When Jane Espenson and Brad “Cheeks” Bell wrote and produced their Internet comedy HUSBANDS THE SERIES, starring Cheeks and Sean Hemeon and Cheeks and Brady, two men who spontaneously legally marry each other and then try to make the relationship work, the creators thought they were just doing something creative and fun.
The reaction was seismic. Awards and national coverage followed, including articles in the Advocate and a review in the New Yorker. Airing in eleven two-minute installments, HUSBANDS THE SERIES also acquired a huge fan following. Co-starring Alessandra Torresani as Cheeks’ best friend Hayley and directed and executive-produced by Jeff Greenstein, HUSBANDS has become an official Internet sensation. It seemed clear that a second season would be welcome.
Espenson, a writer/producer whose track record includes BUFFY, ANGEL, FIREFLY, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, CAPRICA, TORCHWOOD, GAME OF THRONES and currently ONCE UPON A TIME, funded the first season herself. This time around, she and Cheeks decided to see if they could fund the new season through Kickstarter. The results have Espenson astounded. In a phone interview yesterday (Thursday) morning, she talked about the funding campaign and HUSBANDS THE SERIES: SEASON TWO.
ASSIGNMENT X: What made you guys decide that you were going to do another season? When did you make the decision?
JANE ESPENSON: We started talking about that a couple months ago, I’d say around New Year’s. We started thinking that we wanted to explore more. We kept thinking of new episode ideas. Cheeks and I would be sitting over a restaurant table, saying, “Oh, you know what would be a funny thing …” or, “If Cheeks and Brady had this waiter, Cheeks would say this and Brady would say that.” And it just became clear that there were more stories to tell, so we decided to keep going, and we realized during the run of the first one that the Web really was the right home for this project, so we wanted to keep it there. We can do the kind of content we want to do on the Web and we discovered we like not having people above us giving us notes on it. We really could make the show what we want it to be.
AX: Were you expecting the kind of national and political response that HUSBANDS has received?
ESPENSON: We were expecting none of this. There have been a couple of things that have really surprised us. One was that the New Yorker reviewed us, because they don’t review Web series. We didn’t see that coming at all and that really did raise us to a national level, which we hadn’t expected, but was fantastic. The other thing we didn’t expect was the response on Kickstarter that we’ve gotten. We’re now on Day Three and we’ve got 83 percent funded [at the time of this writing, it has gone up to 84 percent.]
AX: What’s your budget?
ESPENSON: We’re asking for fifty thousand. So we’re at less than eight thousand dollars away from having what we need to. I plan to put in money of my own, and then being supplemented by the 50K, we’re going to be able to do a really amazing Season Two, where the sound will be better, the picture will be better, we’ll be able to go outside a little more. Everything’s going to be more professional and shinier and bigger, and that’s all because the fans stepped up and are acting as our network – the fans are renewing us. We thought we could get the fifty thousand. That’s why we set our goal at fifty thousand. We did not know that it would come this quickly or with this much enthusiasm.
AX: Is Jeff Greenstein coming back as the director?
ESPENSON: Yes, Jeff will be directing and executive producing as he did last time. We’re really keeping the same team.
AX: You mentioned something on Twitter about having more guest stars – you had Nathan Fillion last season.
ESPENSON: Yes. We think we’re going to get more guest stars. This time around, we’ve got people approaching us that are interesting. So we’re polishing the script and figuring out who fits with our story.
AX: Donations to the Kickstarter account can be made at kickstarter.com/projects/1044480540/husbands-the-series-season-2?ref=live – for people who would like to donate but don’t want to go through Kickstarter, is there somewhere they can send checks?
ESPENSON: They can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and the person there will help them. [Kickstarter] actually goes through Amazon, so if you’ve ever ordered a book from Amazon, it’s the same system, but we love checks. Anyone who wants to donate to us directly, just make a gift to us, we won’t turn you down.
AX: Looking ahead, do you think you might be doing a Season Three?
ESPENSON: That would be an additional step, but we certainly aren’t taking it off the table.
AX: Anything else you’d like to say about HUSBANDS THE SERIES 2 and/or the Kickstarter campaign?
ESPENSON: Thank you. It’s very cool. I’m looking at the page right now. I can’t look away. It’s just amazing to see people loving this content so much, where so much feedback we got [before the first season aired] was, “Oh, people wouldn’t respond to this content.” It’s like, “Oh, look, they do! They think we’re funny!”
Related Link: For HUSBANDS sneak peak trailer
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Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Exclusive – Jane Espenson gives the scoop on Season 2 of HUSBANDS THE SERIES