ABC Presents ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ and ‘Secrets and Lies’ [TCA 2015]

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ABC made an appearance at the Televisions Critics Association (TCA) Winter 2015 Press Tour to introduce a few of their new series.

Here are highlights from a couple of the panels I was able to attend:

Fresh Off the Boat

ABC’s new comedy, Fresh Off the Boat takes place in the 90s and follows 11 year old, hip-hop loving Eddie (Hudson Yang), who just moved to suburban Orlando from DC’s Chinatown with his parents (Randall Park and Constance Wu) and brothers. Once there they will all have to adapt to this new culture they are unfamiliar with.

– “It’s my first big thing,” Hudson Young, who plays Eddie Huang, said when talking about how happy he is about being on the show.

– Producer Eddie Huang shared that what he liked about Hudson Young when he watched his audition tape was how real and irreverent he was.

– “My first reaction was that I have to call my mom because she’s gonna be very conflicted” – writer/executive producer Nahnatchka Khan joked about finding out they would be airing at the same time as NCIS on CBS.

– They made a conscious decision to set the show in the 90s because the internet didn’t exist at the time, so “you had to be where you were” and couldn’t go online if you felt isolated. In addition Eddie Huang’s memoir is set during that time too.

– Huang said that what he cares about the most are the conversations that are going to come out of people watching the show.

– “It’s been interesting,” Randall Park said of his life since The Interview, in which he plays the North Korean leader. Khan joked that “nobody wanted to sit next to Randall on set for like a week.”

– “My mom never read the book, she could care less, she just wants the checks.” Huang joked. He also shared that his dad was very proud after watching the pilot of the series.

– Constance Wu explained that her character Jessica doesn’t care if people like her or not because she has a very strong sense of self. So she herself tries not to cater to anxiety when creating the character either.

– Park recorded Huang’s dad’s voice and he listened to it a lot to prepare for the part.

– Even thought Khan is not Asian herself, she shared that what she related to was the immigration experience in the show.

– “My mom is an accidental comic.” -Eddie Huang

Fresh Off the Boat premieres on Tuesday, February 10th at 8pm.

Secrets and Lies

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In Secrets and Lies, Ben Garner (Ryan Phillippe) finds himself the murder suspect of a neighbor’s young boy. Detective Andrea Cornell (Juliette Lewis), who is assigned to the case, is determined to find the truth and won’t let Ben rest until she does. The investigation will also uncover the secrets and lies of the town leaving no one above suspicion.

Here are some highlights from the panel:

– Executive producer Timothy Busfield shared that what is so compelling about the story is that it could happen to you.

– Executive producer Barbie Kligman promised that the mystery of the murder will be solved by the end of the season. She added that future seasons would hopefully be new mystery and that the only ongoing mystery would be the character of Cornell as we will continue to peel the layers of who she is.

– “There are no days off and no scenes off,” Ryan Philippe said of his role because it is told in his character’s point of view. He adde that it was a completely different experience for him and very exhausting.

– “Ours is so much better,” Juliette Lewis joked when asked if the panel had seen FOX’s Gracepoint.

– The series was adapted from an Australian series of the same name, however in this version the writers took from their own lives used that to create more lies and secrets in the show.

– One of the most challenging scenes for Juliette Lewis to play was the one in which is screaming in her face.

– Juliette Lewis did some ride alongs in order to prepare for the role. However she did say that if she had been lazy, she could have gotten away with just performing using what was on the page because the writing is so strong.

– The series is about Ben’s journey and what the secrets and lies that the people around him are keeping.

– Ben’s perception of Detective Cornell is not necessarily who she is or his perception of his neighbors turning on him is not necessarily indicative of that but also of them keeping their own secrets, Kligman explained.

Secrets and Lies premieres on Sunday, March 1st at 9pm.

Some of the other shows presented by ABC also included American Crime, The Whispers and Marvel’s Agent Carter.