“It’s a show about damaged people, which is what I tend to write about,” Clyde Phillips said today of his new AMC series Feed The Beast, about the “underbelly of trying to open a restaurant in the last frontier of New York City, which is the Bronx.”
Feed The Beast focuses on an alcoholic sommelier, whose son witnessed the hit-and-run death of his mother and has been mute since. There’s also the sommelier’s BFF rock-star chef who turned down his last restaurant, which left him owing the mob half a million dollars, as Phillips described today, sitting alone onstage at TCA. The friends attempt to open a Greek restaurant. It’s based on a Danish series Bankerot, created by Kim Fupz Aakeson and produced by DR Broadcasting.
“The Danish show pretty funny, though it plays itself as drama,” he said, with a great sense of style and great food porn.
In June, AMC continued its push straight-to-series orders with pickup of Feed The Beast (then known as Broke) from former Dexter and Nurse Jackie showrunner Phillips. AMC Studios and Lionsgate, where Phillips is under an overall deal, will co-produce.
Every episode starts with flame. In the first episode, the flame connects to cooking being done in prison for the guards by the hot-shot chef, who gets out early — only to be visited by mobsters to whom he owes a lot of money. They warn him if he leaves the country, they will kill his friends and family. “It’s a tragic farce … every time you open a door, something happens,” Phillips said. “You got our investor. Great! I’m pregnant. Shit!”
Although Phillips was on stage alone – no cast yet – and TV critics saw no whiff of footage, Phillips insisted the 10-episode Season 1 order would make its May premiere date, hinting they are this close to casting an English TV star for one role and have an offer out to a “movie star to be the other guy.” Phillips put the stories together about nine months ago and started a writing room on Labor Day weekend. “We’re writing our seventh episode, and casting on the series’ other roles will happen at AMC on Monday, with shooting scheduled to start February 1.