A Southern family's many secrets fuel new show
Wealthy people’s problems have fueled some of television’s most popular series, and a new show is aiming to join those ranks.
Originally intended for last season, “The Help” filmmaker Tate Taylor’s “Filthy Rich” helps Fox’s pandemic-impacted fall lineup as it debuts Monday, Sept. 21. Also one of its producers, “Sex and the City” alum Kim Cattrall heads the cast as a wealthy Southern family’s matriarch who suddenly loses her husband (Gerald McRaney) … but surprisingly gains three relatives, the illegitimate children named in his will. Immediately, all concerned move into action to retain what they feel is rightfully theirs, which doesn’t match up in most cases.
Aubrey Dollar (“Women’s Murder Club”), Broadway veteran Corey Cott (“Bandstand”) and Olivia Macklin also portray members of the show’s central Monreaux clan, whose dynasty prominently includes the religion-based — and, it turns out, ironically named — Sunshine television network. Melia Kreiling (“Salvation”), Benjamin Levy Aguilar and Mark L. Young play the newly discovered relations, with Steve Harris (“The Practice”) and Aaron Lazar also are regulars in the series from Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s company Imagine Entertainment.
“I don’t come from the South,” Cattrall notes. “I was not raised in a religious household. All of these (were) new aspects to this character for me, but it was a wonderful opportunity to sort of take that magical (journey of) if I was this person, if I was filthy rich, if I had children. The (pilot) script was a one-off, in the sense that it was dealing with very serious topics and questions about faith and family and secrets. It just felt new and fresh, and I wanted to take this journey, especially with Tate Taylor.”
A writer, director and executive producer on “Filthy Rich” as well as its creator, Taylor says he “wanted to do a great show. I love extreme conflict, where you’re just going, ‘What???’ And the idea came to me to have this strong Christian family faced with the most impossible of situations that rocks their faith to the core. And you realize that whatever side of the line you are on, as far as how devout you feel, you are a human and you are going to make mistakes.”
Co-star Dollar reveals that not everyone had all the pieces of the puzzle of “Filthy Rich” during production. “Different people had different secrets they knew about their characters,” she notes, “and we would try to guess what they were. It became this weird kind of rumor mill, sharing things we shouldn’t share and trying to hit Abe (executive producer Abe Sylvia) or Tate — when they got a little chatty — for pieces of information. It’s a very complicated pie.”