a wasteland of television shows.

      • jecouch66 says:

        You are so right about that. NBC is especially bad about it. If the show requires you to invest creative thought, NBC will cancel it. I promised my self I wouldn’t watch another show on NBC until it was renewed for Season 3. But the storyline was so tempting, I watched it. And from the first episode it was just fantastic. Curse you NBC.

        • Mary Jo says:

          I feel the exact same way. Such a fun show. One that you had to be mentally involved in. I hate it when you finally find an interesting show, one that was clean and not full of sex they cancelled it. Shame on you NBC. You guys are nuts

      • Helen Barnes says:

        You are so right. It is a very engaging show and I loved the serirs

      • Sdlucey says:

        So disappointed that there will be no season 2!!! I absolutely loved this show, finally a concept that was outside the box. Very disappointed and surprised that it didn’t get the fan base it needed :-(

      • Tritesha Steele says:

        Absolutely, I can not find any stimulating shows these days. The minute I discover a show that’s not garbage it ends. So sad shame on the network

    • scot says:

      Perfect ending. Thanks.

      From the way I looked at it, both worlds were real and the third world was also real. According to the multiple worlds interpretation (MWI), when a 6-sided die is thrown, all 6 possible ways the die will fall correspond to 6 different universes (or realities). The thing is, when the realities split, the different worlds can no longer interact with each other. So in a normal person’s world, we are only able to see one outcome, or one universe, when a split is made. We can only go down one path.

      But somehow, after the accident, when his realities split, he was able to hold on to both worlds (or realities). I believe that by going back and forth between realities (wife alive, son alive) he was actually continually strengthening his bond (or link) between these 2 universes. This is why, in the end, he was able to start traveling back and forth between his 2 realities and talking to his other “self”.

      So in the finale, when he became aware that indeed both were “reality”, he was able to “split” from his current reality and “choose” which path (or reality) to go down. He became aware that he was able to create his own future, his new reality.

      So in the way I look at it, he was never dreaming. He indeed had 2 different realities. As for the penguin, I am lost. lol

      • JeanEats says:

        You just helped me understand that ending better! :-)

      • Emily says:

        As one should always do when faced with penguins… just go with it.

      • Decoder says:

        Exactly. I was thinking that like Plato’s proverbial cave dwellers, we are stuck seeing only the shadows/one dimension of the real world and Britten was becoming unshackled. Since he could turn his head and look at the world sideways he is able to see all the dimensions of reality and choose his reality. As for the penguin, perhaps it signals that Britten shouldn’t be taking things so seriously – hard to take a man in a penguin suit seriously. It’s a reminder to lighten up and remain cool.

      • Dawn says:

        Thats a great explination – goes along the lines of “Fringe” on FOX – don’t wanna be a spoiler if you haven’t watched FRINGE (awesome show) – 2 universes, repercussions, etc…. There’s a bunch I want to say – but scot did an awesome job – i totally agree with that theory. I’m sure i’ll agree with some other ones too. But, interesting how that MWI is similar to Fringe – maybe they based it on that. I loved Awake, I Love Fringe – also love Touch.

      • Sarah says:

        This is the absolute best explanation of this show. I choose to believe this.

      • Ben says:

        Like that one episode of community!

      • Kim Casper says:

        I completely agree with this view. It holds up to truths that I have experienced/know.

    • erenai says:

      With all of us who love this show, why not use social media–twitter, Facebook, etc., to get the message to the the network, or better yet, to FX or HBO that this is a show people will watch if put in the proper time slot, and get some good marketing behind it. Please some create something that is a protest to the networks that can go viral on youtube!!! I’m soooo sick of reality shows–besides, the folks who watch them are not necessarily people who go out and spend the money the advertisers hope to or think they are reaching.

      • Melissa says:

        Thank you! Well worded post! Let’s campaign…please! I hate “reality” shows…I love AWAKE!

        • Melissa Fessler f says:

          I am so bummed this show was cancelled. It was awesome! I too hate reality tv and this had great writing. Is there anything that can be done to bring it back!???

