We preview the insane ANGIE TRIBECA with Jere Burns

at_infopage-800x450_111020151027Tonight at 9/8c on TBS, the hilarious new comedy, ANGIE TRIBECA premieres in an unheard-of 25 hour marathon of all 10 season 1 episodes (episodes re-air Mondays at 9/8c each week starting with Ep1 next week).  The comedy, created by Steve and Nancy Carrell, follows lone-wolf police detective Angie Tribeca (Rashida Jones…perfection here), as she takes on a new partner, and deals with some pretty ludicrous criminals. Rounding out the regular cast are Hayes McArthur, Deon Cole, Andree Vermeulen, Jaggar (the best dog on TV), and one of our favorites, Jere Burns, as Lt Chet Atkins.

I spent some time chatting with Jere Burns about the show, what exactly it might be, how the distribution of the show is blazing a new primetime path, and what guest stars (all 1,000,000 of them*) we might see.  *rough estimate

I have to say I watch the episodes made available for us of ANGIE TRIBECA and the show is insane in the best way possible.
Oh I’m glad you like it! Yeah we’re getting, we’re being really well received.

It harkens back to the NAKED GUNs, the POLICE SQUADs, back in the day when everything on screen is funny and makes you smile. It’s all just something to enjoy.  Seemed so different than what we see these days.
Good it’s surprisingly good, right? [laughs]

You’re not sure when you look at the promos or you read the descriptions exactly what it’s going to be and I was just beyond pleasantly surprised.
Oh good! What did you expect?

Honestly I didn’t know.  You look and you’re not sure.  Is it a police drama? Is it another something we’ve seen before? TBS has done so many different things that it’s hard to figure what it might be!
Right, right TBS has really changed its brand. Kevin Reilly has really come in and reshaped that network in a huge way.

What was it for you? Did you get scripts; did you know Steve and Nancy (Carell)? How did you get involved in playing the lieutenant?
Steve and Nancy came to me with the pilot script, and based on that, you know, and a meeting I signed on. Steve directed the pilot; it was really really fun. They were incredibly gracious, exciting in the meeting, and I love their take on the character.  I loved their take on this satire of a procedural, which I think is due for a satirical piece, a satirical take. I just think it’s so fun!

Rashida gets to play the straight woman to a lot of the antics around her.  The lieutenant, yelling about the differences between a shaved ice and a sno cone.  Just those little moments set him apart. I wondered, is it all on the page or do you have a chance to play with what the scenes are going be, written vs improv?
You know there’s not, I feel like the writers can write a lot better than I can write, or that we can write, so we pretty much stick to the script. It’s fast paced; stuff’s gotta come quickly. There’s not a lot of room. There’s a lot of technical stuff going on. Other actors are waiting for cues. There’s a place that’s got to be maintained; sometimes we tag some funny stuff on at the end or sometimes inadvertently something will happen in a take that will keep, but its not really like we do two scripted takes and then an improv. It’s not that way.  The comedy is really driven by the script.

I really like, and you pointed this out how fast paced it is. 
Yeah, right, I agree! Pace is a big part of it.  If the audience gets ahead of us for one second, and they will if we slow down or the editing gets slowed down, then we’ve lost them. If they get ahead of us for a second, we’ve lost them.

That’s such a good point because I don’t know that the show would work if it wasn’t as quick as it was, if there wasn’t as much to pay attention to visually, as well as the words / jokes.  
I think so, yeah, I agree.

Obviously a great cast – Rashida, Hayes (McArthur), Deon (Cole), but a ton of guest stars, too; everybody coming in and coming out.  What was it like with the changing of the cast / guest stars each week?
It was always surprising and gratifying to see who we were getting to play with on any given day and couple that with the fact that we hadn’t even been on television yet, yet we were getting these amazing guest stars like Bill Murray, John Hamm second season, Heather Graham second season, Maya Rudolph and Keegan-Michael Key. It’s been a dream, just in terms of who we get to bring in, who has been interested in coming on in playing for a week or a day.

I saw commercial where they list of all the guest stars and it was like we are out of time in this commercial but we haven’t even listed them all!

I love the idea that they’re going to roll it out in such a way that you can watch all night Sunday and fall in love with these people and be ready for when new episodes come again or you can watch on a week to week basis. It’ll benefit the show even more that you don’t have to stop watching it.  
I think so…I do think so.

