Former music video director and record producer, McG is known for his sleek and cool action titles Charlie’s Angels and Terminator Salvation (which grossed more than this summer’s current iteration), and his just-as-hip TV shows such as Nikita and The O.C.. However, the director-producer now finds himself in a genre that’s out of his wheelhouse, at least from the public’s eye: the ABC Family half-hour TV workplace comedy Kevin From Work.
Barbie Adler and producer Aaron Kaplan are behind the show; McG serves as EP and has directed the pilot in addition to a number of other episodes. ABC Family ordered 10 episodes of Kevin From Work. It premieres Wednesday, August 12 at 8PM.
The set-up sounds like its from a Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan romantic comedy: Guy in cubicle falls in love with girl across cubicle, but she has a jerk boyfriend. McG actually did make a feature workplace comedy, but with bullets and stunts: the Reese Witherspoon-Tom Hardy-Chris Pine spy love triangle, This Means War. He also has the crime/mystery show The Mysteries of Laura which is heading into its second season on NBC. In addition, there were some rom-com elements to McG’s CIA comedy Chuck on which he executive produced and directed the pilot.
While McG has enjoyed blowing stuff up in his movies, the chance to do so in Kevin From Work “didn’t present itself…We get into some hijinks and real life stories, but (blowing stuff up) isn’t what I signed up to do.” Adler remarked McG’s finesse for camera transitions. The action in Kevin From Work is limited to a car going over a curb.
Deflecting the press corps pigeon-holing, McG said that his attachment to Kevin is about “staying in touch with people’s opinions. I don’t wear a different hat when I make a record, music video, long-form Mercedes-Benz commercial or a big movie with Christian Bale. I stay in touch with what’s compelling in current culture. Today, kids like Snapchat, there’s Donald Trump, you listen to Nirvana or Flume and what comes out is Kevin From Work.“
When asked about the longevity of the other series he serves as EP on, CW’s Supernatural, McG exclaimed, “Someone told me the other day that it’s the biggest sci-fi show in American history.”
Anyone looking for McG to blow things up, will have to wait until this winter when ABC Family’s Shadowhunters from The Mortal Instruments series debuts. McG is directing two episodes and serves as EP. The feature adaptation of the popular YA novel series bit the dust at the B.O. with City of Bones grossing $31M two years ago. When asked if the big screen was the wrong format for the property, McG responded, “The north star for us has been Game of Thrones in showing how TV suits a book series.”