From the Set: PSYCH’s Executive Producers talk getting to 100 Episodes (Part 1)

PSYCH - Season 7

In the middle of 2012, a group of us descended on the Vancouver set of PSYCH to watch them film their 100th episode (which airs Wednesday night at 10/9c on USA), and to talk to the cast and creative team about what’s coming up in Season 7.  We sat down with the Executive Producer/Creator Steve Franks, and his co-EPs Chris Henze and Kelly Kulchak (easily the nicest people in the business among a group of some of the nicest people in the business).  Check out our long chat with them, and tune in tomorrow for Part 2!

One of the things that I’ve enjoyed about your show is that it’s got such a strong ensemble.  Are we going to see some of the other characters have a chance to kind of interact?
  Um, no.  They all stay in the same exact one.  We did … in fact, we just were talking about that we were on a notes call a minute ago, and we had a scene that was, um, basically that Shawn goes to Henry for advice scene that we usually do at the beginning of Act 3 right after the, half-hour mark, and the idea was, hey, instead of Shawn going to Henry for advice, what if … because Shawn and Gus have a fight, what if it’s Gus who goes to Henry.  And it was like, “Wow, that’s a really fun dynamic.”  So we always wish that we could play with the dynamics of the other characters as much as possible.  A lot of times, the story we’re trying to tell gives us Shawn and Gus, [LAUGH] and whenever we do other episodes, where it’s like, “Hey, guess what, it’s Henry and … or you know it’s Henry and, Lassiter this week.”  Everybody goes, “Where’s Shawn and Gus?”  So we always, we always get led back to the dynamics that are always really strong: Shawn and Juliet, Shawn and Gus, Lassiter and Juliet …
Kelly:   We do have a great Henry episode this year, though.
Steve:  But we like, we definitely like to mix it up.  To me, my favorite thing when I write scripts is I love to put Lassiter with anybody else because it’s … I love to write that character, you know, Lassiter and Woody and-and the hangover episode last year; that was all so fun.
Kelly:  That was like a magic episode where you just got to see everybody in a twisted weird way.  It was really fun.
Steve:  [LAUGH]

The thing that I love about your show is that it’s a family show.  You can watch it with anybody.  And it’s full of joy.  I was telling this to some of the [group] last night, that I loved that the show at its core is joyful.  And is that hard to sustain for new episodes if …
   Not with this job.
Chris:  No.  Yeah, not with Steve.  You just described him.
Kelly:  He is the most amazingly joyful man I’ve ever met in my life.  He approaches everything as it’s going to be the best day, the best script, the best episode.  When we were shooting the pilot, he was like, “Oh, I’ve been breaking some episodes for the first season.”  I’m like, “Oh, don’t.”  [LAUGH] It’s like, no, no, no.  I think we’re going to go with season seven, season eight. You’re just like, “No.”  But he just is so optimistic and so amazingly fun to work with.

It’s important that it’s on TV because it’s just a nice, regardless of where your life is or where your day was, it’s an hour where you can just laugh and have fun.
Yeah, and thank you so much for that.  And  I appreciate when someone says something like that because to me it was all designed as sort of a reaction to what was on television.  It’s like everything was just dark, and even comedies, there were mean-spirited and comedy of pain.  And you know we struggled that in every episode, beause for me, it’s like I want people to be laughing as much as possible, but in the moments they’re not laughing, I’d like them to be grinning in the other times, you know.  And it’s just important that you feel it’s a positivity that’s coming out of it.  And you know how they make fun of each other to a certain degree, and they do horrible things to each other occasionally because the way friends do.  But it’s never about let’s humiliate this person and-and all of that.  We struggle with it.  In the episode we did last year, where Shawn goes into, the mental hospital under cover, there was a whole thing where Shawn was going to go to shock therapy and all of this.  Everything wheeled up there.  And I’m like, “Hold on.  This isn’t funny.”  I’m like, “Oh, my God, poor Shawn.” The things that make me happiest is like you know I would like this to spread a little sunshine into people’s world as silly and ridiculous as that sounds.  To me, I write this show for me, and I would like to feel that way.  So I appreciate it.
Kelly:  There’s a great [moment] that when you’re pitching an episode, that writers are pitching the episode out.  Even to the writers, he’s like so enthusiastic, and that’s so funny.   He goes through every script that a writer writes, and he does these checkbox and stops to make sure that he knows this made me laugh out loud.  You can just see the writers are just crazy about this guy.  We all are.
Steve:  All right.  I’ll take that.
Kelly:  Not that guy.
Chris:  It’s a perfect balance.
Kelly:  Very well.  He always talks about us being the American Idol original judges.
Steve:  Yes.
Kelly:  It’s like, “Yeesh, Simon.”  I guess I’m the crazy girl.
Steve:  The drunk one.
Kelly:  The drunk one.  [LAUGH]
Steve:  [LAUGH]
Kelly:  That’s real fun.

