‘Recovery Road’ Boss Promises Lead Won’t Stay in Rehab for 6 Years

TCA 2016: Bert V. Royal wants Jessica Sula’s character to take her message of sobriety into the real world

Jessica Sula’s Maddie Graham will not remain in her sober living facility for years on end, should ABC Family/Freeform’s “Recovery Road” be a multi-season success.

“She’s not going to stay in for six years, we promise,” Executive Producer Bert V. Royal told TV reporters on Saturday. The specific length of time was posed to him by a journalist attending the cable channel’s Television Critics Association press tour.

Though really, there’s a way to expand a more typical-length rehab stay over multiple seasons. The first 10 episodes of the show only cover Graham’s first 30 days in the social living house.

“We might play a little bit with time,” Royal admitted. His show already relies on flashbacks for the characters, so the precedent is set.

“One of the big things about getting sober is then taking your message out into the world and helping others,” he added. “And that’s what our characters do.”

That said, having a character stay in the house for several years is surely on the table — just not the main one, and not over the course of the televised run. When viewers are introduced to Royal’s and Karen DiConcetto’s world, Daniel Franzese‘s (“Mean Girls”) character has been stuck in the sober home for a very long time.

“Recovery Road” also stars Alexis Carra, Sharon Leal, Sebastian de Souza, Kyla Pratt and David Witts. The series debuts on Jan. 23.

ABC Family will officially be rebranded as Freeform TV on Tuesday.