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September 21, 2014

Welcome to 'Happy Town'! The Cast Visits WonderCon

by Jo Garfein, posted Apr 4th 2010 2:00PM
The co-creators/producers and cast of 'Happy Town' presented the first episode of their new ABC series Saturday morning at WonderCon in San Francisco. The enthusiasm was palpable from both behind the scenes and in line as fans eagerly awaited the screening.

'Happy Town' is set in the small suburb of Haplin, a seemingly idyllic, close-knit community in Minnesota. Although the town was haunted by unresolved kidnappings from the past, ignorance had been bliss ... until now. A disturbing crime shakes up the status quo, and the citizens of Haplin begin to fear that the "Magic Man" may have returned. The co-creators/producers and cast of 'Happy Town' presented the first episode of their new ABC series Saturday morning at WonderCon in San Francisco. The enthusiasm was palpable from both behind the scenes and in line as fans eagerly awaited the screening.

'Happy Town' is set in the small suburb of Haplin, a seemingly idyllic, close-knit community in Minnesota. Although the town was haunted by unresolved kidnappings from the past, ignorance had been bliss ... until now. A disturbing crime shakes up the status quo, and the citizens of Haplin begin to fear that the "Magic Man" may have returned.

Geoff Stults previously worked with 'Happy Town' co-creators Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg on 'October Road,' and was thrilled to have the opportunity to do so again. He plays Tommy Conroy, a deputy working with his father Griffin, the popular Sheriff of Haplin. According to Stults, "Tommy is very content living in his dad's shadow and my character just wants to be a family guy; he is content to be a husband and father, and son," but due to the events that transpire, "he is forced to grow up. He is a reluctant hero."

The show also features Amy Acker as Tommy's wife Rachel. Acker, who had also worked with Appelbaum and Nemec (on 'Alias'), outlines what starts to happen in Haplin. "You're in this small town where you think you know everybody, but there is bad stuff happening. People start to distrust each other. The town had been 'Happy Town' for the last seven years but prior to that, there were these disappearances. All of a sudden people start to go missing again."

Referencing her wide range of previous roles on fan favorite shows like 'Angel' and 'Dollhouse,' Acker jokes that on 'Happy Town,' "this is the first time I haven't killed somebody. But then again, I may be the Magic Man, for all I know!"



M.C. Gainey, who plays Tommy's father and the Sheriff of Haplin, describes his character as a "loving grandfather and man of the law. But I have issues, and as we go on, you'll find out what those issues are." Gainey was drawn to the 'Happy Town' premise because "there is one thing missing on television today -- a town, a community. Where's the Mayberry? Where are the towns we used to know? We knew the town where Leave it Beaver lived. This (Haplin) is a town!"

Gainey, who just completed a five-episode stint on 'Justified,' is well known for his role as Other Tom on 'Lost.' "That character was, to a very small degree, a creation of my own. An openly gay character. After that scene in season 3 when he tells Kate that she's not his type, I said, well ... if she's not your type, then maybe Jack and Sawyer are. When the producers asked how I could be so bad at football, I said -- you don't understand. He's never thrown a football, but if Jack wants to throw one? He'll do his best. But nobody noticed! I had these scenes where I was looking at and memorizing the way Sawyer moves, but nobody cared. They're like, give him the gun, shoot him."

The impressive ensemble cast of 'Happy Town' also includes Sam Neill as the odd and charming owner of a movie memorabilia shop, Lauren German as a new resident of Haplin who is investigating her family's past, Frances Conroy as the Haplin family matriarch and Steven Weber as her son John.

They have completed filming on 8 episodes of 'Happy Town' thus far, and based on the pilot alone, this murder mystery series is definitely worthy of a DVR season pass. The show premieres on Wednesday, April 28 at 10PM ET on ABC. You can receive official updates about 'Happy Town' on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook as well.

[Follow all of my television adventures on Twitter!]

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