What do you think about the binge-a-thon aspect?
I think television and the platforms on which people view television have changed to such a degree that it was a really smart move on Kevin Reilly and TBS’ part to give people options. You can watch an episode or two during the binge-a-thon, or you can watch it every week, if you choose to.  Or you can watch the whole first season on Sunday and watch it weekly again.  Or you can pull it up on Comcast On Demand or you can go online to tbs.com.  Any number of ways; it’s just the way people view television now.  It’s just the way they sample content, so why not make it as accessible as possible? I think it’s genius.  I think the other networks are scrambling as a result.

5 years ago, we weren’t having this conversation about binging and trying to find it on every device.  It’s crazy how much has changed and how much TV is not just on your tv.
Right for instance, I never watched, I wouldn’t necessarily, I dont necessarily watcing things I’m on.  Maybe 5 or 6 years ago, I had done a season, I’d done about 7 episodes of BREAKING BAD and and I never watched it.  I had fun, it was great, but it was before BREAKING BAD became BREAKING BAD.  You know BREAKING BAD didn’t really become this iconic television show until about its 4th year, when people started going back and watching the show and it was the same thing for me. Somebody was watching the show a year after I done my episodes and said, have you ever seen the show BREAKING BAD, and I said no and they said, it’s really good! Even somebody like me that was on it, I got to go back and start again from the beginning, watch the whole show, and then catch up.  It’s a whole new thing; it’s the Wild West!

We look at something like the Golden Globes where network television, NBC gets no nominations because there are so many other things out there that are being nominated.
Right and it’s no longer the volume of watchers! It’s about who specifically watches it. The people that tend to be online a lot are the people that we want. Younger viewers, more female viewers.  There’s a whole new demographic that can make a show of success. It doesn’t have to be in the number of eyes anymore. It can be in specific demographics

I read a story about old comedies getting 30-50 million viewers a week and those people just don’t seem to exist anymore. Now, some are happy with their 150k females that watched last night.
Look at how many people watch TRANSPARENT as compared to how many people watched FRIENDS? It’s a small fraction, but never the less TRANSPARENT is an enormous cult hit, critical success, a huge critical success, garnering awards from shows that are seen by many more people.

What are people saying to you about ANGIE TRIBECA.  Are people asking what it is, why they should watch?
I think the marketing campaign has been brilliant because I keep getting messages from people saying this show looks hysterical. It’s seldom that a show, especially a half hour show, you know, movie trailers can look hysterical but you very seldom hear “man that half hour TV show looks hysterical; I can’t wait.” You don’t hear that.

It’s funny because a lot of times a trailer for a TV show will give everything away and what I love about the marketing here is that they give just enough away that people are compelled to check it out!
Right!! People are saying things like I had no idea what it was I thought, oh my god, this looks like the most overblown cop drama I’ve ever seen and then at the end a dog, a German Shepherd blew a bubble and I thought, I’m so watching this.

I love that dog!
Right, that dog is fantastic!

Do you have a favorite episode or favorite moments from filming season 1 and season 2 now that you can’t wait for people to see?
I love going back in time to the seventies. Dave Koechner and I go back in time to our early days on the force in an episode where he takes a bullet for me. We actually went back in time to the 70s, so we actually got to wear the clothes, have the hair, and the mutton chops.  The cars, so that was really fun.

Do you have anything else going on that we can look forward to besides the show right now?
Right now, I’m just reading a couple plays that I might be doing on hiatus. That’s it. I’ll probably be on stage next, I think.

We’ve seen you do drama and straight comedy; movie, tv, stage, different mediums. Is there someone that you find yourself gravitating towards, specific writing, etc.?
It has to do with the quality of the writing, you know, and it really doesn’t have to do with funny or tragic, or dramatic or spooky.  It just has to do with the quality of the writing you know. Usually, I jump on the best writing possible, regardless of whatever it is. I’ve been fortunate enough to do both and to go back and forth. That’s really fun. It’s also really fun to be able to go do a movie or go do a TV show, or go do a play and work in all the medium.

I have to tell you I was such a huge fan, probably the biggest, of GOOD MORNING MIAMI. When I look back on shows lost over the years, that one is still one of the hardest to let go.
I love that show.  I had so much fun with that character of Frank.  I really loved it!

I’m excited for people to experience the show.  Everything I’ve read has been so positive.
I haven’t read a bad word.  I haven’t read a negative review.


Jere’s right – a lot of actors “don’t read the negative reviews” but you’d be hard pressed to find someone who has bad things to say about this show.  Funny, charming, wasn’t a moment from start to finish where I wasn’t smiling, laughing, or enjoying myself completely.