TCA 2014: The multi-hyphenate discusses his first scripted project, ABC's “Mixology,” and the state of reality television
Best known as the host of Fox's “American Idol,” Ryan Seacrest is also responsible for bringing Kim Kardashian into our homes every week on E!.
Ryan Seacrest Productions is behind “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and all its spinoffs, as well as Bravo's “Shahs of Sunset,” among other unscripted fare. But, Seacrest is making moves with his first scripted series, the comedy “Mixology” for ABC.
“Our company has a balanced slate,” Seacrest said at Friday's Television Critics Association press tour. “We do produce a lot of unscripted television. But [we're] developing several other scripted projects. So, we hope to achieve balance at the company.”
That's Seacrest's vision for his career, but when asked if he felt any of his reality stars will make the crossover into scripted, he answered with doubt, “Probably not anytime soon.”
“Mixology,” which premieres Wednesday, Feb. 26, takes place in a bar modeled after Eva Longoria's Los Angeles restaurant Beso (where the pilot was shot) and follows 10 singles and their misadventures finding Mr. or Ms. Right or Mr. or Ms. Right Now.
“I think a lot of this world and the dating world is about who are you going to hook up with,” executive producer Scott Moore said. “But, at the end of the day, it's really about how are you going to find that special person? How are you going to find the person that you are going to be with for the rest of your life? And that's the real stakes under the show.”
“There's a lot of raunchy jokes and a lot of comedy and a lot of that,” he continued. “But I think, to me, at the end of the day, it's people trying to find that right person.”
Being Seacrest's first venture into scripted and considering Seacrest's already packed schedule, one would wonder just how hands-on he is when it comes to the show. It turns out, he has people for that.
“Because of the level of talent of these guys, I don't have to do much at all on this show,” he said. “We are excited that they invited our company, and [Ryan Seacrest Productions' head of scripted, Nina Wass], who is one of the best scripted executives in the business, who works for me, to be on the set every day. So, with this kind of team, I don't really have to do that much but smile and turn on the TV and hopefully get some ratings.”
And despite the company's push into scripted programming, Seacrest doesn't think his reality business has run its course.
“I don't think it's peaking,” he said. “I'm reading about Kim Kardashian every day.”