FX has renewed Mayans MC for a 2nd season.
USA has renewed Queen Of The South for a 4th season.
HBO’s Room 104 will return November 9.
Not that you were planning to, but don’t waste your time with CBS’ The Neighborhood.
Jenna Dewan is out as host of World of Dance, but she was on The Resident last night.
“Jennifer Aniston might have been saved by the birth certificate. Saved by the Bell alum Tiffani Thiessen revealed Monday that she auditioned for the role of Rachel Green on Friends back in the day. ‘Did you know I tested for Friends, for Jennifer Aniston?’ the 44-year-old actress said on SiriusXM’s You Up With Nikki Glaser. ‘I was just a little too young. I was a little too young to the pairing of the rest of them.’ Coming off of six years playing pop culture icon Kelly Kapowski, Thiessen was only 20 years old when Friends premiered in 1994; Aniston was 25, the youngest of the hit series’ six leads. Thiessen quickly rebounded from missing out on the NBC sitcom, instead landing on Beverly Hills, 90210 with a memorable run as Valerie Malone.”
“Coming off her second Emmy win, Merritt Wever has been tapped as the lead in Run, HBO’s romantic comedic thriller pilot from Killing Eve creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge and her frequent collaborator Vicky Jones. Wever joins Domhnall Gleeson, who also stars in the project, from Entertainment One. Waller-Bridge has a recurring role Written by Jones, Run centers on Ruby (Wever), a woman living a humdrum existence who one day gets a text inviting her to fulfill a youthful pact, promising true love and self-reinvention, by stepping out of her life to take a journey with her oldest flame. Wever’s Ruby Dixie is an American family woman who functions like clockwork, but feels like a fraud. Having packed away her younger self for the sake of other people, she is finally taking steps to reinvent her path.
“Viacom has tapped Brian Robbins, the head of its specialty studio Paramount Players, to run Nickelodeon. Robbins has been named the president of the company’s children programming unit. In the new role, Robbins will report directly to Bob Bakish, president and CEO of Viacom, and will manage the creative and business operations at Nickelodeon. Integral to the job will be helping to evolve the brand for a new generation of young audiences. Robbins most recently served as president of Paramount Pictures’ Paramount Players division, where he worked closely with Viacom’s other brands to identify talent and properties to be developed into co-branded feature films. In his new role, Robbins will remain integrally involved in the development, production and marketing of all Nickelodeon co-branded films with Paramount Players, including Dora the Explorer and Rugrats, among other current projects. The move comes a year and a half after Robbins left his own company, AwesomenessTV, to join Paramount Players.”
Amazon has given a series order to an adaptation of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time.
“A feature-length project about the life and career of legendary comic George Carlin is in the works with the Oscar-nominated Moneyball screenwriter Stan Chervin. Gail Berman and Joe Earley’s the Jackal Group have secured the comic’s life rights, and tapped Chervin as both writer and producer. Bruce Kaufman and his banner Wood Hollow Pictures and Jerry Hamza, the executor of Carlin’s estate and his former manager, will also produce. The untitled project does not yet have a distribution home, but Jackal is mulling several options, including traditional theatrical, streaming, or a possible TV release for the long-form project.”
Per The Hollywood Reporter, “Rhea Seehorn's Kim Wexler, both solo and in her relationship with Bob Odenkirk's Jimmy, has always been the heart and sympathetic soul of Better Call Saul. But what has often been just beneath the surface has become the centerpiece of the current fourth season.
“Don't believe me? Ask Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro, who caught up on Better Call Saul last week and eagerly tweeted, ‘Kim is the key!’
“He's correct, of course.
“In recent episodes, excitement and also heartbreak have come from watching Kim take her most active role yet in Jimmy's descent into grift and cons, helping orchestrate the elaborate scheme to liberate Jimmy's bodyguard Huell (Lavell Crawford). It was a perfectly executed trick that got Kim a little hot-and-heavy, reminding us of the second season episode "Switch" and Kim's previously established attraction to Jimmy's dark side.
“It felt like a big fall for Kim after her recent public defender work, which she'd taken on as almost atonement for her commitment to helping Mesa Verde cut various banking corners.
“Or was it?