        • Maria says:

          I hate them too. The networks think that dribble is the future and obviously the ratings agree thats what the public wants to see. Thanks for the folks who keep good shows going.

    • Kerry Forgue says:

      Great show! Apparently too much thinking and creativity for the general public… or perhaps the so called executives. Too bad a better advertising campaign wasn’t done for the show, or perhaps an attempt at a different time slot. One can only hope that another network picks up this brilliant show for those of us who demand more than yet another reality t.v. program!

    • Shafoo says:

      Wait, it’s going to be on SOON? What channel is that?

    • DJT says:

      The problem with Awake and Once Upon A Time, et al , as was the problem with McGoohan’s The Prisoner and any other semi-sci fi masquerading as drama be it cop procedural or secret agent adventure– is the looney tooney endings. When you begin a show— no matter how well done— the ending is always condemned to being every weird, unrealistic amateur psych theory possible. Invest all that time only to watch a guy in a skeleton suit and monkey head scream into the camera— or a guy in a Penguin suit adding “insight”. SOOOOO Deep!

    • Faaron says:

      HE IS IN A COMA!!!
      The last episode showed him in a dream with both his wife and son, which means that he is making the final step to waking up out of his coma…. That is why the show is called AWAKE, because that is what he will do at the end… So the last episode means that he is about to wake up!!! Yay!!! Happy ending… I love it, although i wish the last scene would had been him walking into a door of light and suddenly he takes a deep breath as he wakes up in the real world out of his coma in a hospital and you hear the wife and sons voice in the background calling out his name just for confirmation that the fam is still alive and well… Then “THE END” appears… So here are the reasons why I know the story better than the story knows itself… Like that serial killer who flew to where him and his wife were going to start his new life… I think it was Oregon… I wonder what happen to that dude and is he still in Oregon…? LMAO

      So here it goes::::

      The shrink dude has a medical background, because the shrink dude is probably his doctor in real life…

      His wife and son are both alive and they take turns visiting him which is why somedays he is with his son and the next day with his wife… and ofcourse any concern indivudual who falls into a coma, well his first concern would be if his wife and sone are okay… which his pessimistic ways make him think there both dead in a weird sort of way…

      Also Vega is probably one of the male nurses or his partners new partner who probably visited him a few times

      His son’s gf having a baby, simple, his son told him during one of his visits…

      Penguins, some stuff animal he probably saw at the hospital…

      What I really want to know is that if his dreams within a coma actually gave him superhuman powers to solve who was behind his car crash which then would had been great for season two where he goes after his boss, but then the show wouldn’t make any sense, UNLESS he now has the ability to solve his crimes through psychic abilities in which he goes to sleep and visions the crime scenes in his dreams… Then the show could still be called awake… hint… hint… ;) ;) (Season2)

      • Danny says:

        Sorry, but your interpretation is a HUGE stretch. There is nothing that confirms it, so you should probably stop acting as if you know how the story played out (ESPECIALLY since it wasn’t even intended for only one season) and immediately giving suggestions on a “better” ending.

      • erin says:

        I totally agree with your interpretation! It makes total sence. I don’t know what people do when they are in a coma like I don’t know if they wake up and just sit there but yeah. And when they talk about the other being dead they are probably actually saying that they are gone from the hospital doing something else. This makes absolute sence. I really wanna hear from the guy who wrote the show what actually happened to him he doesn’t actually make it clear. I really wanna know. I watched this whole season in 3 days on netflix and I would absolutly love for a new season even if its nnot on tv, put it on youtube! PLEASE haha

    • Louise says:

      I LOVED this show !!! the end will keep people making their own conclusions as to what really happened. I just liked the look of shock and happiness on his face when he sees them both at the same time. AWESOME. Thank you for such a remarkable tv show.

    • Pam Pfister says:

      Hello NETFLIX… second season and on should be YOURS! Awake is fabulous!

    • Cyn says:

      Finally watching television thanks to this show and it was cancelled. Incredibly well written – astounding talent – intriguing plot -the ability to think as a viewer with more than one possibility – the loss of a really great show

  2. Dani says:

    I really, really loved that finale and whilst it’s such a shame that a show as engaging as this got cancelled, that last scene still worked so well. I love the ambiguity of it.

