Man caves are going to be a big thing on TV Land come fall 2011! The Exes centers on three guys who end up moving in together post-divorce. David Alan Basche, Donald Faison, and Wayne Knight are the bachelors, and if it sounds a bit crazy, the premise stems from a real building in Santa Monica in which a lot of divorced men happen to move. Remember the sad divorce club Friends teased? This may be the closest thing we ever get!
“As soon as they’re healthy, it’s jumping the shark,” series co-star Kristen Johnston only partially joked during the TCA panel for the brand new sitcom.
That is to say that it isn’t just the men who are flawed and damaged, but the women are as well. Johnston is the divorce lawyer that brings all three men together and puts Basche’s character in the new residence, where he immediately clashes because he is “too much like the other guys’ ex wives.” That is to say he actually wants to talk about his day while Faison just wants to read the paper, and he plans to set a chore schedule, ala Felix from The Odd Couple.
Basche’s character is something of a “nester;” he loved being married and just wants a family again, which is why he latches onto these guys so quickly.
Faison’s character, meanwhile, is a ladies’ man now after just recently getting out of his relationship and trying to sow his wild oats.
“But he’s not a skeeve!” Johnston promised, not that we’d expect as much from TV Land. “He’s charming, and for whatever reason, he just can’t get it together [with women].”
Faison was inspired to join the cast in part because it would allow him to “kiss hot chicks every week,” but mostly because he had never done a show in front of a life studio audience, and yet that was all he grew up with and always wanted to try.
“I’m terrified of theater,” he said, “and I was thinking, ‘Maybe if I could do this, I could segue into theater later on’.” Plus the cast didn’t hurt!
Knight, on the other hand, is remarried but divorced again, in his own words, and the kind of guy who just sits on the couch, hiding behind a computer screen, waiting for his life to start. Johnson tries to kickstart him as much as possible, but she has issues of her own with relationships, and many of those will play out over the first season– never ending well, she couldn’t help but point out.
TV Land is really championing the “old-school” sitcom environment in the way they keep greenlighting four-camera projects when the major networks have been occupying a sharper, snarkier space for a handful of years.
“The resurrgence of the form is really important– not only because it pays our bills but also because America deserves a place they can go where they can laugh,” Knight offered.
“You can do a show that has no lessons, but you can’t do a show that has no heart,” he argued. And he would know, after spending years on a “show about nothing” that still touched millions.
“These guys are really taking the love of the real comedy…the art of the sitcom, which is a dying art, and reinvigorating it in such a positive way,” Johnson added, discussing her new network. “And it doesn’t feel that mature…The Exes deals with universal themes many [across demographics] will relate to.”
The Exes will premiere on November 30th at 10:30pm, right after the third season premiere of Hot in Cleveland.
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