Last week I headed to LA for a jaw-dropping few days spent with Disney/Pixar, all-expenses paid. One addition to our itinerary was a stop at ABC for a sit-down interview, one that had to do with the brand new television show, “Kevin Probably Saves the World.
24 bloggers and myself headed by shuttle to the Disney/ABC Building in beautiful Burbank, California, just steps away from the famed Disney animation building where John Lasseter works.
It was the first event of our trip, but there was no time to rest, as we were getting ready for a full night of interviews and screenings.
The smile on my face? Well, it was permanent.
While no photographs are allowed while you are walking the hallways inside the building, I can tell you that the walk is pretty remarkable with images everywhere.
But it was time to get to business. All things “Kevin Probably Saves the World,” starring Jason Ritter!
About “Kevin Probably Saves the World”
This fall “Kevin Probably Saves the World” premiered airing Tuesdays at 10/9c. The best news is that ABC just ordered 3 more episodes, so it’s time to catch up on the last few weeks as it’s available via streaming and on demand of course.
Kevin Finn (Jason Ritter) is not a good person. He’s not terrible, but he’s selfish, and clueless, and values material wealth and status over all else. And he’s beginning to realize that those things aren’t making him happy – in fact, he’s fairly miserable. Just when things seem to be at their worst, he finds himself tasked with an unbelievable mission… saving the world.
On a dangerous path of despair, Kevin returns to his childhood home in Texas to crash with his widowed twin sister, Amy (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), and teenaged niece, Reese (Chloe East). It is a strained homecoming – he and his family have grown apart over the years – and Kevin has no real hope that anything will get better. But a series of fantastic events, including a meteorite landing near the house, lead Kevin to meet an unlikely celestial guide, Yvette (Kimberly Hébert Gregory). Yvette delivers incredible news to Kevin: in every generation, there are 36 righteous souls on Earth whose mere existence protects the word. Kevin, she tells him, is the last of the 36 righteous. Humanity has been thrown into crisis. Without the 36, the world will begin to lose the one thing that allows us to persevere through the ups and downs of life: hope.
Now Kevin has a mission, whether he wants it or not: “power up” his soul through acts of kindness and selflessness, so that he can eventually find and anoint a new generation of righteous. Yvette will serve as his protector and teacher, a drill sergeant with divine authority, even if she’s the least angel-like person he’s ever met.
Creators Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters
Photo Credit: MamaLatinaTips.com
We had the unique opportunity to sit down with Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, creators and showrunners for “Kevin Probably Saves the World”.
While you may not know their names unless you are in Hollywood circles, you most certainly will recognize their work. From “Marvel’s Agent Carter” and “Resurrection” on ABC to the CW cult hit “Reaper”, they have been busy. My favorite work of theirs… being writers/producers on “Law & Order: SVU” for five seasons, which garnered them two Writers Guild nominations.
This is exactly the reason they both just recently signed a new three-year deal with ABC Studios. They are talented and creative beyond belief. I dare say they are incredibly likable as well. You’ll soon understand why I say that.
Talking about God in this Era
Why talk about God and righteousness in a time when it’s not exactly the norm on television or the big screen? A great question was posed and answered.
It seems that “Kevin Probably Saves the World” was born directly from a general feeling of unhappiness in the country after the election.
As Tara Butters explained, “Whether you’re on the right or the left politically, one of the thing we walked away from this past year was, there’s just a lot of people who are unhappy and don’t feel good about where they are in their life, and that they don’t feel heard. And I think we kinda took that as something as inspiration – it felt like people needed something that just, well, it came from a good place and kind of reminded you that little acts actually do add up and that you can do one thing and that might inspire somebody else to do a good thing.”
Jason Ritter’s Character – Righteous?
I found the concept of the show incredibly interesting. After all, who would have picked Jason Ritter’s character to be a righteous person?
Kevin Finn is incredibly flawed. But then again, aren’t we all? In fact, going back to the bible, every single person God used to do great things was incredibly flawed. I mean – BIG TIME!
Michele Fazekas shared about a concept she learned about while breaking the pilot called metanoia. She stated, “metanoia is a theological term that means — literally means to see the world through new eyes. And the concept being one person can’t change the world, but there is a transformative thing that happens when you see the world through new eyes where it actually does change the world.”
She added, “It’s kind of a weird concept to think about, but I liked that that’s sort of what happens to Kevin. When he decides to see the world differently, the world is different. And I kind of like that as a way to approach life.”
Jason Ritter – His Dad Would Be Proud
Jason Ritter was no doubt meant to be an actor, though really the kid always thought it would be cool to be a stuntman. Ha!
He’s the kind of actor who not only knows his own lines, but the lines of everyone working with him. It’s that type of commitment to his art that has gotten him a standing ovation from the crew on set.
But one quick glance at Jason Ritter (or his acting) and you can’t help but see his father, the late John Ritter (Three’s Company). And that is beautiful. He’s carrying on a legacy, but as a daughter who also lost a parent unexpectedly and tragically, that can be both a burden and a gift. He handles it so well from all appearances.
In fact, while we were live-tweeting the east-coast showing of “Kevin Probably Saves the World”, I happened to notice that Jason Ritter was not only following along, but he was engaging with our tweets over on Twitter.
Here is a tweet I sent out. Jason saw it and liked it.
You see, having lost my own mother, I know how much it means when someone tells me she would be so proud of me. Though I’m sure he gets it all the time (or I certainly hope so), I wanted to do the same for him.
When I mentioned to the creators about Jason Ritter engaging with us bloggers on Twitter, Michele Fazekas said, “I was telling some people: he is exactly what you think he is. He is the kindest, funniest, hardworking — I could not love him more. How he presents himself to the world is actually how he is.”
She added, “There’s no kind of fake quality to him. He’s a genuinely good guy. And weirdly Tara and I worked with his dad. We wrote an episode of SVU that his dad was in. And he played a really bad guy.”
Yes, his dad would be very proud.
Jason Ritter wasn’t the only one tweeting with us that night. I noticed Dustin Ybarra commented on a show mug I was given and mentioned that he needed to borrow one from the set! Too funny.
Not your typical drama. Not your typical comedy. A combination of both. Not your typical characters either.
I’m excited to see where “Kevin Probably Saves the World” goes with the storyline, because as Michele Fazekas said mentioned, she already knows how the story ends.
Let’s take a peek at this week’s episode airing TONIGHT:
“Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” airs on Tuesdays at 10|9c on ABC. Episodes also available via streaming and on demand.