×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘All American’ Team Talks Portrayal of Class Differences, LGBTQ Community

The CW’s new drama “All American,” based on the real-life experiences of ex-NFL player Spencer Paysinger, centers on a a football player from South Central Los Angeles who transfers to a Beverly Hills high school. But the show cares more about telling stories of the human experience than specific football plays.

“While we seem nothing alike, at heart we have a very common story,” creator April Blair said of herself and Paysinger at the Paley Fall TV Preview Saturday. “In today’s world of division, I thought that was a really important story to tell — black/white, rich/poor, gay/straight — that we’re all, on a cellular level, far more similar than we are different.”

Blair says the show will combine and themes found in fellow football drama “Friday Night Lights” and hip-hop film “Straight Outta Compton” in a tale of two cities and a boy in between them.

“We never wanted to paint South Central as bad and Beverly Hills as good,” she says.

Bre-Z, who plays Spencer’s best friend Coop, says her character will face being abandoned by her family because of her sexuality. During the panel, Bre-Z explained why she was drawn to the role: “I hate to see specific walks of life —especially gay, lesbian — portrayed so stereotypically. Everyone’s not the same.”

Cody Christian, who plays one of Spencer’s rivals, Asher Adams, also spoke about the multiple points-of-view in “All American.”

“It’s so easy to not have experienced something personally and to write it off as not happening or it not existing,” Christian said. “So for us to talk about issues of what is happening now, especially through that perspective, it gives a sense of relativity that I think people really need to see at this time.”

He also said audiences can expect a decent amount of football in the episodes but “not so much that it becomes overwhelming.”

“All American” premieres Oct. 10 on the CW.

More TV

  • Brad Falchuk Sets Overall Deal Netflix

    Brad Falchuk Sets Overall Deal at Netflix

    Brad Falchuk is joining Ryan Murphy at Netflix. Falchuk has signed an overall deal with the streamer, which sources say is for four years and worth eight figures. More to come…

  • A still from Cartoon Network’s “Victor

    Cartoon Network's 'Victor and Valentino' to Debut in U.S., Latin America on Saturday

    The folklore of Mesoamerica will come to life in Cartoon Network’s colorful new series “Victor and Valentino,” which premieres in the U.S. and Latin America on Saturday, March 30. The series follows the antics of the titular half-brothers as they learn to get along while unraveling the mysteries of the quirky little town of Monte [...]

  • Hugh Dancy to Guest Star in

    Hugh Dancy to Guest Star in 'Homeland' Season 8

    Emmy-nominated “Hannibal” actor Hugh Dancy will star opposite his wife Claire Danes in “Homeland” season eight, Variety has learned. Dancy will appear in the recurring guest role of John Zabel, a savvy Washington consultant who joins the White House as a new foreign-policy advisor to the President and a formidable opponent to Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin). [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    Viacom Shares Spike on DirecTV Deal, Renewed CBS Merger Chatter

    Viacom shares soared 10% on Tuesday after the company reaffirmed financial guidance for its media networks wing on the heels of sealing a hard-fought carriage renewal agreement with AT&T’s DirecTV. The stock gain underscored the importance of maintaining its presence on DirecTV and other AT&T channel bundles. Viacom on Tuesday reaffirmed its guidance of affiliate [...]

  • BETTER THINGS "Monsters in the Moonlight""

    'Better Things' Renewed for Season 4 at FX

    FX has renewed Pamela Adlon’s comedy series “Better Things” for a fourth season. The fourth season is slated to air in 2020. “With every season, ‘Better Things’ becomes more vital, engaging and revelatory, cementing Pamela Adlon’s status as one of the most accomplished creative forces in television today,” said John Landgraf, chairman of FX Networks [...]

  • Jessica Rodriguez Strictly Business Podcast

    Listen: Univision's Jessica Rodriguez on Shaking Up a Traditional TV Brand

    With new leadership in place at Univision, the network is evolving in ways its fast-growing Hispanic audience in the U.S. might find surprising. Look no further than the broadcaster’s primetime schedule, according to Jessica Rodriguez, CMO of Univision Communications and president/COO of Univision Networks, who relied on audience research to shake up traditional notions of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content