The new CBS show, starring Cam Gigandet and Anna Woods, beats industry odds by putting women in all key positions behind the scenes
“Reckless,” a hot and steamy CBS drama set in the South that debuts Sunday has a decidedly female bent both in front of the camera and – most unusual for Hollywood – behind it. Kim Moses, an executive producer of the show, spoke to TheWrap's WaxWord about a rare network production that was conceived, written and directed by women.
WaxWord: Who are the women behind the scenes on this show? You're an executive producer, who else is involved?
Kim Moses: Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”) directed the pilot, Dana Stevens (“Safe Haven”) is the creator of the show. Lilly Kilvert, an Oscar-nominated production designer, did the production design. The casting director, costume designer, hair and makeup artists, extras casting director, the line producer for pilot and series – in every department there was a huge amount of women, very unusual for Hollywood.
(Editor's note: Helen Britten was the set decorator; casting by Susan Edelman; Costume design by Susanna Puisto; Makeup by Gigi Collins. Apologies to any men unmentioned.)
OK, we all know there are a depressingly low number of women in decision-making positions in Hollywood, but why did this matter to you on this show?
The reason it's so important is that women are the loyal viewers of drama television, and they are the most aggressive on social media about entertainment content. Put that together with content created by women, to watch with men, that's a very potent combination. And there are not enough of those kinds of shows.
When you look at the statistics it's abysmal. How did you manage to beat the odds?
It's the fact that I'm a woman and have hiring power. I use analytics as my lens to understand what to program. Men are watching sports, news and late night comedy. Women are watching drama, and are very loyal. I sit through testing. I understand the power of women on social media and ecommerce. It makes perfect sense to me that this hits the sweet spot for women, that's the real power – that's how you can rock this world.
Was it a conscious choice to have so many women behind the scenes?
That's interesting. We went for the best person for the job, and the best person for this show were these women. We never set out to work with all women, we wanted the best people. But they turned out to be women.
Are these all women you've worked with before?
No, I haven't… I have this thing called The Vault, 12 powerful women – Willow Bay, Dalia Anderson, Kathy Magliato, Gail Becker - every month we get together. I never dreamed it would be such a vital tool for me, for learning how important women are becoming in the economy and as entrepreneurs, creating bridges between different kinds of industries. Taking all of that, using it to guide me in the entertainment industry where so much chaos, to create a rail to drive down, has been tremendously valuable.
“Reckless” is a result of that. I have another show at Fox called “Runner” about gun-running with a woman at the center of it. Guns are illegal in Mexico, and the drug wars are being fueled by guns bought here and taken there. It's female empowerment with a twist that brings in men.
So what is the premise of the show?
Anna Woods plays an attorney from the north, working down in the south in Charleston. She meets this dishy guy (Cam Gigandet), who plays the city attorney. They go toe to toe. They're attracted to each other, but they can't act on it. She discovers a sex scandal at the center of the Charleston PD. And when she starts to expose that, she becomes endangered. It has a case closed in every episode, but overarching is a sex scandal that threatens to implode their world.
The tone is NYPD Blue. If that show were made today, that's what it would be.
And it has a lot of sex.
We were nervous about the sexuality of it. I just know having worked at the networks, there are standards and practices. What we discovered with CBS is they were game to push the envelope, it was exciting. This drills deeply into character, and they were game for that. It's got the CBS formula, but they let us put a twist on it.
“Reckless” debuts Sunday 9 p.m. on CBS.