We had the chance to visit with Michelle and Robert King at CBS Press Day in NYC this Monday to discuss their upcoming series, BrainDead.
You might be surprised to find out what it's about and whether you'll get some nods to The Good Wife while you watch. Here's a brief summary of the conversation, and you can watch the full dialog in the video below.
The genesis of BrainDead was the government shutdown two years ago. The Kings thought what they witnessed a result was insane. They were looking for a trend, and the trend, according to Robert, was "that there was no longer room for compromise between the left and the right because everyone had been pushed to extremes."
Michelle noted, "And there is a way to address that straight on, but that is so dull and so earnest. You needed to find a way to come at it from the left."
There's a point in the pilot when Tony Shaloub's character says that because of ethics rules, there are no more events bringing republicans and democrats together anymore.
That's something that hit Michelle and Robert. When do they talk?
What about the brain invaders? Think Roger Corman. "I'm not terrified by things I see on The Strain," Robert said, "I am terrified by things I see when I go down to the kitchen at night. I turn on the lights and I see a line of ants in the corner. I am just...get me out of there!" They wanted the terrifying thing to be something everybody could imagine, not something that was out of reach to the average person watching.
They completely expect you to see some tropes in BrainDead as you watch. This series is something that, hopefully, delivers a little bit of everything.
There is sci-fi, political satire and romance. When there was something already available the could lean on, such as in the sci-fi area, they chose to lean on it.
They have four seasons planned of BrainDead if they get a go-ahead. The second season would take place on Wall Street, the third would be in Silicon Valley and the fourth would take place in Hollywood.
If that doesn't make you want to see the show through to four years, I can't imagine what will.
Yes, their inspiration does come from The Wire and how they tackled different areas of corruption in the Baltimore area each season.
Additionally, you can expect up to date news items to be included. Their TV screens on the show are green screens so they can get as close to filming as possible, using the very latest clips.
That means when you see Hillary and Donald Trump, you're seeing the real deal.
And if you think they're going to choose sides, think again. FCC regulations demands equal times for all parties during an election period – even on a fictional TV show.
Robert said, "It would be very interesting to see what happens to Wall Street next year if Trump is President, because his ideas are very unorthodox."
You will see some familiar faces from The Good Wife, if only because they utilize some of the actors they like from their previous shows.
And, as Robert shared, "We have been talking about, at a certain point, that one of our leads needs a lawyer, and we're going to bring over...as if they're a character of this universe."
And he named Alan Cumming by name, for example. Could Eli make an appearance on BrainDead? We'll have to watch and see!
The leads do find themselves in a bit of a romance, and it's a lot like that of Kurt and Diane. Will it lead to conversations of a nature similar to theirs? Michelle said, "Yes, that's sort of a theme. We like seeing characters who don't agree with each other and can find love and common ground despite having different ideologies."
Robert agreed, "The positive message in the show is people talk past their politics..."
BrainDead premieres on Monday, June 13 on CBS at 19/0c.