Q: This is definitely a little different than what you’ve done before. Can you tell us how you came up with such a dark family idea here?
A: Is it dark? … What’s so strange about me is I don’t see the darkness. My partner, Peter Tilden, and I were talking several years ago about a circus family that he knows that basically lived this life, but they do the circus version of it, and they have great stories, and we were laughing at the stories, and said, “Boy, that’s great fodder, I think, for a show. You know, a family that can’t get away from each other; can’t individuate.” If I had any circus ability or wasn’t allergic to every animal in a circus, we might have done it that way, but instead, we went with a rock and roll band, and we are America’s greatest finest family dysfunctional band.
Q: Is it the best time in your career to do whatever you want on TV? Do you feel that a show like “Hit the Road” could have been done 25 years ago, or is it right here, right now because there are so many options and so many networks?
A: … With the advent of cable and pay TV where there is no advertising breaks, it allows you to tell stories in a different way. You break that five act structure that we all had to adhere to. Your 30 minute show is actually 30 minutes, as opposed to 20 minutes. So, you can sit with characters in moments, you know, in a more realistic way. You can explore things deeper. Twenty-five years ago, no, you could not do this show.
I mean, when we were doing “Seinfeld” and we wanted to do the show about abstinence, that was a huge deal. And if you look at that episode now, it’s you know, it’s fairly soft. So, no, the envelope has opened wide up. And for some viewers they see that as a scourge, and for the rest of us we see it as a great opportunity.