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August 2, 2014

Arnett and Hurwitz Are Determined to Improve 'Running Wilde' - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 2nd 2010 6:02PM
Will Arnett and Mitch Hurwitz during the 'Running Wilde' session at the Summer 2010 TCAs
Maybe Mitch Hurwitz is cashing in on the goodwill he gained from the critics during the run of 'Arrested Development.' Or maybe he's just not a BSer. It doesn't really matter; what matters is that both Hurwitz and Will Arnett were honest with the gathered critics about what they felt was wrong with the pilot for their new FOX show 'Running Wilde,' and what they're trying to do to fix it.

The honesty parade started last night, as Arnett and co-star Keri Russell attended a network pre-registration event for the critics. Arnett told me that with the original pilot, "we had a very limited shooting schedule and a very limited post-production schedule. We had very little time to do what we wanted to do."

Now that the show's been picked up, though, they've had time to fix some things.

For instance, his character of immature oil baron's son Steve Wilde had a nanny that turned into a manny, something that seemed obvious in retrospect but not at the time. "That was a relationship between the nanny and Steve, when we were writing it, it always seemed kind of flawed. We never did that character justice," Arnett told me last night. "We couldn't figure out what we really didn't love about it. Looking at the pilot, we realized we had to make a change. That's why Mitch's pitch to turn it into the character it became, it made total sense to us and we wondered why we hadn't thought of that before."

During the panel for the show today, Hurwitz reiterated the time crunch factor, but seems excited about the recasting. "Robert Michael Morris from 'The Comeback' will play a heart breaking element to that character as a mother (figure) who doesn't want to be told all that work in raising that person has been wrong. It'll make it more complicated for (Russel's) character to tell him off."

Even Russell's character will get a bit more backstory in the revised pilot, which will be about 50 percent reshot. Another recast was of Steve Wilde's driver / only friend Migo, and while Hurwitz praised Joe Nunez, who played him in the pilot, he said they "needed someone who was more of a contemporary of Will's. (Someone who) thinks his boss is an idiot but loves his boss. We want it to be a point of entry for the audience. These are subtle shifts, but we hope it'll give audiences more to connect with."

More tidbits:

-- The role of Emmy's boyfriend, played by Andy Daly in the pilot, was conceived for David Cross, but the Icelandic volcano prevented Cross from getting to Vancouver for the pilot shoot. Cross will play him now, however; there was some trepidation on Arnett's and Hurwitz's parts to go for Cross because it would invoke too many 'AD' comparisons, but, as Arnett said, "We were going to get the comparisons anyway. So f--k it, we might as well get him."

-- Hurwitz on the expectations on him and Arnett after 'Arrested Development:' "There's a burden associated with 'Arrested' that's a high class problem to have. We're glad to be working and doing something that appeals to a wider audience. If we can make that move and get a bigger audioence interested in the show, more of our subversion will come out."

-- Though the pilot shot in Vancouver, the series will shoot in the New York area, and take place in Westchester or Long Island.

-- Peter Serafinowicz, who plays Steve Wilde's one-upping neighbor Fa'ad, very funnily said that "Fox has come a long way from when they showed documentaries about foxes."

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