While I was busy at the second annual ATX Television Festival in Austin last weekend, I managed to sit down with the folks making some of your favorite TV shows, gathering up scoop on their programs and, in the case of one actor, learning of his summer hiatus plans.
So this week’s Notebook gets emptied out with bits from Scandal’s gay couple, a Royal Pains pregnancy and what Hart of Dixie’s Wilson Bethel is up to over the next couple months...
SCANDAL When it comes to playing the heightened drama on ABC’s hit series, Dan Bucatinsky (James) said that he can relate to a lot of the issues that plague his character and his partner Cyrus (Jeff Perry). “I live it every single day,” he said after the ATX panel for the show. “I'm a passionate father of my two kids and a passionate writer, performer, actor, and producer. And that tension between wanting both things so desperately is something that lives in James.”
Bucatinsky’s real-life partner is acclaimed writer/director Don Roos.
The actor, who is busy with Web Therapy on Showtime, Who Do You Think You Are on TLC (both of which he does with BFF Lisa Kudrow) and his writing gig on Grey’s Anatomy, added of what he’d like to see on Scandal Season 3: “I think it would be really interesting to see life at home challenge James and Cyrus while career is starting to explode I think that would be an interesting place to go, but there's no telling.”
ROYAL PAINS The jaw-dropping moment in this week’s Royal Pains Season 5 is that Divya is pregnant. Because she’s not a mother yet in real life, actress Reshma Shetty told me that she chatted with some people close to her – literally. “My next-door neighbor has two kids,” she said so she was able to ask “in that period of time what happened to you? What happened to your body? How did you feel?” For her character, who usually does her best to keep her life in order, Shetty said, “this is the last thing that could possibly happen to her in her mind.”
And while the predictable thing to do would be to bring in Divya’s ultra-strict parents, Executive Producer Michael Rauch told me that he and his creative team took a different route. “What the writers do is send these conflicts back into the family unit, which is HankMed,” he said. “So, it will provide great conflict and issues to come up in season five with how we take care of her. So, rather than seeing it play out in Divya’s family, we get to see it play out in the HankMed family.”
WILSON BETHEL is using his Hart of Dixie hiatus keeping busy, but did doing improv on the CW’s revival of Whose Line Is It Anyway come easily for him? “I'm a bit of a loose cannon anyway so just being ridiculous in the moment comes pretty natural to me but improv is scary as shit, man,” he told me in Austin last weekend. He said that working with seasoned improv talents (and host Aisha Tyler from Archer) made the experience easier. (The series kicks off July 16).
And for those who loved his Stupid Hype web series, Bethel is working on another one for The CW. “It’s a new series called LA Rangers,” he said, “where me and my creative partner play Los Angeles park rangers in Griffith Park who are aspiring filmmakers. So we are in preproduction stages right now and we'll shoot that next month before going back to Hart of Dixie.” (More from my chat with Bethel about his hopes for Season 3 of Hart of Dixie coming next week on TV Fanatic.)
That’s a wrap for this week! Anything else you’re dying to know about your favorite show? Leave a comment here or you email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember: follow @TVFanatic for all your TV scoop!
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.