Suzanne Martin, executive producer and show runner of TVLand’s hit series HOT IN CLEVELAND, is in a hurry, but she takes time (at this Winter’s TCA press tour) to answer a few questions about the second season of her show, starring Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick as L.A. transplants and the indefatigable Betty White as a Cleveland local.
In addition to having some amazing guest stars from the regulars’ pasts – Mary Tyler Moore and Bonnie Franklin, to name two – this season features a crossover with ALL MY CHILDREN, as Malick’s actress character Victoria Chase lands a role on the ABC soap.
SUZANNE MARTIN: Actually, we’re doing the crossover with ALL MY CHILDREN right now, so we’re in the middle of it.
AX: Just to be clear, ALL MY CHILDREN is a TV show that exists as a TV show in the “real” universe of HOT IN CLEVELAND?
AX: And HOT IN CLEVELAND does not exist in the onscreen universe of ALL MY CHILDREN?
MARTIN: No. Victoria Chase, on [HOT IN CLEVELAND], gets a part on ALL MY CHILDREN and so we film it on our show – we’re doing two episodes where she’s doing ALL MY CHILDREN, and we’re doing them on our set. But ultimately all this stuff happens where the whole thing falls apart, so ultimately what we’re filming does not appear on ALL MY CHILDREN – it all has to be thrown out, because Victoria has ruined everything. She nearly kills Susan Lucci, let’s put it that way. So then in the end, she says, “They’re rewriting a whole new thing for me.” And that’s what will be on the actual ALL MY CHILDREN [to be shot on January 25]. Susan Lucci is on our show as Susan Lucci, supposedly filming ALL MY CHILDREN, but really [guesting on HOT IN CLEVELAND]. Wendie [as Victoria] is playing a maid on ALL MY CHILDREN. I think she’s Erica Kane’s maid on ALL MY CHILDREN.
AX: Does Malick play it straight on ALL MY CHILDREN?
MARTIN: That hasn’t been filmed yet, but I think it will be funny. I have to tell you, Susan Lucci is so, so funny, and the two of them together – they out-soap opera actress each other.
AX: Do you usually try to rotate the A story between your four lead actresses, or is it just a matter of what you come up with at the time?
MARTIN: Some of it is what we come up with, but we try to make it so everybody’s doing [something]. I don’t think we do A story/B story – it’s more everybody always has an A story.
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