    I really hope Jason Isaacs gets an Emmy nod. He’s such an underrated actor generally, but those last 2 eps were really something special and a great showcase for his talent.

  3. John DeMayo says:

    Is there no chance of a cable network, or Netflix picking this up? It would be unfortunate if this is really it… because Awake was undoubtedly the best new show of the year.

    • ByeBye says:

      no network in their right mind would pick up a show with such low and declining ratings. stinks — but just does not make economic sense for them to do it for just a small audience.

      • ION did it with Flashpoint, so I am a little hopeful.

        • Webstercuno says:

          That show was made in canada, starred a bunch of canadians, and uhm a lot of thing. What ByeBye writes is not cool, but it is the truth. The show is not material to live on somewhere else, just as Terriers. If Awake ends up being a hit on DVD, maybe. But i dont think it will be.

          • Cindy Owens says:

            Starred a bunch of Canadians huh? And the actual STAR of the show? A British actor by the name of Jason Isaacs, best known for his portrayal of Lucius Malfoy, of the Harry Potter films. What exactly does “and uhm a lot of thing” mean?! You’re a real rocket scientists…

    • Melissa says:

      I truly believe that if another network did pick it up, and they advertised the show like it was supposed to be, then I think this show would appeal to many people. The mystery of it all is so intriguing. We were just the lucky ones to have come across it. But I doubt it… I’m still with you though.

      • Nathan says:

        I watched the pilot after seeing countless promos on NBC about a man sharing two worlds, one where his wife lives, one where his son lives. I thought this concept was pretty interesting, but after watching the pilot I wasn’t sure if it was a show I would enjoy. From just watching the pilot, it seemed kind of boring. Ok, he lives in two worlds, hes gonna have to find some way to deal with his wife and son being separated. . . Its ok as a plot but not that interesting. Luckily I watched the second and third episodes and I was quickly drawn into the show. The show proved there was much more that just Michael dealing with his wife and son in different worlds. There are these interesting cases he needs to solve every week, and a conspiracy about his accident and why he is in two worlds. There were a ton of interesting elements to the show that made me such a huge fan in the end. But I think from just seeing the promos and watching the pilot, this show would have lost me like it did to so many of the nations viewers. Maybe if NBC were to do some additional promos highlighting the additional elements the show, more people would be into watching it.

    • Linderella says:

      Awake is exactly the sort of series Netflix should be interested in. It has a loyal viewing audience that while too small for the big guys would attract additional subscribers to their service. Once on Netflix, viewers would find some awesome British TV series or be able to revisit some old favorites. It was on Netflix I first really noticed Jason Isaacs (outside The Patriot and Harry Potter) in the mini-series, The State Within and the movie Good with Viggo Mortensen. He is definitely a talent to be reckoned with and has earned an Emmy nomination for his performance in Awake.

  4. Steph says:

    The finale was an amazing showcase for the writers, the director and for Jason Isaacs. Whatever long shot they’re looking at to get picked up by another network, I sure hope it’s at least being considered by somebody, somewhere.

  5. Cheryl says:

    Great show! It was smart, clever and imaginative and Jason and all the cast did an amazing job Will really miss it. Seems wrong that a flood of brainless reality shows will continue for seasons even decades but something as highly creative as this that makes you think is gone in one season

    • I couldn’t agree more! Why is that? We are not all ignorant and brainless. Yes, I like to be entertained, not by so-called “reality” shows, but some genuine comedy. Above all, I love a good mystery. That’s why Awake was so intense. Every time you thought you knew what was going on, that was when it would take a turn and you couldn’t wait for the next episode. Sad to see it go. Just a shame. TV is not what it used to be, not even close.

    • Kelly says:

      That is exactly what I was thinking! Awake was by far the best and most interesting series I have ever seen. The acting, writing, everything about it was awesome. I am so upset!

    • mary says:

      Yes, awesome show. Made me think, cry, smile. All the actors were great & played their part awesomely. Jason Isaacs special mention of course. I liked Hannah, Vega, Bird a lot. The ending was the perfect genius. A 3rd dream reality?! Hmmm…

    • Cindy Owens says:

      Great post Cheryl… nothing more to add.