Let’s talk about the 100th episode!
 James and I, and to a big extent Kelly, all worked on breaking the story last year, and it was all centered around the Tim Curry character, Nigel St. Nigel from “American Duos.”  And Tim was unable to do it, and we found that out the day before the outline was coming in.  And oddly enough, so we’re like, “Okay, we’ll just push it to next year.”  Well, we couldn’t make the dates work with Tim again, but we had this wonderful story that we really love.  And actually we found that if you took him out of it, it made the story work a lot better.  So we had this great situation.  And then a fourth person came in, and Todd Harthan ended up writing it.  So it was really interesting how it’s filtered from James, and James and Kelly, and James and I, and now it’s over to Todd, and it’s just … it’s … there’s so much fun stuff now, and we knew we wanted to do Clue because, uh, Tom Lieber there, who’s our executive; he is the biggest Clue movie fan.  And when I say Clue, we’re doing a tribute to Clue.  Not doing Clue, legal people.  Just in the way we’re doing a tribute to Duel Spires! We love the idea of doing, you know, drawing room mystery and having three separate endings, and you cannot imagine … and Tom can attest to this … the amount of technical calls we’ve had about when voting will stop, how people can vote, what we can list, the things we can do on the screen.  So it was, it was a massive undertaking, and it’s almost, thank God, that we didn’t do it last year because I don’t think we would have had the running start that we would have needed just to make all of the things happen with Clue.  I just went down to the set and then like Christopher Lloyd and Martin Mull and Lesley Ann Warren is there and Steve Valentine I think is …
Kelly:  I know.
Steve:   Really funny.
Kelly:  Right.
Steve:  And then of course Curt Smith, who you know … and it’s like this is such a … I just want to meet all these people.
Kelly:   Meet all of the team, yeah.  And sometimes … you know the greatest thing about Steve is he walks onto his own set, and he’s a fan [LAUGH].  “Oh, my God.  I can’t believe we’re going to get to meet Christopher Lloyd.”
Steve:  I know.  I still haven’t!
Kelly:  I know. [LAUGH]

PSYCH - Season 7

Going back to the beginning of when the show started, do you have an idea for where … an endpoint, or has the endpoint or an idea what the endpoint’s going to be changed as you’re going through?
Steve:  It sort of does.  Um, I do have the idea for what the last episode is, and I hope I don’t have to pull it out for a while.  I know where I want to go, and we’re getting there.  And I knew what I wanted to do with the Shawn character, and I, because we knew what his needs were right from the beginning.  And, you know I feel like we’ve actually traveled a lot of that road in his relationship with his dad, which is always one of the two core relationships that I imagined from the pilot.  Obviously, I didn’t know that the Juliet character was coming in until later, but I sort of had designs of bringing Shawn down that road and just happened to be on the second character.  But I think they … especially with what happened at the end of last year, into this year, I think we were traveling down that road.  And you know it was always … I always thought of this show as a movie.  I thought of it as 120 episodes, and each episode was one minute of a movie.  So you know at 30 episodes in, there should have been this turn of the character, this incident that sort of starts him on the journey of the change.  And I think we’re kind of right on track. I always think in terms of the arc of the show is it’s not a serialized show.  It’s not a soap opera or anything like that.  There’s a lot going on that we have to service.  So you know if it was every week, will Shawn and Juliet kiss this week, and that’s all we talked about, I think people would get sick of it, and they would resent it.  And you know for me, it’s like here’s the two friends that go on adventures, and then these adventures should inspire changes and pushes in the right direction and in terms of character.  And I feel pretty happy about how we’ve done it so far.

