10:14pm PT by Patrick Shanley
After a Long Road to the Screen, CW's 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Earns Big Response at PaleyFest
The CW premiered the pilot episode of its new musical comedy series, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, on Monday at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills as part of the PaleyFest Fall TV Preview.
The show, which was co-created by star Rachel Bloom and The Devil Wears Prada screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna, centers on the life of an unhappy young lawyer who decides, on a whim, to quit her job and move across the country from New York to West Covina, Calif., to follow the man of her dreams, a former summer-camp love from high school.
Like its main character, the show traveled a long road to the screen. It was originally picked up to pilot at Showtime, but the premium cabler passed on the half-hour before sibling network The CW, in a surprise move, ordered it straight to series in May as a companion for critical darling Jane the Virgin.
"They've been so overwhelmingly wonderful," Bloom told The Hollywood Reporter of The CW. "They're so supportive of what the show is. It was a little bumpy road getting here, but now we're on television, so it can't be that rocky, right?"
The switch from cable to broadcast meant a few changes to the show (such as the restrictions on language and nudity), but the biggest difference was its shift from 30-minute comedy to hour-long dramedy.
"The extra time is actually great for us," McKenna said. "It allows us to do more emotional stories and get into our ensemble, and we have this fabulous ensemble."
That ensemble features Broadway talent such as Tony-nominated actor Santino Fontana, who is perhaps best known for voicing the role of Hans in Disney's Frozen.
"I'm familiar with this world...kind of," Fontana laughed. "I performed a number Friday that I learned Wednesday. That's not normal. That never happens."
The Showtime pilot episode was screened Monday, and, like the response the show got earlier this summer at TCA, it earned a warm reception from those in attendance, with McKenna quick to express her appreciation.
"We've been through a lot," she told the theater, "and we're just so glad the show is alive."
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend premieres Monday, Oct. 12, on The CW.