      • The show that the guy above was talking about that starred a bunch of Canadians was flashpoint. If you read what he was replying to you would have known that. Also, I think you meant he a rocket scientist, not scientists. Also, correcting people’s online grammar and spelling makes you look like an ass. Also, I don’t think you’re supposed to start sentences with ‘Also”, but that’s my fault not yours.

  6. Robin says:

    Thanks for the interview!

  7. hmm..So I guess its up to your imagination now..If there would be a second season then things were getting worse for him. But now you can tell yourself that it was a happy ending.

  8. John says:

    I Loved this show! I’m ok with the ending, but I wish it would continue. I am so tired of networks not sticking with shows. I worked hard to help keep Fringe, as I would for Awake. I watched them and will re-watch on Hulu+. I hope it helps. Thank You

  9. niks says:

    I want an Emmy nomination for Isaacs. He gave some powerful performances in a lot of episodes. He deserves it as much as anyone else.

  10. Samunto says:

    The ending was brilliant and the whole show was a brilliant ride. Am utterly thankful for getting to watch such a show to the end. Thank you.

  11. I loved the show…and was DEEPLY SATISFIED with the Ending.The family was together again….whether they were dead or alive…. i also loved MISSING…but HATED THAT ENDING…knowing the show was not picked up. I would have just ended with it in her car, though I feared it might have blown up. But now to have her missing…just pissed me off.

    • Dana Carpenter says:

      “Missing” will be back for a 2nd season, according to Ashley Judd on the Tonight Show, recently!

  12. Kelvin says:

    An amazing show. I am incredibly disappointed it will not be making a comeback for a second season, my imagination runs wild with the possibilities that were there. Some tweaks that could have been made, but no show is perfect (except Breaking Bad). I constantly think about the scene where he panicked and wasn’t sure what reality he was in, as they said in the show, that madness was just the tip of the iceberg. Say in another season he moves past the original “green” reality into a nightmarish one where both his wife & son had died. Just too bad we will never be able to see the story further.

  13. AJ says:

    Man I was hoping that anagram was right. Too many years watching Lost and trying to unscramble every name looking for clues I guess lol. It’s really too bad this show was cancelled. It was getting better and better with each episode. Thanks for the interview :)

    • Chief says:

      This show had far more cohesive plot arcs than Lost. That is why I am sad, if Lost had not driven everyone out to the proverbial desert and left them there without water, this show would have blown people away. “we are not the only people on this island.” they weren’t even alive on the island, let alone there even being an island. People are leary of that now, so it will be difficult for new shows to accomplish such rich plot lines and story arcs.

      • Tim says:

        Wow, you did not get the ending of LOST. Only the sideways reality in the final season was the afterlife. Everything else was regular life.

  14. wendell8659 says:

    Does anybody know the name/artist of the song that played in the final scene – when Michael was seeing his wife and son. Nice feel, would like to purchase……

  15. TurtleLad says:

    i know he says we shouldn’t interprete as it all being a dream but i am going too.. he was simply sleep walking everything and woke up. If it is anything else then 2nd season would make sense but since there isnt any I’ll take the happy ending any day.

  16. Lori Carter says:

    Really Good Show, Dylan did an excellent job in this show as well. Was nice to see a once local person on a show weekly! Good Luck on your next adventure, and who ever does the ratings…shame on you..this was a Great show!

  17. Melissa says:

    Wow… This makes me miss this show even more. Hearing all these details that were going to play into the show in future seasons, makes me sad. This show really does have a brilliant storyline and concept. I cannot get over how mad I am about it!! If only another network would pick it up, and they could continue on (because that was a “finale” but it wasn’t the natural ending to the show)…….. Wishful thinking.

  18. Sourabh says:

    I took it to mean he realized that if only one of the realities was real, that would have to mean the other was a dream. A dream that he made up. So he realized that if he could make up a dream in which the other survived, he could make another one where both did. Dr. Evans thought he was going to get better, but instead he’s gotten worse (medically speaking), and by his own choice.

