'The Millers' Creator Greg Garcia Talks Recasts, Off-Color Humor: 'Farts Are Funny'

The sitcom veteran defends the cruder elements of the CBS pilot and takes the blame for having to recast Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Michael Rapaport.
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"The Millers"

CBS fall comedy The Millers finds several very familiar TV veterans working together on something rather unexpected: a multicamera sitcom.

Creator Greg Garcia joined stars Will Arnett, Margo Martindale, Beau Bridges and J.B. Smoove at the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday, where they talked about the unfamiliar format.

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"It's been fun so far, but it's been different to get back into that world," said Garcia, best known for single cam efforts My Name Is Earl and Raising Hope. "It's strange to have the audience and everyone there watching, but it's energizing. It's kind of an event."

In between anecdotes from TCA favorites Arnett and Martindale, two pieces of news were also addressed during the panel: the series' recent recasts for the supporting players -- Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Michael Rapaport were replaced by Jayma Mays and Nelson Franklin -- and the frequency of fart jokes in the pilot.

"We recast two parts on the pilot and that is 100 percent on me," said Garcia. "Those characters were underdeveloped -- my attention was on other things. And unfortunately the actors were affected by that."

Garcia added that by the time the pilot was tested, it was too late for Ellis and Rapaport: "I was asleep at the wheel a little bit with those characters. We've since rethought who they are, and I think we've done a better job this time."

As for the flatulence that figures rather prominently in the first episode, set to premiere Sept. 26., Garcia was less apologetic.

"Farts are funny," he said. "There's really no arguing the fact that farts and shit jokes are funny -- and they have their place on TV once in awhile."