I’m heading south, y’all! But before I head to Texas for two weeks, I wanted to bring you some fun scoop on a ton of the new fall shows that I picked up during last week’s upfronts. Thanks for sending in your questions!
I’ll see you after my vacation and I’ll come armed with fresh scoop on all our faves. Make sure you keep sending in questions to firstname.lastname@example.org while I’m gone and follow me on Twitter for scoop on…well…nothing for the next two weeks. Mostly pictures of wherever I’m sitting or what I’m eating at the time. Riveting!
JON FAVREAU ON CREATING A ‘REVOLUTION’
In Revolution, electricity no longer exists after having disappeared from the world 15 years ago. The show, from J.J. Abrams and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke, then tells the story of what happens next. According to director Jon Favreau, who helmed the pilot, it’s not all bad.
“From my perspective, it’s about the characters and the families — how they’ve had to adjust. What’s scary about [the world] and what’s positive about it,” he says. “The world in some ways has gotten more innocent. It’s a simpler time, and one could argue that people are closer together.”
But it’s not all peace and iProduct-free love. “There are dark characters and there’s a lot of danger in that world because you don’t have governments and you have armys. You have militias popping up and you have clans fighting,” he says. And that embattled, “Game of Thrones-style” theme, with a modern backdrop, is what attracted him to the project. Well, that and the swordplay. “I’m a big fan of swords in film, so it was a chance to work with sword choreography,” he says with a smile. “Without modern technology, modern weaponry starts to disappear after 15 years. Modern gun powder. A couple of people have been able to hoard more modern weapons, but without electricity, it’s hard to manufacture that high-grade, high-tech product. So we’re getting back to handmade things. So a lot of swords, black powder weapons, Kentucky rifles, and a couple of very powerful people have been able to accumulate weapons from our times.”
‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’ STARS ON ROMANCE, SEX
Romance is a tale as old as time (I HAD TO!), but there are a lot of obstacles standing between Kristen Kreuk’s Catherine and Beast (Jay Ryan) before they get anywhere close to the big R. At least, that’s what the stars told me when they stopped by EW last week during upfronts week.
“Obviously you can’t bring these two characters together without difficulty,” says Kreuk, pointing out the pair’s “instant connection.” “It’s a journey.”
In the pilot, says Ryan, fans will get a very good idea of just how rocky that path will be. “Vincent has been celibate for, like, 10 years. And there’s a moment where he’s touched for the first time by Catherine and there’s an animalistic flinch. It’s going to take a lot for these two characters to trust one another,” he says.
‘GO ON’: ‘FRIENDS’ SCRIBE TALKS MATTHEW PERRY REUNION
Matthew Perry is headed back to NBC this fall, and he’s bringing a “friend.” Or maybe it’s the other way around? Regardless, Scott Silveri, a former Friends writer, is the man behind Perry’s upcoming comedy, Go On. And when I caught up with him during upfronts week, he was more than thrilled to talk about the project that meant once again working closely with the actor.
“It’s been such a joy watching him work on the project,” Silveri says. “We have such an easy collaboration and energy and synergy we fell back into but as aware as I am of what he can do, he can still surprise me.”
Perry plays a charming sportscaster who suffers a loss that drives him to group therapy sessions. “I feel like it’s a story that can resonate right now. It’s real people going through real things and finding things to laugh about along the way,” he says.
But while the theme sounds familiar, Silveri recognizes that ratings — even in the few years since Friends went off the air — aren’t what they once were. “Obviously TV has changed so much in the last couple of years, so we’re looking for quality. We’re not looking to match the Friends numbers — but it would be nice. We’ll take it,” he says with a laugh.
NEXT: Dish on Perception, Nashville, Mistresses, and Cult
Nashville isn’t something I’d normally watch, but I love me some Connie Britton. I love her so much I’m even willing to overlook Hayden Panettiere. Question: Will Hayden annoy me into regretting my decision? — Lillian
Is it possible to regret watching anything with Connie? C’mon now, Lil! Meanwhile, while official reviews won’t come out for a bit, I hear Hayden Panettiere’s Juliette Barnes may surprise you. Sure, she’s a devilish nightmare on the outside, but there’s definitely more to her backstory than meets the eye. And it could pack an emotional punch.
I’m a big TNT fan (Rizzoli & Isles and Franklin & Bash are two faves) so anything on their new additions? — Shirley
What about something on Perception, the new mind-bending drama starring Eric McCormack as a mentally troubled genius neuroscientist with a knack for solving crimes? Yes? Great! Because it’s a role the actor says he was more than glad to take on. “He’s as unpredictable to me as I think he’ll be for the audience,” says McCormack. “Once the pilot has aired, people will see that his brain is his best friend and his worst enemy.”