    Whatever really happened, Jason Isaacs did a fantastic job. If the Emmy voters aren’t going to shower him with love, I’d be happy with a Globe nom as well.

    • syelan says:

      Yup, my theory also runs along these lines -as he’s been saying from the beginning that he doesn’t mind going crazy as long as he gets to keep both his wife and son, I figure he finally did go crazy, by his own choice, and chose a scenario in which he could be with both of them.

      My husband and I were playing with interpretations and another that seemed possible was that maybe it was he himself the one who got killed in the car accident, and the whole season was his last seconds of life, with his mind shutting down, back there in the wrecked car, much like in Donnie Darko (and then Wilmer Valderrama shows up dressed like a penguin… see?)

      Anyway, it definitely was a lot of fun. Pity that it won’t return; we will certainly miss this one.

    • Denise says:

      This is the best thing I have heard. That if he could make up one reality, why not a reality where they were both alive.

  19. Rich says:

    The song, according to Shazam, is “Montana” by Youth Lagoon. I liked it too, that’s why I tagged it!

  20. Ann Followill says:

    We will miss this show terribly; freshest, most thought-provoking program around. I truly hope it will get a second life somewhere.

  21. Li da says:

    Truly my favorite show on TV. I could not wait for Thursday nights and often watched again on Friday nights on nbc.com. Thank you so much for a great show — great writing, directing, acting. I’m gonna miss the family!

  22. Rod says:

    Why do these types of shows always have to compete with each other on Thursdays and Fridays? Awake was introduced in a time slot with an audience already committed to such shows as The Mentalist (which by the way needs a change of scenery).

  23. DVAted says:

    this show was jaw-dropping, edge-of-the-seat, exciting, funny, mysterious, bad-ass and intelligent. I am very sad it was cancelled. I think it deserves another shot. Jason Isaacs was amazing! EMMY all the way! BRING BACK AWAKE! I’d even settle for a spin-off xD

  24. Selek says:

    I found the mystery of which world was which great. I too felt the Rex world was real -but that might be some base prejudice about TV shows and movies killing kids of the main characters; it’s rarely done. However, the show became Law & Order: Alternate Universe Unit and the boring, oh so boring, procedural crap got more attention. And those stories were stupid, boring and ultimately unsatisfying. For me, it wasn’t weird enough, did not take any risks and failed to live up to the pilot, which I loved.

  25. Azalia Ayala says:

    I realy liked the whole show i hate to see it go. Since lost i havent watch anything i like. I think its sad that people rather see things that are so alike. I hope that there would be away to see more and that someone gives a second chance.

  26. Jeff Sack says:

    In Britain, shows are commonly conceived, written and produced for just one season. That is the way I will always think of this show especially with the ambiguous final scene. We can all interpet it the way we want; a third reality; are they all really dead, or even if the story-runner states that Michael was not having a season long bad dream we are free to take that as our ending if we so choose.

    Truly a well written, well conceived and well acted series. Jason Issacs reminds me of a young Jack Klugman and I am sure we will see more from him down the line. Thanks for 13 great episodes!

  27. Guru says:

    Were there 13 episodes? I only saw 12 and the 12th for the finale… or did I miss one? Will there be a DVD of the full season?

  28. Denise says:

    Its the truth when people point out the lack of advertising. All the marketing is poured onto the silly reality shows because its easy to draw an audience to stupidity and gossip. I lived this show. My two favorite shows this year were awake and OUAT. I really used to count down all week till the next Awake episode. But truly Jason Isaacs deserves an Emmy. Fantastic job. Really a stand out performance.

  29. John says:

    Unfortunately unmeted isn’t a word, you can look it up. Meted is however. An interesting thought though.

  30. sam says:

    why can’t the creator just give us what the final episode would have been and just solve the mystery for us since we will never get to know what the resolution will be.

  31. Justin says:

    I really enjoyed and will miss Awake. Thanks to Kyle Killen for answering those questions. Though I know it is unrealistic, I would live to see this one continued. So much trash on these days – with the good stuff disappearing so soon – especially with network TV (especially the dismal NBC, which I would just drop from my lineup at this point, if I could). Compliments to Jason Issacs on a great performance throughout.

