4:58pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
ABC's 'The Catch' Embracing Comedy in Season 2
ABC's The Catch is rebooting itself for its upcoming second season.
Showrunner Allan Heinberg told reporters Tuesday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour that the con-man drama starring Peter Krause (Parenthood) and Mireille Enos (The Killing) and produced by Shonda Rhimes will embrace comedy and abandon its procedural element in season two.
"The case work … was really challenging. We were finding out what the show was as we went. I owed the network and audience a 'case of the week' every week, and they were hard to break and took up an enormous amount of real estate in the script," said Heinberg, noting that the cases limited the show's ability to get to know its central characters and explore the soap elements of their lives.
Heinberg is a 10-year veteran of Shondaland, having started on Grey's Anatomy before moving to Scandal and being plucked from the latter show to step in after The Catch creator Jennifer Schuur was pushed out following creative differences. The producer, who happened to be fresh out of a marriage that ended in a way that isn't dissimilar to how Alice (Enos) and Ben's (Krause) relationship folded, stepped in immediately to take over.
"We embraced the show as a comedy — we looked at season one and saw that it's really a romantic comedy at its heart," Heinberg said. Season two will have fewer cases and see the central team take on only those that hit close to home.
The Catch will join ABC's TGIT lineup starting March 9, after How to Get Away With Murder wraps its run. The series scored a surprise renewal in May after delivering underwhelming ratings that were down from Murder.
Heinberg noted that season two is set up in a way where viewers who didn't watch season one will be able to jump right in.
"We want you to come on board at any time," he said. "Once you see the fun we're having and how sexy and playful the show is, it really is a romp and a lot of fun and very different from Grey's and Scandal and it'll hook you. Watch and you'll have a good time."
The producer noted the tonal shift was inspired largely by Scandal and, to a lesser extent, Grey's. "As a TGIT viewer, it was very much like, 'I just watched Grey's and Scandal' — which at that point was in a very dark place — 'and I don't think I want to see more darkness. What I want to see is hope, love and joy and delight.' That was the pitch to ABC when I came on board."
Watch the season two trailer: