Jane Espenson‘s announcing a brand new project today, and here it is: Husbands, the web series! It’s about two guys, a newly dating couple, who celebrate a new marriage equality law in Vegas and wake up married. It’s starring Brad Bell, aka “Cheeks”, Alessandra Torresani (star of Caprica), and Sean Hemeon, and is due to hit the web this September.
I got to asking Jane a few questions about the series and how it came about:
KM: What do you hope to become of Husbands in the long run? If it simply stays as a free series on the web, will that satisfy not only you but the actors?
JE: Honestly, I would love to see Husbands turn into a network television show. I’m loving the freedom that we’re enjoying as we put it together ourselves, but there’s something about it that feels so accessible — it’s Ab Fab, Dharma and Greg, Will and Grace … it feels to me like it has the broad appeal of so many network shows that I’ve enjoyed, and I’d thrill to see it get the loving care that — right now — only a big broadcast network can afford. If it stayed online, that would be fun too, because it would continue to be our little dream show that we could follow wherever the story takes us.
How long do you think it will be before online-only “television” shows are popular enough such that it’s paid for — be it via paid viewer downloads or ads — and able to sustain the talent involved?
I think this is starting to happen now. Felicia Day is doing very well with The Guild, for example. And, obviously, this question eventually becomes a nonquestion, as the line between “online-only” and “television” gets more blurred.
You’ve been really busy the past few years with so many cult-favorite shows, and several of those have sadly had shortened lifespans. Is there some frustration on your part as to how these shows you work so hard for get canceled, such that it led to this new project?
Hmm … that’s an interesting theory. I get the reasoning that shows that cater to niche audiences get canceled, so let’s take this one to a place where the ratings cannot reach. But I actually think this show is totally different than, like, niche genre shows, and really has a very broad-based appeal. The motivation behind this one is that for once I — and my co-writer Brad Bell — just had this totally clear view of the future. We could see that there is this show about a same-sex marriage that is going to exist. And it will probably be called Husbands, and it will be very fresh and funny and important. And we wanted to get there first and do it our way. So it’s not so much about finding a sustainable way to do a niche show, but about finding a fast and flexible way to do a needed show.
Have you reached out to Joss Whedon for any advice in kicking off a web series, given how popular Dr. Horrible became?
Oh yes. That was one of the first things I did. He had great advice. The first thing he told me to do was talk to Felicia Day, which I did at once — soooo helpful and kind and wonderful. The second thing was to hire a line producer. Which I did — again, amazing and indispensable. And suddenly … poof … I had myself a production!
What do you have planned at Comic-Con this year to show off the new series?
We have a projected launch date in September, so we’re going to be going down to just start getting people talking. The cast and I will be there — so thats me and Brad Bell, aka “Cheeks”, and Alessandra Torresani, and Sean Hemeon. We’re going to be signing and giving away special “wedding invitations” that direct people to our site where they can find more information about the show, and some backstage peeks and hints. And thus the groundswell begins!
Good luck Jane and company! We’ll post a review here on CliqueClack once we get our hands on the first webisode. Look for the series to officially debut this September, and check out HusbandsTheSeries.com.