In ABC’s new sitcom Splitting Up Together, we see that age-old story of the on-again, off-again couple, but this time they’re already married and divorcing. Taken from an original Danish show, Lena (Jenna Fischer) and Martin (Oliver Hudson) have been married for 12 years, but after a period of dysfunction, they decide to call time on the relationship, yet will continue to live in the same house in order to co-parent.
In borrowing from the Danish predecessor, ABC’s exec producer Emily Kapnek said they’d made some adjustments to allow for comedic scope. “There’s a lot that we took from the Danish format which is wonderful,” she said. “But they didn’t really focus on the kids that much — the kids were really peripheral and they made a point of not telling workplace stories, you were very much focused on this dynamic between the two of them.” But Splitting Up Together would be different, Kapnek said. “As early as the pilot, we told kids stories and aged up the kids so we could do those great family stories.”
Despite a long run on Rules of Engagement, re-entry into the sitcom genre was a welcome move for Hudson. “This to me is very different,” he said. “It read differently to me, there was something deep about it, something different about it…this has a lot of heart.”
The Office alumna Fischer felt similarly about the script, she said. “I wanted to get some distance from The Office before taking on another big job, and then there was just something about this script that spoke to me. I really relate to this character. I’m a wife and a mother now, and I feel like I’m going to get to express this whole other part of my personality. While it’s a show about two people who are divorced, I don’t think you have to be divorced to be able to relate to the show. It was just such a rich world, but told so beautifully and warmly.”
Today’s TCA panel also including stars Emily Kapnek, Oliver Hudson, Jeff Kleeman and Dean Holland.