Emily Owen’s M.D = Grey’s Anatomy x CW network? — Sam
Accurate-ish. When I caught up with co-star Kelly McCreary, she had her own little equation. “I do think it’s similar to Grey’s Anatomy because we are surgeons who are starting our first day at the hospital and we have a female lead. But I think it has the quirk factor of Ally McBeal — without the music,” she says. “You really get into Emily’s head because she has this really great voiceover stuff. You can see her going through anxieties, but meanwhile, her exterior is totally cool, calm and collected.” Meanwhile, based on my chat with Justin Hartley, the show also stands to have the romantic entanglements of every good hospital drama — and he’s hoping for more. “If I’m lucky, I’ll have [ties to] all of them — because that would mean we have a long run. ‘Oh, we gotta put him with this one now,’” jokes Hartley, who plays intern Will on the Mamie Gummer helmed show. “But there’s definitely a connection between Emily and Will and Cassandra and Will. You have to have a triangle. It only works if you have a triangle.”
Long-time Charmed fan here! (Don’t laugh!) I’d love to hear a little more on Alyssa Milano’s new show. — Adam
I was as curious as you are to hear more about the vibe about this show (which, in case the loop escapes you, is Mistresses, airing on ABC in the fall). So we went straight to Milano, who gave us the bottom line on her “risque” new. “I think it will definitely appeal to the 50 Shades of Grey audience. I’m just going to say it I feel like we’re 50 Shades of Grey without the nipple clamps,” she says. I’ll pause a moment for your reaction. Yeah, my expression was exactly that. And before you ask, yes, she’s read the book. “In about two and a half hours. I’ve never read a book so fast in my life.”
You can’t have a column about new shows without including The New Normal! — Leigh
Right you are. So I tapped Justin Bartha who dished on Ryan Murphy’s new comedy, which centers around a gay couple (The Book of Mormon’s Andrew Rannels and Bartha) trying to have a baby via surrogate. “It’s more autobiographical. If Glee is Ryan’s high school years, then this is his later years, where he wants to start a family,” he says. “It’s very much based on his own experiences in life. It’s very heartfelt and very emotional. It’s kinda beautiful because it just shows that a family just needs love.” Meanwhile, Ellen Barkin says she expects her “Archie Bunker-like character” to ruffle some feathers. But that’s the fun of it. “I like trying to understand someone who is so far from who I am and trying to find the humanity there,” she says.
I hear great things about the Cult. Is this going to hurt Matt Davis’ chances of coming back to TVD? Also, a little something on Cult would be nice, too. :) THNX Sandra! — Mandy
Let’s just say I’m sure Alaric will be back one way or another. How do I know? That’s what Davis told me when we met up and chatted about the second part of your query: CW’s midseason drama Cult. The show, from Farscape creator Rockne O’Bannon, is similar in tone to classic thrillers like Se7en and Silence of the Lambs, according to co-star Jessica Lucas, and will follow her and Davis’ characters as they’re pulled deep into world of a television show with a cult following. (Prison Break’s Robert Knepper plays a “Charles Manson-like character” who helms the show within the show.) “I think people will see it as a departure from what you expect from the CW,” says Davis. “It’s very dark; it’s very smart. It’s very complicated. There are a lot of layers working.”
Fellow HIMYM devotee here, Sandra! Need some scoop on Goodwin Games pronto! Will it be our new fave? — Liz
I’m not one to jump the gun, but I can’t wait to add the season pass to Leonardo (my Tivo), especially after I heard about Becki Newton’s performance in the first episode. I’m told there’s one living room scene in particular that’ll possibly have us tearing up! Laughter and tears. That sound familiar?
Infamous sounds like a trip! Anything more you can share?
I can share a lot, but I’m sure you’d rather hear from Victor Garber, who opened up to me about this Revenge-esque midseason drama. “When I read the script I thought this was really well written, entertaining, fun to watch, a guilty pleasure show, but also really smart,” he says. The actor plays the head of a pharmaceutical company whose daughter dies of a drug over dose. But as in all shows filled with soapy goodness, there’s more to the story. “It turns out that it’s possible homicide…There’s a lot of intrigue.”
I secretly hope I’m the only question you get about Animal Practice because a) that makes me awesome b) that makes me better than all the other Justin Kirk fans out there and c) a and b were good enough. — Jane
Congratulations, you were the only one. And my apologies — I got nothing. But not from lack of trying. I blame the monkey — he could smell my fear.
Mindy Kaling! Tell me her show is worth me having no Kelly on The Office! — M. Haggins
Again, no official reviews come out for a bit, but I’ll tell ya, I’m a sucker for a good meet-cute. (But don’t assume it all ends well.)
I’d love some more info about Arrow! Are comic book fans going to like it? Does it stay true to the story? What spins are we going to see? — John
Info on this and more in next week’s special Spoiler Room Early Buzz video! Keep an eye out! But what I can tell you now: You know that scene from the trailer where Stephen Amell shows his muscles on a salmon ladder? That’s totally him in real life. Sigh.