The movie Vacation stretched over several episodes? Executive producer and star Jason Jones says that’s exactly what his TBS comedy series The Detour is not. Developed with his wife Samantha Bee, Jones conceived the series based on the couple’s family trips. Specifically, there was a time when Jones was asked by his kid how a baby was made, and it was “the openness and honesty of that conversation” that inspired the co-creator to conceive a series like Detour but those types of talks in “closed, cramped quarters.” Another slice of Jones’ life that folds itself into the pilot: his small son gets to drive the car in the countryside and crashes it.
The show has a 10-episode arc, “but it becomes something very different, not anything like a Vacation movie.” The family trip begins in Syracuse, New York, with the intent of hitting Fort Lauderdale, but of course, things go awry. Each season centers on a different trip, and there was a clip shown at TCA today that indicated Jones’ character might be on the lam. Of note from the teased clips are the vast cinematic vista shots of Middle America.
Jones and Bee built Detour specifically for TBS. “It was the fastest development cycle in the history of television. I signed the deal in September last year. I wrote the pilot three weeks later. Got the greenlight and shot it. They picked up the series two months later and we were shooting last summer,” explained Jones.
When asked how he balances married life with Bee and work on two shows, Jones quipped, “We honestly stay together for our careers. We look to the Clintons.”
The Detour premieres this spring on TBS.