“Seehorn chatted with The Hollywood Reporter about the conflicted desires driving Kim this season, Jimmy and Kim's rare moment of on-screen physical intimacy and the benefits and frustrations of spending most of this season acting with an all-too-real cast on her arm:
I want to start by asking the most pressing question about last week's episode: How hard is it to remain serious and romantically invested in a scene with Bob Odenkirk doing his Cajun chef accent?
Well, luckily, they had Kim laughing. When he actually does the impressions for me, when we're laying in bed, it was a great and fortunate thing that Kim is actually supposed to be laughing, or else it would have been a lot harder for me.
We've known since season two that Kim has this side of her that kinda gets off on these con games. How do you think she looked at that side of herself in season two, and how does she look at that side of herself now?
That's an interesting question. There's the evolution of that particular strain in her that we don't really know yet if it's innate versus acquired; and if it's acquired, then, where did it come from? Of course, I do think from the beginning there's been a, not only attraction and repulsion she has with doing cons and pulling off little scams, but a strange … What's the right way to put it? The first time we saw her do it with Ken Wins, there was a repulsion at first, but then not only was there an attraction, but there was a seamless skill set that appeared, that she was good at it as well.
I feel like her embracing that and then in this latest one, initiating? Yes, Saul/Jimmy asked for her help with Huell, but the entire con, she made up. Now, Jimmy added the phone, as he says in that one scene, and obviously pulled off these incredible performances and orchestrated it, but she planned it, and he gives her credit for all of that. That, to me, was an evolution for her to go from being a passive participant who may or may not have familiarity with that sort of stuff to someone who's actually planning, conceiving and then as we saw at the end of the episode, actually initiating a scam. That's certainly an evolution that I thought about and really had fun playing with. How much can she enjoy it? How much does she check in with herself?
But we'd seen her this whole season — there's a lot of very impulsive behavior coming from her that we haven't seen before, and you can tell that it shakes her, whether it's hanging up on Paige at Mesa Verde or blurting out inappropriate comments about Kevin's statue. Even in this last episode, Coushatta, there was that subtle part where, yes, she's sort of bored at this office meeting with Mesa Verde after she's done this con the day before and had a great evening with Jimmy, but it's not just that. You see her subtly surprised that she was even able to say "no" for the first time to a client. When he's like, "What if we took over 600 other places and put statues in everywhere?" She's like, "No, we can't do that. It's too late. We've already turned in the permit bonds and this, that and the other." They have all these other things weighing in, too, that Kim's sort of wrestling with conscious versus unconscious behavior and is mildly uncomfortable with being impulsive, but can't stop herself.
Do you think that she's convinced herself at this point that there can be an altruistic side of this? That she's fighting the system to some degree, and that allows her to rationalize what she does with Huell here?
I definitely think so. I look at that a lot. The writers are really deft at that. Even when deciding to help Huell, in that scene from the week before last's episode, by Alison Tatlock and Deborah Chow, you see Jimmy come in, ask me to help him with Huell, but he unloads all this behavior on me of, "I'm selling cellphones in the parking lot and I have a friend who may or may not be a known pickpocket that's such a close friend that I need to bail him out." There's all this information and "Can you help me get him out of trouble?" But what the writers do again and again that I just love is there's always another side. Whether it's Ken Wins being scum, and he's actually trying to get one over on us, and Kim decides that, "Oh, this guy, quote unquote, deserves it."
With the Huell case, not only is it Jimmy asking me for help and I do care about him, but they added in this element that he feeds me that there's been an injustice. There's been a horrible injustice here where this man is falsely accused, and the more Kim digs, the more she finds out that he actually is being punished to a much greater extent than any of the other ADA's clients. She does hang her hat on that, and I do think she keeps drawing some very dangerous lines in the sand for herself.
We've all been there. If it's a small misdeed that really doesn't actually hurt anybody? Okay. In the case of Huell, she says, "I'm not going to tear a cop down," which was Jimmy's plan to get Huell off. Instead she decides, "What if we build Huell up? What if we make a hero out of a man — completely illegally and falsely — but we didn't actually say anything negative about the policeman, so that's okay, right?" It's a very dangerous line to be making, in my opinion.
When she started loitering in the courtroom and then doing the public defender stuff, the pro bono work, what do you think was the driving force of that instinct?
