Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
With the February 26 premiere of ABC’s new comedy Mixology, executive producer Ryan Seacrest makes his first foray into scripted series. At today’s TCA, Seacrest denied that this move into scripted foreshadows the death of reality TV.
“Not anytime soon,” Seacrest said, appearing on the panel with EPs John Lucas and Scott Moore (feature scribes new to TV) and the cast of 10 regulars. “I’m reading about Kim Kardashian every day.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” an audience member responded.
“It’s my pleasure. Look, you asked,” Seacrest joked back. But he acknowledged that his production company “has a balance slate, we do produce a lot of unscripted . . . [but] we hope to achieve balance.”
Set in a Manhattan bar, the 13 episodes will track one night in the lives of five young men and 15 young women looking for love. Lucas and Moore said that while the season arc takes place over a single evening, the audience will come to know the characters through flashbacks in the style of Lost. (After the session, Moore declined to say whether a second season of the show would bring in an entirely new set of characters.)
A TV critic asked whether waiting to see who hooks up with whom can carry a season because “the world would go on” without hookups. Cast and producers also stressed that the heart of the show is not about hookups but finding “the right one.”
But just to set the record straight, cast member Vanessa Lengies grinned widely and added her two cents: “Actually, the world wouldn’t continue if people didn’t get laid,” she pointed out, to laughter.
After the session, Moore told Deadline that he is thrilled with the prime 9:30 Wednesday time slot after Modern Family. “Listen, it’s a big hit show, it’s very flattering and shows the network has confidence in us,’’ he said.
But is a racy sex comedy out of place after a family show? Moore called both Modern Family and Mixology “smart comedy shows” that should have crossover viewership. Besides, Moore said, he’s a little weary of TV “blocks.” “I’m tired of [evenings of TV] that are just ‘the family block of shows,’ he said.