A lot of us think that Season Six was one of the the strongest seasons, which is such a rarity in television. Do you agree, and why do you think that?
Steve:  I think last year, we actually said about three episodes in, it’s like, “Oh, my God, this season’s the best one.”  [LAUGH] And by the way, I think Season Seven is actually significantly better than Season Six already; I didn’t even knock on wood or something.  But what we’ve seen and what we’ve written and what we’ve put together, it just feels really strong.  And we feel like we’ve figured it out.  You know oddly enough, this far into the process.  And we’re not bored or you know feel like we’re repeating ourselves, let’s do this episode again.  Sometimes if we get into the same territory, it’s like, oh, God, I wish we’d done that better, and it’s almost like a do-over, [LAUGH] you know.
Chris:  Remake.
Steve:  Yeah, but …We really … I think that’s the best idea.
Kelly:  I do too.
Steve:   But I don’t think we should share with people.
Kelly:  No.
Steve:  You know, I think we should.  Let’s just share it.
Chris:  Let’s share it.  Let’s see what happens.
Steve:  Our idea …
Kelly:   Let’s see what you think.
Steve:   We have an idea so bold …
Chris:  Tom … I don’t think Tom knows this either.
Steve:   This is an idea so bold for television no one will ever do it, but our idea was the idea, the episode’s called Remake.  And the idea is we would shoot a shot-for-shot remake of an episode from Season One or Season Two, but do it now, or fix it in our … but take another crack at it, as if … you know, since they reboot Spiderman every five years, why can’t we reboot our own show?
Chris:  Maybe different guest actors.
Steve:  Yeah, exactly.  And we’d have you know Harry Hamlin come and play, uh, Henry.
Kelly:  I would just hate to hurt anybody’s feelings.  They’re like, “Why did you [replace me]?”
Steve:  Why did you recast me?  [LAUGH]

How far into this process did you think that 100 episodes was actually going to happen?
  You want to know?  Day one.  [LAUGH] I jumped Kelly on saying on the pilot, I’m going, “This is going to be so cool when we do 100 of these.”  And she’s like, “Shut up.”  I have a thing called tempting fate; you know, we go somewhere, I go, “Oh, there is no chance of anything bad happening right now.  We’re going sky diving, and it’s going to be perfect.”  So I think if you do that, there’s less chance of something bad happening.  So I always said that … I said from the beginning, I said, “This show’s gonna run at least five years,” and probably longer, so do 100 episodes.  That’s when I … and that’s when I used to think that syndication happened at exactly 100 episodes.  That’s how little I knew about television.  So I’m like, “Oh, all right.  We’ll get a syndication deal.”  Now we’re on ION, and we’re syndicated, kind of, right?  I just know I can turn it on Saturday or Sunday and watch six episodes in a row, so.
Kelly:  I know.
Steve:  Which is always fun.  And the great thing, by the way, about syndication is because you’re so close to these episodes when they’re being made and you have your expectation of what your vision was for it, and then you have what you end up getting, it’s always like, “Oh, God, does this cut together?  This doesn’t make any sense.”  But with time and space, I can sit and watch the show as a fan and go, “Oh, this isn’t that bad.”  So it …
Chris:  It worked.
Steve:   So for me, it’s like I get to rediscover it on ION, so.
Kelly:  I did it for my kids, ’cause my kids will paw through my bag to get my dailies or get whatever I’ve got coming home.  And they can watch every episode.  And because they met James and Dulé or whatever, they sort of feel like they’re a little bit in on the game.  But watching it through their eyes is like the best gauge of what’s working and what’s not working, and it’s really fantastic.
Chris:  And that’s been the greatest gift is what you said, is that somehow we ended up with a show that like every age likes and families can watch together and a little bit because, sure, there are kids, but when Steve and I started this show, I had one six-week-old who’s now seven, and since then I had another one, who is five.
Steve:  Kelly’s had 11 children.
Chris:  It’s [LAUGH] …
Steve:  From 10 different men, all of which were guest actors on the show at one time, so.
Chris:  Ironically.  Steve’s had a baby since.  But you, did you have two infants, or one … you had, anyway, so we’ve both got two little kids.  But in my case, I’m sure … I’m sure it’s true in yours, I come downstairs at six in the morning now and they’re on the computer ’cause they know how to work it better than me, and they’re on Netflix and they’re watching old episodes of Psych because it makes them giggle and they think it’s funny. And it’s watching that, watching that progress and watching these people that didn’t exist when we started this show now like enjoying this show and watching it, it’s amazing.  It’s surreal, and, I think that’s sort of what I’m most proud of.
Steve:  And you brought up at the beginning about you know it’s something that you can watch as a family, and we always, we always feel that’s really cool, that we can watch it.  Unfortunately, we’re a show that’s a detective show, so we have to have bodies drop, and we have James and Dulé, who naturally are a little bit raunchy.  So there are things that slip through, but we always say that it’s a family show with an asterisks.  Just [LAUGH] … there’ll probably, there’ll be things that get on there every once in a while.  We apologize.  But it makes us giggle a lot. And hopefully it’s something you would have to explain.
Chris:  I got a lot of “sons of bitches” lately.
Steve:  Yeah, that’s exactly …
Chris: “Son of a bitch.”  And I’m like, okay, the kids are going to start saying that.
Steve:  Well, I was guilty because I was writing the one episode, and I was directing it, and there was a moment where they’re all in the chief’s office.  Gus wasn’t really included.  So I wanted a joke for him.  And he said Shawn had to say, “I can … I can’t to suppress my heroic instincts,” and, it must have been like 12:30 at night when I was writing it, but I said, “I can no less suppress my heroic instincts than Gus suppresses,” [LAUGH] …
Chris:  The ability to control.
Steve:  [LAUGH] “but then Gus can’t control his bladder during intercourse,” which, I am sorry, just makes me laugh.  I can’t say it out loud, and it’s terrible for children.  But I’m like, “How many kids are going to know bladder and intercourse?”  It’s like it’s almost like you have to go to an anatomy book.  So I kept it in there.  And, I think it’s funny.  I still laugh at it every time.  And then I read a review from someone who I really like and respect who wrote, and it’s like, “Oh, my God, they said bladder during intercourse.  What has happened to this show?”  I’m like …
Kelly:  We get that, and then we get the status report.  You can’t say that.  You’re like …
Steve:  So every once in a while we drift off that way, and we’re on at 10:00, but we like that you know … I love the excuse, by the way, that we’re a 10:00 show, and then the next morning at eight a.m. they’re repeating it.  So we can only hide behind it when it’s convenient, but we do occasionally.