It is a different type of thrill-seeking for Kim. The cons and impulsiveness in other areas that we're seeing now, to me, were always there. They just come out in different forms, but she has an element to her that, like Jimmy, has a problem with settling down and just going toward stability and making a lot of money. She has a different sense of what's a thrill ride for her than Jimmy does sometimes, but they both have that itch they need to scratch. She thought that the law was going to be — even though she, as we saw in the flashback, is pretty nerdy about what's exciting to her, like case law — about fighting the great fight and everything that the judge makes fun of her, that Ethan Phillips played so well, in that one episode where he was like, "I've seen a million of you guys trolling around, looking for PD work that makes you feel whole again," and he's right. He's mocking her, but he's right. She didn't want to just help the world have more mid-sized banks. That wasn't the plan, no matter what that paycheck offers.
There are times in her life where even looking for the big clients was often about, "How can I pay my bills in a stable fashion so that I don't owe people money? So that I'm not under somebody's thumb? So that I can make independent decisions for my life?" It was never about being the queen of banking law and making a gazillion dollars. I think the adventures and the PD work, to get back to your question, is still about having control over your own life and feeling like she is a crusader of sorts. It's another version of righting the wrongs in the world, in her mind. That's what that was about. Like, "Is there a way that I can pay all the bills? Make sure that I can take care of that because I'm really not sure how much Jimmy's cellphone job pays, and when he'll be able to practice again and we're working out of my house, this, that and the other. But is there a way to do that and still feel like I'm doing something in the world?"
I think in a season that's so plagued by different ways in which we grieve and deal with guilt, with the Chuck thing looming over us, it became even more imperative for someone like Kim to feel active, because she doesn't seem to be able to save Jimmy. Whether it's asking if he is interested in a therapist or he wants to talk or do you want to get drunk or do you want to have sex or do you want to not talk, and we both just work? There's an instinct there to fix things. She's absolutely a fixer, and I like that about her. It's a more stereotypical male behavior that you see on TV sometimes, like, "No, we don't need to chat about our emotions, let's just problem-solve." I think it was all part of that pull that Kim needs to fix things and it's a bit obsessive when it's out of control.
Now, this episode highlights the physical affection between Kim and Jimmy, and that's something that we haven't actually seen that much, really. Have you and Bob or you and the writers talked about when they want to show that side of the Jim and Kim relationship, rather than when they just prefer showing them as almost the old married couple, which I feel like we've seen a lot this season?
They aren't, like, "Two times this season we're going to show some affection, so everybody batten down the hatches." They don't do that, but yes, I'm aware that they don't show it a lot. This season has a lot of other stuff going on as far as them drifting apart and having difficulty speaking to each other. It's quite tragic, and so that part of that ennui that they were showing this year is very purposeful and quite sad, that these two people are beginning to lead secret lives themselves and seem to be quite fearful of letting the other person in on how much distress they're in in their minds — both of them, for different reasons — and that, to my mind, is what starts to isolate them and put them in bubbles, and it's just so sad. If they could have actually laid bare everything to each other for much of this season, they might have been able to help each other. I think those isolated pictures of a couple, they're tragic and they're pretty accessible to the people I know. We've all been through those periods. It's just that these two people have extreme circumstances.
Other than that, the affection stuff, it's funny. I know people noticed first, like, "Oh, there seems to be a lack of sex scenes" or "They don't have the giant kisses now and then or all the time." And I also hear almost the opposite as well, of people saying — certainly not this season, like I said, this is a different season — but in other seasons, I would hear people say to me that they think they look like a real couple. Jimmy and Kim seem like they actually really do love each other and it would come in the form of not having scene after scene where you wake up naked in bed, and make sure you show us with rumpled sheets, but instead it was asking somebody what they want them to pick them up for dinner or when they come home and putting your feet on somebody's lap when you watch movies or always answering somebody's phone calls, no matter what you're in the middle of, or being able to have an argument and not resolve it at the end because you know they'll still be there in the morning. That really hit a lot of people as actual love, more than a sex scene, and I've enjoyed that reaction to them.
I think you're right and I think it's utterly authentic, but is it always clear to you guys when a scene that is, for example, just them saying, "What do we want to get for takeout tonight?" when that's a sign of affection and all of the things that can go unspoken in a relationship versus when it's a sign of estrangement or chilliness? Because it's the kind of thing where the exact same line could be one or it could be the other, depending on how you guys take it.
It is clear. Sometimes it's a tone note in the script, and other times it's a discussion with Bob and I and the writer and director, and/or Peter Gould. Other times, it's something Bob and I just feel and play, but we do play scenes a lot of different ways. Often, there's multiple takes that have performance range in them — not so much as, technically, "Something went wrong." It's more exploring because they are very subtle scenes that do not always have an obvious arc or an obvious one main intention. They're winding narratives.
For me one of the sweetest, most loving scenes that Bob and I enjoyed playing so much because it was so small and so quiet, Michael Morris directed it and Ann Cherkis wrote it, and we're sitting on the bathtub and he actually was attacked selling cellphones in the parking lot, but he tells me he was mugged. It's the middle of the night and I wake up and I'm putting on bacitracin and, for a second, he almost tells me that something really is wrong, and he says, "I think there's something wrong with me." We talk and we sit on the edge of the tub, and that was a moment where I could totally have been ice because he definitely sounds like he's not telling me the whole story and it's in the middle of the night and not everything makes sense, but Bob and I just instinctively felt going into the scene that it's as honest as those two could be with each other in that moment. It's a very quiet moment where he needs help, and Kim is able to be there for him. The bigger circumstances don't really matter. There's no kiss, they don't even hold hands. I put [antibiotics] on his face and blow on his wounds and we sit on the edge of the tub. I thought it was one of the most loving scenes that we'd ever seen from them.
That's the kind of thing where Bob and I just knew that that kind of vulnerability from either of the two of them at this point would come from a very sweet place in the heart, as opposed to Coushatta, when I have the headphones on and he keeps trying to talk to me. She has agreed to help him in circumstances that she finds suspicious, and she made a decision that, "I will help you and I will help you do this successfully," and on top of that, ADA Erickson has shot down Kim's negotiating, which Kim is not used to, and I think Kim does have a little bit of a problem with losing. I think she's a little bit of a freak about it. She's sitting there doing the work on this, and she's resistant to pretending this is a couple's game, like we're going to game night and we're going to win Taboo. Like, "Stop pretending this is fun. This is work and you don't get to act like it's a sexy date night. I've got to do this, go to your job."
It wasn't fury at him, as much as compartmentalizing. It's constant compartmentalizing for her. We just felt that, and the director and writer agreed. They're slippery, they're slippery moments. We'll sometimes go in and out of, "Can you be sweet for a moment?" Which we've all been there, where you throw out vulnerability for a second and when it's not met the way you want it to be met, you recoil. There's also those moments, where it goes one way and then goes the other. Again, I feel like the overall effect is real love, because we don't all stare at each other with goo-goo eyes.
The scenes a couple of weeks ago with the time jump — I think a lot of people probably expected that that might come a bit sooner. How surprised were you by how long you had to have that cast as part of your acting arsenal?
They let me know their best guess when I came back this season of how long I'd be wearing the cast. They thought probably up to episode seven, and that is in fact what happened, but I always knew that it might be longer, it might be shorter. I was prepared. Yeah, it was a long time to wear a cast, because it is a real cast. It's a real plaster cast that was applied by a paramedic two hours before I'd start work. You'd let it dry, you'd keep it on all day, you'd have it sawed off at the end of the night when everybody's done. It does not come on and off between scenes, or to go to the bathroom or to go eat. We tested other things. Some of the clip-on ones looked too bulky, some of the other ones, if you shoot in our very cool lighting and cinematic set-ups that [DP] Marshall Adams does, then the plaster looks fake if it was the plastic ones. It was all sorts of things that went into why it was best to do it, and then they checked with me for my comfort level.
It ended up being very cool, actually, that it was limiting. Not that I went into it from some absolute place of, "And now I become Kim the second the cast is on," but I 100 percent understood. Kim doesn't like to ask for help a hundred times more than I don't like asking for help, and even I was just constantly bothered by how much I had to ask somebody to help me, like help me button a blouse. And I loved realizing instantly, like, "Holy crap, Kim's having to ask Jimmy to help her get dressed every morning," and that's both frustrating and incredibly intimate, because some of these scenes, they're barely talking, but she must have asked him to help zip her pants. She had to have asked for help with all sorts of things that must have been endlessly frustrating but also a weird tether that would keep you close to the person that you're with. Having to ask somebody to drive you somewhere, trying to learn how to write notes with my left hand, which I was horrible at, and it's irritating. You can't sleep well. The times where we would be lying in bed, it would take forever to even figure out like, "What does somebody do with their arm when they're like this?" It ended up being really cool. Other than getting up two hours early, everything else was really cool.
