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Conan O'Brien Champions Rebel Wilson, 'Super Fun Night'

The co-creators of the new ABC sitcom appear at the TCA to discuss American accents, self-deprecation and the series' long road to TV.

Super Fun Night
"Super Fun Night"

Rebel Wilson did not steal the show during Sunday's Television Critics Association press tour like she did at May's upfront presentation. A bit more reserved than many in attendance are used to seeing her, it was Wilson's Super Fun Night co-creator and executive producer Conan O'Brien who did a lot of the talking for the ABC comedy.

"I just wanted to get back to a network TCA," O'Brien said to many laughs. "I missed this energy so much."

O'Brien spent the duration of the half-hour singing the praises of the young star, comparing her to Lucille Ball and Tina Fey and noting that it was Wilson's 2011 appearance on his TBS show that made him want to get into business with her.

"What I love most about Rebel next to her vulnerability is her range," said O'Brien, referring to the many humbling barbs slung at her character in the pilot. "Rebel writes these lines that people fire at her. I was stunned by that. I want to defend [her], but she's writing them."

Wilson says the self-deprecation is pivotal to her series about a trio of awkward, unsocial girls coming out of their shells.

"I'm always pitching the saddest story lines where I'm being punched in the face," said Wilson. "The purpose of the show to me is to really inspire girls who don't think they're cool and popular and pretty and all of that. I think in order to do that, you have to present a very realistic image."

Super Fun Night, originally developed as a multi-cam effort at CBS, will be several years old by the time it finally premieres on Oct. 2. And everyone on the panel, which included executive producer John Riggi, said the move to single-cam was key. The only other lingering question about the series related to Wilson's accent. The Australian star spoke about how some had pushed her not to take on an American accent for the role -- something she ended up doing.

"When I came to America and started doing movies, I thought it would be playing American accents all the time -- it's weird how it worked out," she said, referring to roles in Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect. "These are three girls living in Manhattan who've known each other since they were 13. I wanted her to be American."