Well, bringing it back to the family friendly stuff, everyone’s like obsessed with the musicals.  So can you guys tell us about that upcoming?
  It’s, uh …
Chris:   Musical?
Steve:  What?
Chris:  Is there a musical?
Steve:  We were thinking about doing it in Season Eight.  I’m working on it right now.  And it is all encompassing, and it’s going to be epic in scale, and it’s really fun, and incredibly hard.  And I’m shooting it in the fall.  And, um …
Kelly:  It’s good … did you …
Chris:  No, I don’t think they …
Kelly:  Can you say it?
Steve:  Are we committed to it?  It’s going to be Psych’s first two-hour movie.  I don’t know.  Are we allowed to say that, Tom?  I guess we should.  Sure.  So at this juncture, we believe that it may be Psych’s first two-hour.  And then, and then, of course, they’ll chop it in half, and we’ll air it as two parts in … on ION in-in six years.
Chris:  Yeah, they’ll repeat that, and it’ll be during our, presumably, it’ll be during our run, um, on and off night.  So it’ll be like on a weekend night during our season.
Steve:  It’s coming along well, and, uh, I’m very, very happy with it, and there’s just a lot to it.
Kelly:  There’s a lot of door closed at Steve’s office, which never happens because he’s got a wide … and you just hear the guitar playing and the laughter, and then more guitar playing and then louder laughter.  And then he’ll sneak out and he’ll be like, “No, you can’t hear it yet.”  It’s like, “Come on.  We gotta hear something.”
Steve:  I’ve played, I’ve played Kelly some of the songs.
Kelly:  He did.  Like they’re really …
Steve:  Um …
Kelly:  They’re hilarious.

Can you tell us what genre of musical?
  It encompasses multiple genres, all my favorite.  But my template is Disney … classic Disney, late ’80s, early 90s animated.  [LAUGH] So I’m starting with Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid and working out from there.
Kelly:  That’s also what comes out of his office, by the way.
Steve:  Yeah.  I have a playlist of musicals of every song that I own from a musical, and, uh, yeah, there’s a lot of Beauty and the Beast coming out of my [LAUGH].  So I’m not ashamed.  Good stuff.  It’s hard and good and great, and I’m lovin’ it …
Kelly:  It’s epic and wonderful, and …
Steve:  Yeah.  It’s really big, and if we pull it off, it’s going to be spectacular.

Will Lassiter sing?
Lassiter sings.  He’s not in a chorus line, but he does do some dancing at some point, so, that’s good.  [LAUGH]

Everybody’s talking about all the funny stuff in the show, and I love the funny; don’t get me wrong.  But some of my favorite moments are those serious moments that you guys throw in.
  I love that, thank you.

