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Darren Star first made his mark on broadcast television with such ‘90s pop culture touchstones as Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place.
But he’s not planning a return to the Big Four anytime soon.
Speaking Wednesday at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour to promote the upcoming second season of his TV Land comedy Younger, Star was asked about whether the show could make the leap to broadcast TV.
“I think the show on TV Land is more written and produced and conceived more like in the premium cable world. On a broadcast network … we wouldn’t have the freedom and looseness,” he said. “The standards and practices on basic cable feel closer to premium cable than they do on broadcast.”
Star knows from experience, having developed Sex and the City for HBO following his soap hits. He praised his time so far at TV Land, which underwent a major creative overhaul last year in a bid to move away from older-skewing multicam sitcoms and lure younger viewers. Younger led the pact in March, and was renewed for a third season Wednesday at TCA.
“They really trust the creative over here, and I feel like the broadcast side of the show would get way too homogenized,” said Star. “There’s a freedom to working on cable that you just don’t have on broadcast.”
Star is still giving standards and practices a run for their money with season two of the series, which premieres Jan. 13. New footage from season two shows several blurred naked females, most notably of Lauren (Molly Bernard), who enters a lesbian relationship with Maggie (Debi Mazar) this season.
“It’s one of those situations where she’s smart and she really aggressive,” said Mazar. “I’m not going to spoil it, but there’s a lot going on.”
Added Bernard: “A lot of romance.” Interjected Mazar: “And it gets complicated.”
After recurring in nearly every episode of season one, Bernard has been promoted to series regular for season two, in which viewers will “learn so much more” about her character.
“I’m in Liza’s [star Sutton Foster] life a lot more. I’m naked a lot more,” said Bernard. “Lauren became more of a person to me this year.”
Younger returns Jan. 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on TV Land.
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