As a last question, I think audiences are supposed to be excited when they see Jimmy behaving more and more like Saul. Now, for you, as protective as I'm sure you are over Kim, what's your reaction when you see Kim behaving more and more like Saul? Do you get worried for her? Do you get angry at her? Or do you just enjoy getting to play that side of her?
What's surprising to me, and I guess I don't judge it, I don't necessarily look at it and go, like, "Oh, wow, she's becoming bad," or anything like that, is that they feel like extensions of things that were always in her, these itches that she needs to scratch. … don't know yet if they're innate or acquired and if they're learned from other people, from whom and what do they mean? They're just puzzle pieces. I get excited about how well they write and direct and encourage me to perform on the complexities of what she's doing, and the subtle nuances of surprising yourself by your own behavior, being curious where it came from, trying to negotiate consequences and compartmentalize. It's quite the psychological gymnastics, so I get excited by that kind of stuff more than I judge the behavior or guess where it's going. I track my trajectory up to the point of wherever we're playing it and I try not to think past that.”
“The SVOD platform has commissioned Eco-Challenge 2019, to be hosted by Man Vs Wild and Running Wild star Bear Grylls and produced by MGM Television. The announcement comes three months after Burnett and Grylls revealed that they had partnered to bring back the classic format that put Burnett on the reality TV map and was a precursor to his CBS hit Survivor. It is Amazon’s most significant non-scripted entertainment order since it launched The Grand Tour with former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.
“The show, which will air globally, will pit teams of four competitors selected from around the world against each other and nature’s harsh elements in a grueling 24-hours a day, multi-day race. If one teammate quits the entire team is disqualified. The 2019 location for the epic adventure will be unveiled later this year.
“The original series, created by The Voice and Survivor producer Burnett, ran 10 editions over eight years beginning in 1995 on MTV. Later editions — in locales from Australia and Morocco to Patagonia, Borneo, Canada, New Zealand and Fiji — aired on ESPN and Discovery Channel, with the 1996 British Columbia race winning Burnett his first Emmy. The race aired on USA Network until 2002.
“The competition previously featured a rugged 300-mile course featuring the likes of mountaineering, horseback riding, sea kayaking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, camel riding and canyoneering. Competitors had to carry out all trash, including solid human waste. If any team member quit, the entire team was disqualified.
“Eco-Challenge 2019 is exec produced by Burnett and Lisa Hennessy alongside Grylls and Delbert Shoopman for Bear Grylls Ventures. Burnett’s race course design experts, Scott Flavelle and Kevin Hodder, also return.”
From TheWrap: “Chris Kattan’s high school comedy How to Get Girls has landed at Hulu with the streaming platform acquiring North American rights, TheWrap has exclusively learned.
“The film launched Monday on the streaming platform. Kew Media Distribution, part of Kew Media Group, and Glass Entertainment Group (GEG) also sold international rights to the film to Fox Networks Group (Asia), Lemon Tree Media (China) and BskyB (UK).
“How to Get Girls, which Hulu launched Monday, is a teen comedy produced by Glass Entertainment Group and Nancy Glass, and was written and directed by Zach Fox and Omri Dorani. Fox also stars in the film alongside comedians Kattan, Kate Flannery (The Office) and David Koechner (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy).
“The film centers on two nerdy childhood best friends, Zach and Ben, who dream of going to Comic-Con. When Ben is forced to move to Antarctica with his father, the two make a parting pact: they will finish writing their comic book and get it into the hands of their hero. After five years of isolation (and extreme puberty), Ben returns home as an Adonis but, inside, is still the same geek he was when he left.
“International deals were brokered by Kew Media Distribution, which manages global rights to How to Get Girls.
“‘We’re proud to see How to Get Girls heading to broadcasters around the world as well as showcasing on Hulu in North America. Hulu is a perfect home for this film and we are very pleased to be associated with such an exciting and cutting-edge platform,’ says Glass said in a statement.”
Per Variety, “Max Greenfield and Damon Wayans Jr.’s careers are running parallel to each other.
“The former New Girl stars are not only each appearing in a new CBS sitcom this fall, but both of their shows loosely based on the lives of their executive producers — and both feature white characters coming in to shake up the lives of African-American characters.