  32. Gail Smith says:

    I really feel the time slot hurt this show. We tried hard to stay “Awake” until 10 p.m. every week. We loved the show and managed to never miss an episode…but wished it was on earlier as other people I talked to agreed with and missed episodes because of this. Boo to NBC for not moving it around. I am so disappointed.

    • Jacque says:

      Sorry Gail, but that’s not an excuse. That’s what DVR is for…. Dramas are often aired in the primetime slot of 10pm (9pm for me in AZ). Plenty of other primetime dramas do well for themselves… Law & Order SVU for one, and they have been airing for over 10 years.

      • John DeMayo says:

        But networks don’t really take DVR ratings into account. THAT is the problem. They only care about the live viewers… and sadly there weren’t a lot of them.

        • Debbie Bryant says:

          I agree with John DeMayo. I doubt they take into account the people who watched on DVR or other devices. I was never available on Thursday nights, and watched all season on my Roku through Hulu Plus. Nevertheless, I was a faithful viewer and am disappointed to see the show go. I fear by watching it on Roku, I helped sign its death warrant.

          • Nathan says:

            I guess they don’t care about DVR ratings because no one who records watches commercials, which is all they care about.

          • Denise says:

            Is this really true? That only shows watched in real time survive..now with “dvr clouds” that can record. ^6 At a time..who even watches real time anymore?

      • Cindy Owens says:

        I don’t have the additional funds, as many for the DVR charges. As it is, $100 for practically nothing is…

      • Kathy says:

        I have a DVD and missed the pilot due to a bad storm (DirecTV is searching for a signal…). So I only saw 12 episodes also.

  33. Dawna Downey says:

    they always take the good shows off too soon.

  34. Goat Girl says:

    Wow I am so sad. Another show that I absolutely loved and actually challenged you to think and was interesting…is gone. NBC canccels Awake but renews Whitney??? (Seriously I couldn’t even finish watching the whole 21 minute pilot of that trash.) NBC also canceled Southland. Morons. Thanks for the great interview.

  35. Andrea says:

    Loved the show, loved the acting, thought the finale – both episodes – was great. Really a strong finish. And the title, “Turtles All the Way Down,” so fitting for a man clinging adamantly to a belief that couldn’t possibly be real – and having to keep making it more elaborate in order to sustain it. Thank you, creators, writers, and actors.

  36. Jon says:

    It’s Life and Terriers all over again

    • prish says:

      Oh, the pain of it all…you reminded me.

    • Ellen in NYC says:

      oh geez, whenever I think of Life, I just want to whine. I hadn’t been so passionate about a tv show since La Femme Nikita. Liked Terriers too. And Rubicon. I still carry a grudge that ABC took off The Nine and didn’t air the last couple of episodes, and that was five years ago.

      • Don’t forget Journeyman as well. NBC has a long and storied history of cancelling great shows that have had awful scheduling. At least Life got two seasons!

        • Ellen in NYC says:

          And then there was another ABC show that I would have liked to have lasted longer, Traveler. Anything with Matt Bomer is worth looking at.

          I even liked New Amsterdam.

  37. This was a great show. Excellent acting, and cinematography. But the story was the real gem in this show, along with the acting and the really cool characters.

    I thought it reminded me of Vanilla Sky and the option to live in a world of Lucid Dreams.

    It also reminded me of the wish-world from LOST.

  38. Janet says:

    I love this show, and Jason Isaacs gave one of the most brilliant performances I’ve ever seen. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! And any writer that can pull off having a main character in a penguin suit at a murder scene and have it be gripping, deserves an Emmy!

  39. Will says:

    I did not know the series had been cancelled until I read this post. What a disappointment, as I found it the most creative, thought provoking show on television. Thursdays had become a special day for me because I knew another episode of “Awake” was coming to challenge my mind. This show deserved a far better fate and would likely have continued given a better time slot and more advertising. Now Thursday will return to its usual mediocre self.

