A decade ago, the writing team of Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters created Reaper for The CW, gem of a series in which a young man reclaimed escaped souls for the Devil. The series garnered a following, but, not being owned by Warner Bros. Television or CBS, was not a priority for renewal by the then-still-new TV network.
Now, Fazekas and Butters — who guided Resurrection and Agent Carter in the intervening years — are back with a show that has a similar but possibly more uplifting premise: Kevin (Probably) Saves The World, an hour-long series premiering tonight on ABC. The series stars Jason Ritter as a man tasked with finding the one thing that allows mankind to persevere: hope. With the real-life tragedy now happening in the world, the premiere of Kevin (probably) couldn’t be better-timed.
We spoke with Fazekas and Butters briefly at ABC’s party during the Television Critics Association press tour this summer and learned more about why people should (probably) be watching.
KSITETV’s CRAIG BYRNE: Can you talk about how Kevin Finn’s family notices some changes in him as the series begins?
MICHELE FAZEKAS: That’s a big part of the story, because he’s trying to reconnect with his sister, who he’s very close with, but sometimes you get involved in your life and stuff like a job and whatever [gets in the way] and you neglect those relationships, and so now, he’s back to “okay. I’ve got to try and reconnect.” His sister really loves him, but she’s also slightly controlling and anxious. He hardly has any relationship with his 14-year-old niece, and yet they are very much alike. There’s a lot of potential there, except for the fact that there’s a person talking to him and he looks like a crazy person half the time [when he’s talking to her]. Amy [his sister] just thinks he’s not taking care of his mental state. Reese [his niece] is more like “there’s something going on with this guy.”
What is Kevin’s mission on the series?
FAZEKAS: Kevin has been tasked to anoint 35 other righteous people like himself, to save the world. That’s not going to happen every week. It might happen once or twice a season. You’ve got to build up yourself first before you’re able to do that.
Is Kevin doing the work of good the way that Sam did the work of the Devil in Reaper?
FAZEKAS: I would argue that Sam was also doing the work of good, in his own way. There are similarities between Sam and Kevin in that both of them aren’t very good at it, and don’t really want to do it. I think Kevin is smarter. He has more drive. But I also think he’s had some really serious things happen in his life, and real regrets in his life.
TARA BUTTERS: I will say that I think that this is a show we couldn’t have written back then. We’ve grown as the type of storytellers that we want to be, and I think it’s reflected in the work.
Kevin (Probably) Saves The World premieres tonight (October 3) at 10PM ET/PT on ABC. Take a look at some photos below.
KEVIN (PROBABLY) SAVES THE WORLD - “Pilot” - Kevin Finn (Jason Ritter) is not a good person. He's not terrible, but he's selfish and clueless, and values material wealth and status over all else. And he's beginning to realize that those things aren't making him happy - in fact, he's fairly miserable. Just when things seem to be at their worst, he finds himself tasked with an unbelievable mission: saving the world. "Kevin (Probably) Saves the World," a unique one-hour drama filled with hope, heart and a good dose of irreverent humor, premieres TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Ryan Green)PAUL MCGUIGAN (DIRECTOR), JASON RITTER
JASON RITTER STARS AS KEVIN FINN IN ABC’S NEW UNIQUE DRAMA ‘KEVIN (PROBABLY) SAVES THE WORLD,’ PREMIERING TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3
JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Kimberly Hébert Gregory and Chloe East Join Ritter as He Attempts to Find the One Thing that Allows Mankind to Persevere: Hope
Kevin Finn (Jason Ritter) is not a good person. He’s not terrible, but he’s selfish and clueless, and values material wealth and status over all else. And he’s beginning to realize that those things aren’t making him happy – in fact, he’s fairly miserable. Just when things seem to be at their worst, he finds himself tasked with an unbelievable mission: saving the world. “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World,” a unique one-hour drama filled with hope, heart and a good dose of irreverent humor, premieres TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network.
In the series premiere, “Pilot,” Kevin, who is on a dangerous path of despair, returns to his childhood home in Texas to crash with his widowed twin sister, Amy (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), and teenaged niece, Reese (Chloe East). It is a strained homecoming – he and his family have grown apart over the years – and Kevin has no real hope that anything will get better. But a series of fantastic events, including a meteorite landing near the house, lead Kevin to meet an unlikely celestial guide, Yvette (Kimberly Hébert Gregory). Yvette delivers incredible news to Kevin: in every generation there are 36 righteous souls on Earth whose mere existence protects the world. Kevin, she tells him, is the last of the 36 righteous. Humanity has been thrown into crisis. Without the 36, the world will begin to lose the one thing that allows us to persevere through the ups and downs of life: hope.
Now Kevin has a mission, whether he wants it or not: “power up” his soul through acts of kindness and selflessness, so that he can eventually find and anoint a new generation of righteous. Yvette will serve as his protector and teacher, a drill sergeant with divine authority, even if she’s the least angel-like person he’s ever met.
“Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” stars Jason Ritter (“Parenthood”) as Kevin Finn, JoAnna Garcia Swisher (“Once Upon a Time,” “The Astronaut Wives Club”) as Amy Cabrera, Kimberly Hébert Gregory (HBO’s “Vice Principals”) as Yvette, Chloe East as Reese Cabrera, J. August Richards as Deputy Nate Purcell, Dustin Ybarra as Tyler Medina and India de Beaufort as Kristin Allen.
Guest starring in “Pilot” is Barbara Eve Harris as Lt. Colonel O’Donnell.
“Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” is from ABC Studios. The series is created and executive produced by Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters (“Marvel’s Agent Carter,” “Resurrection,” “Reaper”). In addition, the series is executive produced by Chris Dingess and Craig DiGregorio, while Paul McGuigan was an executive producer and director on the pilot.