Contenders Emms
Diane Haithman/Deadline

The new TBS comedy The Detour was renewed for a second season before the series premiered and even before co-stars Jason Jones and Natalie Zea sat down for our conversation as part of Deadline’s first-ever The Contenders Emmys, the all-day event that took place in front of a packed DGA Theatre audience of Emmy voters.

The show, created by Jones and his wife Samantha Bee, might look on first glance like a sitcom version of National Lampoon’s Vacation movies, but the similarities stop there — as Jones explains this is about a family who genuinely likes each other and want to be together. Unfortunately, just as dad’s vacation is to start he gets fired from his job, doesn’t tell his wife, and sets out on the road anyway.

The series is built around their adventures while on this “vacation,” and being on cable allows some pretty raunchy stuff to happen.  Zea, who says she only became a real-life parent after she got involved with the show, says the remarkably funny kid actors, Ashley Gerasimovich and Liam Carroll, are part of the key to making it work as well as it does. Jones is the main force in the writers room who comes up with the often broad and crazy things this family goes through — but always with love.

Click above to watch our conversation.