  40. Debbie says:

    Ugh, so disappointed that this was cancelled! I always thought that neither reality was real. It just seemed impossible that either Rex or Hannah could have survived, so I always expected that we would have eventually figured out that he was in a mental institution following the accident and that he created both realities. Sad we’ll never know for sure.

  41. Mike says:

    The show was amazing.. Me and my fiancé could not miss an episode. Every episode left us wanting more and finding out there wasn’t going to be a season 2 kind of made us feel cheated. Truly don’t understand how there isn’t going to be some on going seasons but I hope in the future it gets picked up. Koodos to all the actors and creators of Awake, def the best show

  42. JV Miller says:

    The most innovative and provocative new show this season, but I’ve become accostumed to the work I love getting cancelled. The creative ones are never given enough time to get an intelligent fan base.
    Jason Issacs was fantastic, the storyline compelling and I am once again cranky because intelligent television got dumped. Would have really loved seeing where the writer/writers would have taken this. There was so much potential.

  43. jim says:

    Awake is a FOX show, aired by NBC, owned in large part by GE the largest arms dealer
    in the world. Face it America, those cold hearts just couldn’t take something with real feelings. Easily the best commercial TV has offered in MANY years. I vote for at least 2 more seasons.

  44. prish says:

    This show was superb. I took the ending to mean that he worked things out in his sleep, the crime problems. Being the series finale, this ending meant he had known something was wrong, and now he had put together some basics, while sleeping and dreaming. In other words, he would find the storage locker, etc. before Hawkins came after him. One or some of the writers designed this as the answer, if the show was not coming back. Good job, writers!

  45. R Norris says:

    Wow. I didn’t know, either, until reading this, that the show has been cancelled. I am SO bummed. There was so much to explore here. I was sitting on the edge of my seat to see in that last scene whether he was going to be totally alone in the house (with both son and wife dead), or whether they’d both be there. This was without a doubt the best new show, and it pulled me in like “24” did all those years ago. The interaction between the two realities was fascinating, and the constant reminder of how hugely differing outcomes hinge upon the tiniest of variations was really thought-provoking. The only down side now is that I’m going to be keeping MYSELF awake trying to figure out once and for all what the reality really was and what it all meant.

  46. C Withers says:

    You know the whole ratings thing is off! I looked forward to this show every week, but because I work when it is on, it is the first thing I would watch online! I just am sooooooooo upset it is cancelled, it was my favorite show this year!! Completely fascinating!

  47. Cindy Ray says:

    I am disappointed and relieved at the same time. Loved the show, but it was a little too intense and heart-stopping.

  48. James Anderson Merritt says:

    Really? Cancelled? I’ll have to admit that this ended up being an excellent one-shot mini-series. But it had legs to go longer. NBC is silly for canceling something like this and keeping “reality” shows. I have so little reason to watch NBC now,

  49. Serena says:

    Sadly, I understand why this show was canceled. There are fewer intellectuals anymore. You had to think, calculate thoughts perhaps even discuss possible scenarios with other intelligent individuals…a dying breed of human it seems. I will so miss this and hope SYFY or some other brilliant network (perhaps in Europe) will grab this show and bring it back to life

  50. edeleen says:

    WOW!! That is the best show I’ve seen. Thanks for taking TV to the next level. This is the only show my entire family watch together. I think the issue with viewers is that u can’t miss a show if u do you will be completely lost. I have them automatically recorded to my DVR so we wouldn’t miss a show. I really really hope…did I say really…that the show comes back to season 2. We think he is in a coma too!!!

    • Bonnie says:

      I am sick about Awake not being re-newed, although not surprised. It actually required a brain to follow this facinating series. I looked forward to it each week, like nothing else on TV. America has so dumbed down with the likes of the inane reality shows that it’s reaching the point of no return. Brain cells are dying by the minute and by the millions. Talk about reverse evolution!
      I thought he was dreaming of the future of his family tragedy and season two could have followed him seeking ways to avoid loosing either of his loved ones. Additionally, he was a man driven and consumed by his work with little gratitude for his family. The dream gave him a whole new perspective and appreciation for just loving and being loved.