Disney+’s Big Shot session at TCA had to navigate through a fair share of technical difficulties before series actress Yvette Nicole Brown saved the day by using her moderating skills and talking to her fellow cast members, John Stamos and Jessalyn Gilsig as well as Executive Producer/Showrunner Dean Lorey and Executive Producer/Director Bill D’Elia. The series debuts on Disney+ on April 16.
The panel’s technical difficulties lasted throughout and unfortunately, John Stamos, who stars as Marvyn Korn on the series, bowed out for a long beat because he couldn’t hear anyone. Before signing off and resetting his computer he told his castmates, “Just say nice things about me.”
The series follows Marvyn, a hothead men’s NCAA basketball who is ousted and begrudgingly takes a job at an all-girls high school. He soon learns that teenage girls are more than just X’s and O’s moving on a court. They require empathy and vulnerability –something Coach Korn is not familiar with. By learning how to connect with his players, Marvyn starts to grow into the person he’s always hoped to be. The girls learn to take themselves more seriously, finding their footing both on and oﬀ the court.
Brown steps into the role of Sherilyn Thomas, the dean of the school while Gilsig plays Holly Barrett, who coaches alongside Marvyn. Lorey said that he and David E. Kelley developed the show years ago for ABC but it didn’t move forward. Fast forward to 2021 and Disney+ came calling and picked up Big Shot straight to series.
“It’s a show about second chances,” said Brown when describing the show. “And it’s not just Marvyn Korn — every character on the show at some point — and I want to say all the actors names: Sophia Mitri Schloss, Nell Verlaque, Tiana Le, Monique Green, Tisha Eve Custodio, Cricket Wampler and Richard Robichaux — everyone on this show has a journey where they find out something about themselves that they can tweak just a little bit to be more palatable for the rest of the world, which is what is beautiful about the show.
The “second chances” comment seemed appropriate considering the technical difficulties the TCA panel was going through.
Lorey said that the first season finds Marvyn in a fish-out-of-water situation where in order to be successful, he has to personally connect with these players. “We really wanted to see him be challenged,” he said.
Speaking of challenges, D’elia admits he wasn’t familiar with basketball and had to binge games to see how it works. When Stamos returned to the conversation, he also admitted that he wasn’t a “sports guy”. He dove deep into the world of basketball and said he went to a “rehearsal”….and by “rehearsal” he meant “basketball practice”.
For Gilsig, she appreciated how Big Shot portrayed the stories of the young women in sports on the series. “I have a 14-year-old daughter and she plays soccer,” said Gilsig. “This show, having all these young female characters on it…we are really looking at their personal ambition, personal development and we’re looking at it through this team. They are being challenged by this coach who is a fish out of water. It’s a new voice they have to learn how to navigate.”
She continued, “In many ways, we have done such a disservice to female characters over time in storytelling and it’s incredibly refreshing to see that we can finally tell stories about young girls that are not solely focused on relationships or being mean to each other — that’s not what this is about. It’s truly about these interesting young girls — and it’s really funny. It’s a new lens but it’s an important lens.
Stamos chimed in and said that he dug into how unlikeable he is. It’s a first for the actor and he thought he can go further than other actors. “I was looking for this show,” he admitted. “I was looking for a way to play an adult character that had layers and wasn’t just light and fluffy — and I was dying to be on Disney+ because I’m a Disney freak.”
He goes on to describe how the world we are living in right now is upside down and how this show can bring some light. “Discord is at an all-time high and decency is at an all-time low and we need shows like Big Shot.”
Big Shot was created and Executive Produced by David E. Kelley, Dean Lorey and Brad Garrett; Bill D’Elia also serves as Executive Producer. The series is a Disney+ Original produced by ABC Signature.