I’m working on another “Better Know a Writing Staff” post, hopefully for later today, but while researching, I came across this article from late August taking “A Look At New Fall Shows,” with interviews with the creators and casting directors of some of the big new shows — some of which have already bombed.
The article is from Back Stage, a magazine for actors, and so the interviews focus on the opportunities that these new shows might provide for unknown actors, particularly in small parts (like, how many small parts and guest parts will it have, and what kind of people is it looking for?). But it also provides some insight into why some of the less-successful shows turned out the way they did. The section on Do Not Disturb‘s creator Abraham Higginbotham is, unwittingly, the best analysis of why that show was instantly doomed (last-minute casting choices, uncertainty of tone, etc).
The section on the casting process for Life On Mars is a lot of fun, too:
“But we want actors who have the look and shape of the ’70s,” he says. “That look is hard to define, but we know it when we see it.” Put another way, he says: Tattoos, nose rings, and sculpted bodies were not in vogue 35 years ago. None of this means actors should arrive at the audition wearing costumes that scream disco. But a hint of the era might work, such as eyeliner for women or Afros for African Americans. “Not wigs,” cautions Appelbaum. “But if an actor has a natural Afro, contact us immediately.”