“In Jim Reynolds’ The Neighborhood, Greenfield plays Dave Johnson, a man who moves his family into a predominantly black community and tries desperately to bond with his neighbor (played by Cedric the Entertainer). Meanwhile, Wayans’ accountant character, Jake, in Happy Together allows his pop star client (Felix Mallard) to move in with him and his wife (Amber Stevens-West), just like series executive producer Ben Winston did with Harry Styles years ago.
“Ahead of the series premieres, Greenfield and Wayans sat down with Variety to discuss the draw of multi-cams, what playing characters based on real people add to their processes, and if they’d bring a mini-“New Girl” reunion to either of their new shows:
What drew you to these new sitcoms?
Max Greenfield: Damon said yes first, and I got really jealous. We had always talked about multi-cams, and CBS is really the only place to do it — the only place that’s been successful doing it. Damon made the jump, and I had just finished New Girl so coming off a show was really fresh for me, and I got really jealous when I saw him say yes to Happy Together. So when it came back around — when the recast was offered to me — the idea of joining a show that was right next to Damon’s definitely played a part in me saying yes.
Damon Wayans Jr.: Schedule, money, proximity — and also the creative. I wouldn’t do a show that I didn’t like. I enjoy the writers, the fact that this is loosely inspired by actual events that I thought were bizarre but kind of cool.
What about the multi-cam format appealed to you?
Greenfield: New Girl was a wonderful experience but for seven years we were shooting single-cam that is not handheld, that is traditionally shot, and they’re asking you to improv, and you’re on location. It’s a real grind. And on a comedy where you have to be fresh, you’re often walking onto set going, “I don’t even know what we’re shooting today.” … Just to rehearse in general is such a nice change of pace. To work on a scene that, if you’re lucky, somewhat stays the same all week and you can really play on nuanced beats and really focus in on stuff and then tape it in front of a live studio audience where you’re getting that juice and that energy from them —
Wayans: That’s my favorite part.
Greenfield: Yeah, it’s really rewarding. … After you finish on tape night, you really feel like you’ve accomplished something. You’re revved up, and then also tired, but you’re like, “This was a really wonderful acting experience.” … Each week you’re really walking away from it feeling like you’re creating something, as opposed to each week wondering how they’re going to chop this up, and then you watch an episode and you’re like, “I don’t remember having done any of this.”
Damon, as an executive producer on the show, are you able to guide the traits of your character, or do you defer more to Ben Winston since the character is based on him?
Wayans: I trust the writers, and they’ve been doing a great job. My character is really not anywhere near Ben Winston. Ben is a decorated director, and my guy is an accountant. But it’s cool to have him around supervising and giving us ideas of what could potentially be funny for the characters. He loves pace — “Got to keep the pace!” I love him, and it’s a very collaborative place. They’re not married to the writing unless it moves the story, and I just think the best joke wins — I don’t care about whose joke it is.
Similarly, Max, how much input do you want to assert over the story and the character?
Greenfield: We have a lot of conversations that deal with race on the show, and a lot of those conversations, especially from the African-American point of view, I don’t have a point of view. So I am trying to do my best to be led in the most responsible direction, and I feel really taken care of in that regard. I think Cedric has a really, really good grasp on where he wants the show to go — and he’s done a show like this before and was a tremendous leader over there. So I’m not really looking to improv. The jokes, to me, are not the important part of the show. Because we’re sort of the fish out of water on our show, I’m looking to ground it as much as I can, especially in these beginning few episodes. You don’t want to be bouncing off of walls, especially when Cedric and Tichina [Arnold] are playing it so real.
Damon, do you want Happy Together to touch on topical discussions the way The Neighborhood is?
Wayans: I just like to goof off and have fun, and I’m not sure I could handle being that show.
Do you feel like you’re bringing more of the comedy and Felix is the straight man?
Wayans: That’s the way they were writing it as the way in, but we’re on episode 8, and now everyone’s getting into their own rhythms and everyone has jokes, and I really pushed for that because comedy shows like this that aren’t really about a specific thing, like “Friends” — everybody was funny, you just had to find what’s funny about your character. I’ve been really pushing for that and they’ve been listening and adjusting.
Max, how is The Neighborhood evolving from the pilot?
