Puppet sensation Greg the Bunny has certainly hit the big time: with a new show, not surprisingly titled GREG THE BUNNY, on FOX, Greg and his executive producer Steven Levitan are ready for their close-up. Today they continue to chat about their new show.
When discussing the show's comedic material, Greg relates that it is a balance between written scripts and direct improvisation. But there is no secret formula that the show uses to create its unique brand of humor.
"A little from column A, a little from column B, you know," says Greg. "We try to keep it pretty loose on the set, and we're allowed to spin off the script a little bit here and there. We do read-thrus and a lot of improvisation comes from them. But, for the most part, in order to stay on schedule and keep on time, we're sticking pretty strongly to scripts."
But Greg is still getting used to his home on network television and the new creative issues that it presents.
"It's been an interesting process," says Greg. "Back in independent television, you have a lot of creative freedoms, and you don't have to worry about Standards and Practices or anything like that."
While Greg may still be getting his network television bearings, Levitan explains that FOX has been nothing but supportive of the show, and has been very conscientious about the timing of its release to the general public.
"When we first went to [FOX] with the idea, everything happened really fast," says Levitan. "Everything sort of just came together really quickly. FOX felt that doing a mid-season launch is going to help because this show needs special promotion. It really needs for people to learn the story and be educated to the world that we're setting up here. Every step of the way they always assured us that it was out of pure support that they're sort of waiting for the right time to launch this show. And every action along the way certainly backed that up."
Levitan continues to explain why FOX and the producers of the show were very concerned over the presentation of the series.
"Well, there's a story to tell here," says Levitan. "You know, we're setting up a world. It's not just like, 'Okay, here's a show about some people living in [an] apartment.' We're saying, 'Okay, this is a world in which puppets live and they're an oppressed minority and there are all sorts of rules to learn.' We're hoping, through marketing, we're going to be able to educate the audience about that."
Like so many other important social issues, Greg also feels that education is the key in understanding the complexities of the show.
"It's important to educate the tone more than anything," says Greg. "The one thing that we would hate for audiences to think is that it was just a silly puppet show or that it was for children. It's very easy to see a cute, loveable bunny rabbit, and say, 'Well, that's obviously just for my six year old.' We wanted to make sure that everybody has time to understand through the promotional campaigns what this show is about, and that [it's] for an adult audience."
As for Greg's future, he has been thinking about life after GREG, and he isn't afraid to talk about it.
"You know, I've written a buddy comedy that I'm asking Gary Coleman about," says Greg. "We've been looking for a project to do together for a really long time. You know, it's sort of a coming of age story, across the U.S. kind of thing. It's got laughs and love, and that kind of thing. And I'm trying to get Eugene [Levy, GREG costar] to play my dad!"