I love those.  And I just wondered how you work out the balance so that it’s not too serious but yet we get in those moods?
We never wanted to go to melodrama, but we like the drama.  We like the reality of real emotional conflict and having to deal with those moments.  And it’s always for us, if we get to a moment that’s too serious; we know that our fans will get a little antsy [LAUGH].  So you know I had a similar thing when I was writing the Indiana Shawn episode last year of Despereaux’s funeral, and it was … I always knew going in, like one of the first ideas I had is Despereaux’s funeral, Shawn’s eulogizing him, and Shawn … it was the core idea of the episode, of Shawn’s failure to accept death, to accept the existence of it, to choose eternal optimism over the acceptance of death.  And it just turned out, and the plot twisted.  [LAUGH] He’s right, you know.  So, for me, it was like get to the moment, have a moment and then get to the joke as soon as humanly possible and without undercutting or taking away what it is.  And I think it’s such a tricky balancing act because we operate not just with funny serious; we operate with so many tongues, where we get farcical at moments, and then satire, and it just becomes that there’s so many things that we can do.  And when we would do that, the harder balancing act is funny and macabre because we go to the dark corners every once in a while for James Roday and when we go there, it’s always like, “Okay, this is cool.  This is really dark, but how do we get back to Psych Land if they call it?”   So we want to make sure we can navigate the hallways, but for me, it’s like comedy, emotions.  I say there’s 88 keys on the piano and we want to play ’em all.  So, we want to make sure that we play all the types of comedies, smart comedy, funny comedy, dumb comedy, you know.  I embrace the silly.  I love the silly.  Too much silly, and it’s like, “Eh, what are they doing?  They’re jumping the shark,” you know we’ve jumped the shark 75 times, so we can jump as we want.
Kelly:  Embrace …
Chris:  Look at all this.
Steve:  Yeah.
Kelly:  But you know it’s funny, because every once in a while we hope to bring out the pilot, you know, have everybody watch the pilot again just because it did play all of the 88 keys.
Steve:  Well, I hope.
Chris:  Yeah, it did.
Kelly:  Yeah, it did play all 88 keys, and that great moment when he’s talking to the bad guy, Ian, about “my dad needs me, too” and you know “I know what it means to disappoint.”  And there’s that real emotion coming from it.  And it was just that moment where you were like he is such an amazing actor.  I mean he really can go left and right and up and down, and it’s just amazing.  But finding those moments, you can’t have them every week, but it’s such a pleasure to come to those moments where you can have him just stop being Shawn Spencer and just focus on that moment.  And he does great work with his mom.
Steve:  Yeah.  I mean some of my favorite moments, the moment that always stands out for me is a wordless moment.  And it’s an episode that is controversial among the fans, and people don’t like it, and I love it.  It was the season premiere of two.  It’s an episode called Ghosts.
Kelly:  Oh, yeah.
Steve:  My favorite moment is the moment where Shawn finds out that it was his mom who left, and it wasn’t [Henry] and he’s blaming his dad, and he’s been holding all of his stuff.  And there’s a moment where Corbin walks into the station to come to see him, and it’s just this, it’s this wordless moment where Shawn … and it’s just like that to me is like that’s what I crave in this show.
Kelly:  Because you can see and his dad still likes his mom and that it wasn’t him. There’s just so much going on in that moment.  That’s a great moment.
Steve:  And I was obsessed with that episode, with the idea of it’s always like … we always started with who did it, and I started the idea, it was like, “Who did it?”  And it was Shawn who did it.  That was like the “could it be Shawn?” At the end, Shawn is the bad guy and I go, “Yes!  He is the one.”
Kelly:  Well, there was a bad guy.
Steve:  Yeah, there was a bad guy, but Shawn is the one who was haunting the house and doing all that stuff.  But it was about Shawn’s ghost.  So anyways, I like to have balance, and I love to find those moments, as many as possible.  And then the episode last year with Shatner, it was with Juliet.
Kelly:  Oh, oh.
Steve:  And it’s like so many great moments, you know, you just felt like … it’s like I don’t even want to get back to comedy.  Let’s stay here right now.
Kelly:  We got back to comedy.