Greenfield: When you start off a show, there are certain ways these networks have done it in the past and it’s been successful and they try to stick to the same methodologies. The “in” for our show, for instance is me and Cedric, so the first few episodes are going to be very heavy with the two of us. Now, to piggyback on what Damon was saying, what I’d like to see for the show, and where I think we’re going, is really expanding it. The rest of the cast is wonderful — between Tichina and Beth [Behrs], they are so incredible. And you have Marcel Spears and Sheaun McKinney who are lights-out funny and honestly part of the reason when I saw the original pilot I was like, “Oh my god.” Because I know how hard it is to find those supporting characters. That’s what we had on “New Girl” and you saw how successful it was because people don’t instantly attach themselves to the lead all of the time. They’re like, “Oh Rainn Wilson is who I’m laughing at [on ‘The Office’], I’ll catch up to the love story later.” So what I’m hoping is what we get to over time — and it’s just going to be a matter of CBS giving us more episodes — is letting the show expand into a true ensemble.
What was the most important aspect of playing off of your on-screen spouses on these shows?
Wayans: I think it comes from the person off-camera. Amber is just a great person. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like her. So it’s easy to talk with her and get along with her, and that kind of just bleeds onto the camera once we’re there. There’s no vanity in her comedy — she’s never too good to do something — and when you’re working with somebody who’s always just down to make the best product possible, it just makes your life so much easier, and that’s what you see on the show. The chemistry between us is genuine.
Greenfield: Amber had done an episode of New Girl, and Beth and I had worked together before on “Hello, My Name Is Doris,” so I feel like we’re both really lucky to be in these situations because there’s nothing worse than when you see these people supposed to be playing married couples on TV and they’re [so stiff] you’re like, “You’re not really married!” And Amber and Beth are both very similar actors in that they just both jump in and commit fully on take one. It’s certainly good for me because where I like the rehearsal and I like to figure it out, Beth bring so much immediately, that you’re just reacting and you’re in this and you cut out all of the 17 lunches you might have had to have otherwise — “I’m thinking what our first date would have been…”
Are there plans to see any of your New Girl cast mates pop up on either one of your new shows?
Wayans: I’ve talked to Jake [Johnson] about it. He was like, “I could come on there and see how it is. I could be really good or I could just tank and half-way through the episode be like, ‘This isn’t for me’ and just walk off.”
Greenfield: I would love, specifically, to have Lamorne [Morris] come on. It would be the best.
Wayans: He would kill that.
Greenfield: He would kill it. I’ve thought about it since day one. When they announce the show is going to end at some point, I’m going to be like, “Just write the guy in.””
From The New York Post: “Jerry O’Connell finally found his dream job in hosting Bravo’s new show, Bravo’s Play by Play.
“O’Connell recently told Page Six that Andy Cohen and Michael Davies came up with the show (which was originally named Real Men Watch Bravo,) and after going ‘through sort of [who] their regular Watch What Happens Live guests were’ they reached out to him.
“‘They asked if I was interested and I told them I was. I mean it’s almost like a dream job getting to go on television and talk about all the Housewives,’ he told us. ‘It’s easy for me. I mean literally the only work I have to do is I have to watch all the episodes before I go in there which I would have done anyway, except now I’m doing it I’m cramming it in like I’m studying for a final.’
“‘It’s everyone’s dream job and I get paid to do it. It’s shocking. And also unlike Andy, I don’t have to go meet anyone at a reunion. I can just make fun of all of them. I don’t have to deal with the crossfire of like Bethenny [Frankel] and Carole [Radziwill]. I can just watch it and then I can comment on it. It’s much safer than Andy Cohen’s job.’
“O’Connell, 44, first began watching Bravo with his wife Rebecca Romijn years ago, telling us: ‘When Teresa Giudice flipped that table I just couldn’t I couldn’t not watch.’ Cohen, 50, invited him to be a guest on an early episode of “WWHL” with RHONJ star Giudice, 46, shortly after and he was ‘just in it.’
“‘I live for obviously all the Housewives, all the shows on Bravo but I really live for getting to go on Watch What Happens Live and meet them, talk about them, ask them questions on air. I mean when I met Teresa Giudice on Watch What Happens Live 10 years ago, I got to ask her why she was being rude to her sister-in-law Melissa Gorga.’
“Now, his ‘jam’ with Romijn, 45, is The Real Housewives of Atlanta but he’s looking forward to questioning the “Red Scarf Guy” from The Real Housewives of New York.
“But we’re most looking forward to a potential interview with Lisa Vanderpump’s old houseguest Cedric, as O’Connell told us he intends to track him down”