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Christina Kim And Robert Berens Discuss How Their Experiences On Supernatural And Lost Impacted Kung Fu - Exclusive

The CW's "Kung Fu" is a reboot of the 1970s series of the same name, but the show isn't interested in nostalgia so much as updating the premise for a contemporary audience. Creator Christina M. Kim has reimagined the show as the saga of Chinese American Nicky Shen, who becomes the protector of her San Francisco neighborhood and beyond after spending three years training in Kung Fu at a Shaolin monastery. The show maintains all the action and adventure of the original but has also built its own intricate mythology and made Nicky's endearing, supportive family the emotional anchor of the story.

It's a setup that Kim and her co-showrunner Robert Berens maintain in the show's second season, enabling them to deepen the show's many characters and relationships even as they face more overwhelming and personal threats. Before "Kung Fu," Kim and Berens were involved in writing and producing an impressive roster of shows. Kim is a veteran of series like "Lost," "Blindspot," and "Hawaii Five-0," while Berens spent years working on "Supernatural" and has also been a consulting producer on "Doom Patrol."

In an exclusive interview with Looper, Kim and Berens revealed what they brought from their previous TV experience to "Kung Fu."

They identified the heart of the show

For Robert Berens, the relationship between Sam and Dean Winchester on "Supernatural" informed the relationships between Nicky and her family on "Kung Fu." "On 'Supernatural' ... the viewers are so invested emotionally in Sam and Dean," Berens observed, "and it's really ... the bond of those brothers, and also [Castiel], but what happens to those two and those three is so important to the audience. It's really the heart of the show."

Berens knew that "Kung Fu" needed the same heart that made "Supernatural" so popular with viewers. "It became clear to both of us, very early on ... that the family is the heart of our show," Berens reflected. "We have a lot of plates in there. We've got myth and really delicious villains and complex villains and romance and action, but the heart of the show is the family. We keep learning more and more, 'How do we bring the emotion of the family, the comradery, and love and support of the family, center stage even while all this crazy stuff is going on?' That's really the core thing I brought from 'Supernatural.'"

They developed characters and mythology

Meanwhile, Christina Kim confessed that much of what she took away from her previous experiences involved things she wanted to do differently on "Kung Fu." "Writing rich characters, that's where we really wanted to spend a lot of time in developing the show," Kim shared. "I've been on shows where you couldn't delve into the character's backstory and shows where I was told by the showrunner, 'Oh no ... we won't go into their personal lives.' I love that on our show, we really get to know our characters."

Kim also learned a big lesson from her time on "Lost" that she applied to the ever-expanding mythology of "Kung Fu." "For me, figuring out the mythology beforehand was the biggest thing that I wanted to nail down," Kim stated. "Having worked on 'Lost,' where the mythology was not nailed down, and it was a very scary place to be ... I never wanted that for 'Kung Fu.'

"We spent a significant amount of time in the beginning ... figuring out the mythology, where we were going, and where we were ending up," Kim continued. "Once we had that roadmap, it felt like we were able to break stories much easier because we knew where we were going. That was my biggest key learning from previous job experiences."

The second season of "Kung Fu" airs on The CW on Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET. New episodes are available on the CW website and app the following day.