During this morning’s Amazon Contenders Emmy TV panel for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, EP/director/writer Dan Palladino said that “within five or six months” the 16-Emmy winning series should expect to be back in production for its fourth season.
“King COVID is ruling everything,” said Palladino about the delay, “Amy and I and the writers are soon to be writing in earnest and putting things down on paper.”
Co-creator Amy Sherman Palladino and Dan Palladino’s m.o. with Season 3 of Mrs. Maisel was capturing the rise and fall that comes with a burgeoning star like Midge Maisel in show business. In the finale, Rachel Brosnahan’s Midge is left standing on an airport tarmac, fired as the opening act of singer Shy Baldwin’s tour. Meanwhile, her manager Susie Myerson has gambled away most of Midge’s income from the tour. Where do they go from here?
Quipped creator/executive producer/writer/director Amy Sherman-Palladino: “It’s very important in comedy to leave everyone completely miserable. This whole year for Midge, we thematically send her on journeys. This journey was about what it’s actually like to work in showbiz as a woman comic, what are the ups and down, and in the end, who are the people who are truly your friends, and who truly have your back.”
Her comments came during a pair of panels at Deadline’s all-day Contenders Television: The Nominees event for the series, which picked up 20 Emmy nominations last month after winning Best Comedy Series honors in 2018.
In Season 3, Midge is fired by Shy following her performance ahead of him at the Apollo Theater in which she takes digs at his closeted homosexuality. Despite the two having a tender, caring friendship throughout the season, and despite the advice from Shy’s manager Reggie (Sterling K. Brown) to joke on Shy, the experience is a disaster for Midge, especially as she has to follow onstage the comedic legend Moms Mabley (played by Wanda Sykes, who is nominated in the Guest Actress in a Comedy category for Maisel).
“She acts first and thinks later,” Sherman-Palladino says about Midge, “it’s why her comedy works for her — it’s emotion-driven. In this, it took everything away from her.”
Says Sykes about playing her childhood comedic idol Mabley: “It’s intimidating, but I jumped at the chance to do it, because Moms means so much to me. I watched her as a little girl, and my mother said I’ve been preparing for this role for a long time. As a little girl, I was running around with dust rags on my head.”
Sherman-Palladino with her husband and series executive producer/director/writer Daniel Palladino, is nominated in the Outstanding Comedy Series category, Music Supervision, and Directing for a Comedy Series; Amy for “It’s Comedy or Cabbage” and Daniel for “Marvelous Radio.”
Talking about moments when Midge refuses to read a Phyllis Schlafly radio commercial, and when her manager Susie fires her famous comedian client Sophie Lennon after she arrogantly has a meltdown in her Broadway debut, three-time Emmy winner Alex Borstein, who plays Susie, says: “Each character is deciding what they are, and what they’e not wiling to do for money. Midge decides not to sell out her political voice, Abe is not willing to continue down [his own] road, and Susie, as Dan pointed out in a notable meeting we had, Susie sees that taking Sophie was a money grab.”
When it came to big stars who have imploded on Broadway, Dan Palladino told us that he found out in hindsight from a New York Times article after he wrote the episode that Lucille Ball actually had one in the stage show Wildcat. The show entailed her singing and dancing, which she was uncomfortable with, and after a few shows, she was asking her fellow actors out of character on stage, “Do you know Fred Mertz?” (in reference to the character on her TV show I Love Lucy).
For Dan Palladino the Sophie Lennon implosion scene was about “a lot of people who’ve done a lot of stuff in theater have either known someone who has started doing tricks and started putting things in to find their comfort zone, who comedically to someone like me, should not have been done.”
I moderated the first Maisel panel with Dan Palladino, Rachel Brosnahan, Tony Shalhoub and Borstein talking about the penultimate episode “Marvelous Radio” and Pete Hammond moderated the second with Amy Sherman Palladino, Brosnahan, Borstein, Sykes and Mirin Hinkle. Hinkle sees her second supporting actress comedy Emmy nom this season. Borstein, who has already won twice in that category for the show, is up again. Brosnahan won in the first season, and see her fourth Emmy nom overall for her career. Shalhoub, who won best supporting actor in a comedy series last year, is up for his third nomination in the category.
Check out Panel #1 in the video above, with Panel #2 below. Afterward, click here to watch all of Sunday’s Contenders TV panels.