'Playing House' Stars Talk VOD Deal: "We're Going to Have to Do a PSA About Spoilers"

The stars of the USA single-camera comedy appeared at TCA Wednesday to talk about the show's second season.
Jaimie Trueblood/USA Network

The battle against spoilers is a tough in the modern era of streaming and social media, and one that co-creators, executive producers and stars Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham take very seriously.

"We do have some twists and turns coming up that are really going to shock people," St. Clair said at the Television Critics Association summer press tour Wednesday. "We're going to have to do a PSA about spoilers."

That's because the cult favorite USA half-hour comedy is releasing episodes on VOD a week before they air on the network as a new way to capitalize on the show's small but rabid fan base better known as "jammers."

"We had people who had binge-watched the first season in the past month and then watched three episodes at once and then became our instant fans," said St. Clair. "To have that access to people and get their interest and hold it, it was better than we could have ever imagined."

Speaking about the show's delayed renewal — which came six months after the season finale — and the new release plan, St. Clair praised USA and Universal Cable Productions. "There were so many internal fans," said St. Clair. "They didn’t stop until it became a reality and now we get to be part of this brand new way of watching television, which is really exciting."

Because of the show's extended wait to get back on the air, St. Clair and Parham went above and beyond for season two, shooting original integrated ads for sponsors like Samsung and Toyota.

"Sometimes you'll see one of these in another show where you're like, 'I get it. They had to do an ad,' " said St. Clair, who explained that a majority of the ads were crafted by the writer's room. "We actually tried to make it as funny as a scene would be. We just happen to be watching the most beautiful curbed TV you've ever seen."

"There's placements throughout and integrations within the show and obviously you just feel like, because it's coming out of Bosephus' mouth, it's not a Toyota ad," added Parham in reference to her character Maggie's popular alter-ego.

So far, the feedback from fans has been positive. Said St. Clair, "People were tweeting the night of the premiere quotes from the ads, and I thought, 'This is some sneaky stuff,' but it was working."

Playing House airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on USA.

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