Fall TV Preview

Ringer: 6 Things To Know Before Tuning In

Sarah Michelle Gellar’s long-awaited return to TV, as the star of The CW’s Ringer, has arrived, and by now you’ve no doubt memorized 100 times over the plot of this twin sister-fueled noir thriller. But what haven’t you heard about the potentially addictive series?

Here are a few key things you should be aware of before tuning in this Tuesday at 9/8c.

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Ringer Is Not Buffy | That’s not to say this new CW drama is not entertaining in its own right, but the differences are über-important for devotees of the slayer to know going in. “Those are big shoes to fill, so we hope we do Sarah and the Buffy legacy justice,” executive producer Eric Charmelo explains. That said, the Ringer cast isn’t feeling too much pressure to match Gellar’s memorable turn as the Chosen One. “There’s been plenty of time that’s passed since Buffy,” Ioan Gruffudd (who plays the husband of Gellar’s steely Siobhan) tells us. “You can’t even compare the two, really.”

This Story Is Not Black-and-White | “We’re a neo-noir thriller, but at the end of the day, it’s a character study about twin sisters and the nature of sibling rivalry,” Charmelo explains. Post-pilot, viewers will be quick to assume that Gellar’s Bridget is the “good” twin, Siobhan the “bad” — but always be wary of assumptions. Says Charmelo, “Since we’re playing with duplicity and identity, you never know who’s the mark and who is the femme fatale. These are two sisters who kind of vacillate in regard to what is right and what is wrong; it’s about moral ambiguity.” As Gellar points out, “I never see a character I play as a bad egg. When I made Cruel Intentions, I thought [puppetmaster] Kathryn was the hero of the whole piece! Nobody – well, most humans – are inherently evil. Ideally I would love you to not know which sister you’re rooting for.”

SMG Fans Can Count on Double the Pleasure | As indicated above, just because Siobhan goes missing in the pilot, Gellar will have plenty of double-duty to pull. “When we start the series, we’re going to be telling Bridget’s story. But we’re playing with time and perspective, so we’ll definitely see Siobhan’s side as well,” says exec producer Pam Veasey. As Gellar herself told us, “We’re doing some of it from one twin’s perspective, some from the other, and you’re going to see flashbacks that explain how they got to where they are… I want to make sure that the story for both of these girls comes to life.”

Fall TV First Impression: Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Ringer Twin Piques Our Interest

These Twisted Sisters Come Loaded With Twists | The pilot episode of Ringer boasts perhaps three episodes’ worth of shocks — at least one of which has yet to be spilled in any teaser clip or promo — and there are no plans to cut back on the jaw-droppers moving forward. “Things happen at a break-neck pace and we’re just going to try to live up to the bar set by the pilot episode,” teases Charmelo. “Occasionally we’ll end on a big moment and the following week you’ll come back to it, while other times we’ll take a break. But we’re really just trying to give the audience what we call the gasp moment.”

Baze Is No More | Life Unexpected fans are in for a shock when they first encounter Kristopher Polaha’s Ringer alter ego — aka the man Siobhan is having an affair with. “Henry is not Baze at all,” Polaha says with a laugh. “He’s a very different creature, which is fun.” And that’s not the only reason the actor is thrilled to be a part of this buzzy series. “Knowing Sarah was attached was a big draw for me, because I think people are excited to see her come back to television,” he confesses.

You’ve Got to Stay Tuned | Why? Because “just when you think you’ve figured everything out, we’re going to throw a wrench into the equation and take it on a completely different tangent,” executive producer Nicole Snyder reveals. “That keeps things fresh.”

Now, the important question: Are you ready for Ringer?