×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Listen: ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Bosses on the Final Season, Plus ‘Happy Together’ EP Ben Winston on Harry Styles

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.

In this week’s episode, Variety’s associate features editor of TV, Danielle Turchiano, talks with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” co-creators Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna about the final season of their CW musical comedy.

Listen to this week’s podcast for free below and at Apple Podcasts:

McKenna says the series’ four seasons are “remarkably accurate” to the initial pitch to the network in 2015. “We really conceived of it beginning, middle, and end,” she says. “We really knew this was just going to be about this period in this girl’s life where she’s subject to a very intense romantic obsession and then recovers from it.”

While the season starts with her in jail after pleading guilty to pushing her stalker ex, Trent (Paul Welsh), off a building, Bloom says Rebecca was taking responsibility not just for that action, but for her whole life.

“Taking responsibility is really being fully present in what you are doing in your life and taking that control — ‘This is my life, this is my fate, I’m not going to let other forces determine it,'” she says.

Now that Rebecca is becoming healthier in that respect, Bloom says, “there have definitely been some scenes where it feels like I’m closer to playing myself.”

The 18-episode order for the final season means they’re getting to add more material than they planned, including reprises chosen from their catalog of over 100 songs. But they’re not altering the arc of the season they have had in mind for the past three years. “We’re not going for a big twist,” says Bloom. “We want you to feel by the end of the show that this is not a huge shock, what’s going to happen — it’s going to be organic to what we’ve done.”

In fact, even their final scene is one they’ve had in mind for a while. “There are six words that we pitched as the last words that I think will be the last words,” Bloom reveals.

In the second half of the podcast, “Happy Together” executive producer Ben Winston discusses with Variety‘s executive editor of TV, Debra Birnbaum, the joys of having Harry Styles as a houseguest and what he loves most about working with James Corden.

Happy Together” centers on Jake (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Claire (Amber Stevens West), a couple who allows Jake’s pop star client (Felix Mallard) to live with them; it is inspired by Winston’s own experience when Styles came to live with him and his wife in England. “He lived with us secretly with nobody knowing for 18 months,” Winston says.

What began as a two-weeks-only request to crash in Winston’s attic while his new house was being renovated evolved into a close friendship with Styles, then just 18. “It was a really beautiful time. He is the most wonderful guy you could ever meet,” Winston says.

Styles is now the godfather to Winston’s first child. “I always say I had a teenager before I had a baby,” says Winston.

Winston also has a producing partnership with “Late Late Show” host Corden, and praises Corden’s “unstoppable ambition” and hunger to try new things, keeping the crew on their toes.

“I just don’t know anybody else who has that many talents,” Winston says of Corden. “A day when he sits behind a desk, tells a few jokes, and then interviews somebody on their new project is a day that he goes home sad … because he’s like, ‘Anybody could have done that job today, you didn’t need me. You could have got anybody.’ … When you are faced with that as a leader in James, it makes you better.”

New episodes of “Remote Controlled” are available every Friday. Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, or anywhere you download podcasts. You can find past episodes here and on Apple Podcasts.

More TV

  • U.K.'s Channel 4 Promotes Jonathan Allan

    U.K.'s Channel 4 Promotes Jonathan Allan to Chief Operating Officer

    Channel 4 chief operating officer Keith Underwood is to leave the U.K. broadcaster at the end of this month, and will be replaced by current chief commercial officer Jonathan Allan. C4 is restructuring its leadership team, bringing together key operational functions into a newly expanded COO’s office. Allan will oversee departments including streaming platform All [...]

  • VFX Studio Framestore Launches Suite of

    VFX, Animation Studio Framestore Launches Pre-Production Services Unit (EXCLUSIVE)

    Visual effects and animation studio Framestore, which won Oscars for “The Golden Compass,” “Gravity” and “Blade Runner 2049,” and whose recent work includes “Avengers: Endgame” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” in movies, and “His Dark Materials” and “Watchmen” in TV, has launched FPS, which offers a suite of pre-production services. The move sees the company’s [...]

  • Harmonica

    NENT Group Tunes into Warner Bros. Sweden Romantic Drama 'Harmonica'

    Scandinavian major NENT Group has commissioned romantic drama “Harmonica” from Warner Bros. International Television Production Sweden. The Swedish series has been co-created by Josephine Bornebusch, whose previous drama “Love Me” has performed strongly on NENT Group’s Viaplay streaming service in the Nordic region, and was recently renewed for a second season. The six-episode “Harmonica” is [...]

  • ITV Studios Snaps Up Endemol Shine

    ITV Studios Snaps Up Endemol Shine Executive Lisa Perrin

    ITV Studios has snapped up Endemol Shine executive Lisa Perrin, appointing her as the new managing director of international production. Perrin joins the company from Endemol Shine Group (ESG) where she served as CEO of Creative Networks. Her exit comes as the business prepares to merge with Banijay Group, resulting in the departures of a [...]

  • Daniel Burman, Sebastian Borensztein, Lucia Puenzo

    Amazon’s Latest Latin American Deals: 5 Takeaways

    “The only absolute in history is change,” said the Victorian historian Lord Acton. He might have been talking about the streaming platforms’ current international strategies. Since they launched internationally, Netflix and Amazon’s focus and priorities have been in constant evolution. Current pressures – evolving demographies, new regulation, new competition, still untapped growth  – mean that [...]

  • Patrick Nebout and Henrik Hansson Schweizer

    U.K. Scribe Michael Robert Johnson Signs with Dramacorp for ‘Heritage’ Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    GÖTEBORG, Sweden  —  Swedish prodco Dramacorp has signed with U.K. scribe Michael Robert Johnson (“Sherlock Holmes,” “Mute,” “The Frankenstein Chronicles”) for the English-language supernatural thriller “Heritage” (a working title). Co-writers are Göteborg-based Morgan Jensen (“Thicker than Water”, “Hassel”) and Theo Gabay. The show, in early development, deals with modern elitism and hereditary. In it, a [...]

  • A still from LANCE by Marina

    'Lance': Film Review

    Late in the film “Lance,” a documentary that depicts the ascent and the crash of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, the subject recalls the disappearance of his lucrative sponsorships. These deals — with a massive market value and a perhaps more important intangible value of keeping him in the public eye as a figure of rectitude [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content