The first episode of ABC's new series 666 Park Avenue airs tonight (September 30) at 10PM (ET) following Once Upon A Time and Revenge.
At this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego, we spoke with the show's creator, David Wilcox, and fellow executive producer Matt Miller, about what we can expect from the series going forward.
"I think the pilot kind of sets up, in a big way, what this show is, Wilcox explains. "This young couple living in this building... they don't understand right off the bat where they are, the implications of what it means to live in the building, as will Gavin and Olivia Duran, I think we get a sense, have some nefarious designs for this young couple. They seem to be very important to them, and what they want. We'll very much dig into that. The essence of the show is people who live in the Drake all have some want or need or desire, and Gavin is the kind of guy who at some point can provide the answer to that need, desire, or ambition, let's say. But you have to be careful what you wish for," he continues.
If 666 Park Avenue has any singular theme, Wilcox says that that theme is "seduction." "Everybody has a price. Everybody has something that they want. As Gavin says, the essential truth of who we are... we all want something. He has a particular talent of rooting that out," he says.
Executive Producer Matt Miller points out that 666 Park Avenue is a "malleable" idea but that they to have a plan going in. "We spent a couple weeks plotting it out, and discussing where the season can go, and planting some flags for certain episodes in where we'd like our characters to be by a certain point, and for the stories to be... and then you sort of wing it. Then you start talking about what each episode is, and sometimes you have to move things earlier, if it feels like you need more drive, or if you're going in a particular direction that seems interesting, you push some things back, and then you see how the audience responds to certain storylines, certain relationships with the characters, certain people that are really popping that you thought would be a much smaller character, thought they were going to die or whatever that is, and then you decide you want to play with that a little bit more," he says.
One of the inevitable plotlines that may take time to unravel will involve the exploration of the Drake. "We're going to spend a great deal of time, actually exploring the building, which is in and of itself a character in this show. It may be the most important character of this show. So, Jane will be exploring, really our eyes and ears, to peeling back layers of the building, and find that it's just an enormous puzzle box, where every room or every door could lead to something different and mysterious. I don't think, at least initially, we want to explain the origin of the Drake. There's something that demystifies the allure of it, if you know too much about it. In Lost, if you understood the island completely, by the end of Episode 5, it wouldn't have been as interesting, so we're using that sort of template of revealing certain elements and certain things that can pique your interest and pull you in, but not necessarily give you a full picture," Wilcox says.
Wilcox is also quite aware of the gift of a talented cast, as 666 Park Avenue boasts TV favorites Terry O'Quinn (Lost) and Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty) in its ensemble. "When Terry's name was mentioned as a possibility, it was kind of an instant 'wow. That would be amazing.' I was just stoked that he wanted to do the show, and I can't imagine anyone else really playing the part now. He has such a charm and mystery and menace, kind of all wrapped up in one, so I think that's amazing. And then Vanessa and Rachael Taylor, Dave Annable joining the cast, and then Rob Buckley and Mercedes Masohn and Eric Palladino... it's just like we kind of landed with this incredible cast. I'm still kind of like 'how did that happen?' It's amazing that we got this great cast. They're really incredibly talented. They're all way into it, and I think they're so perfect for the tone and the kinds of stories that we want to tell," he says.
Don't miss the series premiere of 666 Park Avenue tonight (September 30) at 10PM on ABC!