'Ben and Kate' Creator Dana Fox Takes THR's Fall TV Poll

The writer talks about which vegetable anatomy won't be making it onto her new comedy, her love for "Downton Abbey" and unlikely "Law & Order: SVU" comparisons.
Beth Dubber/FOX; Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Ben and Kate doesn't premiere on Fox until next Tuesday (Sept. 25), but the comedy is already earning some especially high praise.

The Hollywood Reporter's chief TV critic Tim Goodman recently called it "fall’s most fully realized sitcom," giving much of the credit to creator Dana Fox. "It’s one of those shows where the acumen of the off-camera talent (Fox) is impressive and clear," he wrote, "which gives hope for long-term success."

TV REVIEW: Ben and Kate

Fox, who was inspired by her real-life brother to write the brother-sister sitcom, comes to the series after serving as a producer on Ben and Kate's timeslot neighbor, New Girl, and writing features What Happens in Vegas and Couples Retreat.

THR recently caught up with Fox to take our Fall TV Poll, and in addition to professing her affections for Downton Abbey and exective producer Katherine Pope, she offered some interesting details on what to expect in Ben and Kate's Halloween episode.

The Hollywood Reporter: Fill in the blanks -- if you like X, Y, and Z, you'll like my show.
Dana Fox: New Girl, Friends, Modern Family and Law and Order SVU.  Yeah, we're like a half-hour comedic Law and Order SVU. But not quite as rapey.

THR: If you weren't working on this show, which series would you want to be a part of?
Fox: Downton Abbey. I'd come to work in costume and get all cracked out on the simmering sexual tension and things left unsaid...

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THR: If you could scrub anything from your résumé, what would it be?
Fox: I was a shot ho before I left for college. I sold shots that came in test tubes that were, like, electric green. I "accidentally" ended up keeping a customer's driver's license because she looked like me and I needed a fake ID.  Not my finest moment...

THR: What's the most bizarre network note you've received?
Fox: It wasn't really a network note, the network ALWAYS gives great notes...  But at some point, someone said, "Please ensure the pumpkin's breasts do not have nipples on them and we offer caution on Kate riding a mop 'hard.'"

THR: What are three essential things you need to write?
Fox: My dog Buddy on my lap and my other dog at my feet, a decaf latte and Katherine Pope.

THR: If you could add anyone to your writers' room, who would it be and why?
Fox: A full-time massage therapist. My writers live and breathe in that creepy hot box of a room.