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Exclusive: Columnist Dan Savage talks about his HBO pilot

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Sex-advice columnist Dan Savage spoke to EW exclusively about shooting his new HBO pilot for a talk-show based on his popular syndicated column Savage Love. There’s no word yet when he might hear if HBO will pick up the series, but he says early indications were positive. The pilot — also called Savage Love — features Savage discussing the latest sex news, welcoming guest Olivia Munn from Attack of the Show! (a “geek sex superstar,” he says), reporting a field piece from a youth-oriented church in LA that discourages masturbation, and answering advice questions from the audience.

“We’re trying to make sure the show wasn’t the typical TV stuff about sex, where the host doesn’t seem to have ever had sex and certainly has no aberrant sexual interests and presumes the audience feels the same way,” he says. “I don’t want to take that usual comedic tone of derisive mockery. I think we’re all in it together — we all look ridiculous having sex, and we all feel ridiculous when we’re done, and we’ve all done ridiculous things. There needs to be this sense of camaraderie.”

If Savage Love becomes a series, Savage hopes to have a mix of celebrity guests (on his wish list: the Jonas Brothers) and lesser-known authors, like Daniel Bergner (The Other Side of Desire). He also says that future field pieces would distinguish themselves from that other carnal-centric HBO series. “Real Sex is great,” he says. “We don’t want to recreate Real Sex: to go to the dildo factory and look at the dildos; to go to the SM party and look at the SMers. It’s not interesting. I know there are kinky people in the world — I’ve dated a lot of them.” Savage says he’s most interested in “the intersection of politics and sex in unexpected places. Although we may end up at a dildo factory every once in awhile.”