You kind of talked about this just now, but do you have any favorite episodes or moments between characters, just things that you just really love?
  I love Woody, just in terms of as Kurt [Fuller] has just been such a wonderful revelation for us in the last few years, and the more we give to him, the more we want him in more.  He’s just fantastic.  Episodes? I love all the ones that I wrote.  And the ones I love more than that are the ones I wrote and directed.  But no, for me the episodes, it’s hard to be objective.  The episodes I do love the most are my childhood wish fulfillment episodes, like doing the Indiana Shawn episode, like having our own factory and having them swing and then doing boat chases and it’s always fun.  I loved the Despereaux episodes because it’s so fun when Carey Elwes is around. Carey sent me a-an e-mail yesterday saying …
Kelly: Oh, yay.
Steve:  Congrats on the 100, and so…
Kelly:  He’s dreaming.
Steve:  He’s really fun.
Kelly:  You wish.
Steve:  I love to write the Despereaux character, because he’s just so fun.  It’s funny because he makes Shawn and Gus look totally foolish every time.  Shawn it increases his love for him, the more, the more that he pulls this.
Kelly:  What’s the line when they’re standing at the thing, and he says, “Baby, it’s” … oh, I can’t.  It’s my favorite line of all.  It’s …
Steve:  Which one?
Kelly:  It’s from like …
Chris:  Don’t you hate people who kill you?  That?
Steve:  No, not …
Kelly:  No, it’s from the …
Steve:  Is it …
Kelly:  It’s like maybe it’s a …
Steve:  Oh, when he says it … the legend is the day … that the treasure was guarded by a dagger, and Shawn says …
Chris:  Dragon?
Steve:  “You mean dragon?”  He goes, “No, I mean dagga.”
Kelly:  Yes.  [LAUGH] Yeah, that’s it.
Steve:  Or, or when they, when they find the ashes of Harrison Yerden, and he says, “What’s in there?”  And he goes, “It’s a genie.”  Is that the one?
Kelly:  [LAUGH]
Steve:  We’ve gone through the …
Kelly:  Those are two of my favorites.
Steve:  Those are fun.  And for me, the Indiana Shawn episode, just because we built that entire underground thing with the levers and the thing, and then I got to hang out.  I have 150 pictures of me in that set just hanging out.  And those are always fun.  And for me, also, I love Tuesday the 17th, because that’s that the one that James directed the first time, and it was really cool.  I loved the hangover episode.  I don’t even know what it’s really called.  Oh Last Night Gus …
Kelly:  Yeah, that’s one of my favorites.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Steve:  From last year.  I always love Andy [Berman]’s episode’s because they’re really funny,
Kelly:  I really loved Tuesday the 17th.  That was super fun.
Steve:  That was really good.  I loved the Clue episode.  I loved everything that was here.
Chris:  It’s hard.  There’s been so many moments.  There’s been you know? When I think of it, all those little moments of, the Henry moment outside the office is really special and memorable, and I love those little moments.  I couldn’t even tell you which episodes they’re in.  One of them is Despereaux, where Shawn … it’s really James, and you have to know ’em well enough to know that it’s James.  But sometimes he’ll get so tickled he’ll get this shit-eating little grin on his face, and I know he’s broken character because he’s having such a good time or whatever, and it’s just this little funny thing that he’s making himself laugh or whoever’s written it or the actors around him have made him laugh.  And it’s so fun to take those little moments and use them in the cut because you know it just feels like Shawn, but to us, even though it’s the fun of making the show.
Kelly:  There’s a great moment in the pilot when they’re standing looking out at the cabin, and there’s a line for them that he said.  It’s, “Oh, no, Lassie.  What should we do?”  And he was really mocking the line, like just for his own enjoyment.  And we ended up using that in the show, perfect for that moment and that character.  But that’s the kind of thing that you write.  I just love it, that it’s just he’s almost inside himself, you know.
Steve:  Yeah.  Anyway, there’s a lot.  There’s a lot.  We’re lucky.

So we have the Yin/Yang kind of arc.  Is there going to be an arc similar to that for this season?
 This season, we got a lot of controversy with the doing the Yin/Yang trilogy because it was darker than we [LAUGH] we usually did.  And so we were happy when we wrapped it up because we didn’t have all that.
Kelly:  It was not that funny.
Steve:  [LAUGH] Especially as it got darker. I don’t think there’s any new tr- … oh, wait a minute.  There’s some big character development stuff this  year …
Kelly:  Yeah, a lot of characters are dark this year.
Steve:  But nothing like … we’re not launching a new trilogy.  I like to think of the Despereaux thing as a 12-parter.
Kelly:  [LAUGH]
Steve:  [LAUGH] There’ll be some surprises.  And there’s some fun stuff of people we’re bringing back that will make everybody happy and excited.  But I don’t think we’re launching a new trilogy, but the musical has a killer on the loose aspect to it.  But it’s not that dark.

It sounds like a song, Killer on the Loose.
 Yeah [LAUGH], but it’s not one of [the songs].

Check back tomorrow for Part 2 with three of the best people in the business!