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Playing House Series Premiere Preview [VIDEO, PHOTOS, INTERVIEW] 

Playing House - Season 1
Photo Credit: Neil Jacobs/USA Network

Most USA Network shows are dramas that also feature a sizable dose of laughs. Starting tonight, a straight up comedy premieres. Playing House is all about two best friends who find that they need each other more than ever.

Synopsis: Childhood best friends Maggie Caruso (Lennon Parham, Best Friends Forever) and Emma Crawford (Jessica St. Clair, Best Friends Forever) have shared countless adventures growing up together in the charming town of Pinebrook, Conn. Now, Maggie and Emma are in store for one of their biggest adventures — raising a baby. When Maggie discovers that her husband Bruce (Brad Morris, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World),  is having an online affair with a muscular German woman, Emma gives up her burgeoning business career in China to stay in their hometown and help Maggie raise her baby. Now, as Maggie prepares for the birth of her first child and deals with the fallout of her marriage ending, Emma must confront the past that she abruptly left behind thirteen years ago: her first love and local cop, Mark (Keegan-Michael Key, Key and Peele), her prim-and-proper mother (Jane Kaczmarek, Malcolm in the Middle) and a small town that she’s never felt comfortable in. Despite their differences – Emma is brash, bold, and assertive while Maggie is grounded, rational, and safe. The women complement each other the way only best friends can, by facing the challenges of their past, present and future–together.

Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham are reel and real-life BFFs. Actually, if they seem familiar to you, they once starred together on an NBC series they created called Best Friends Forever. So they clearly love playing besties.

At a recent press conference, Jessica and Lennon talked about how their creative process works:

JESSICA ST. CLAIR: So essentially what you see in the show, the way we write is we improvise. We play all the parts. It’s so weird to watch. It kind of looks like ‑‑

LENNON PARHAM: And we record ourselves.

JESSICA: Yeah, like we’re insane people. Usually we’re also in our pajamas. We tape‑record it, and then we transcribe it. That becomes the transcript for the first draft.

LENNON: Jess and I are from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York [UCB], and so we came up with the improvisation training first. So we were performers first, then writers. So that’s just how we kind of get into making it sound like we really sound.

The two shared something else while they were shooting this ten-episode season one:

LENNON:  I was actually pregnant when we shot the pilot. I was actually eight months pregnant. That’s a real baby that lives with me now.

JESSICA:  Yeah. And I was secretly three months pregnant in this pilot.  So ‑‑

LENNON:  Yeah.

JESSICA:  ‑‑ we were both smuggling babies.

LENNON:  It was a real situation, a perfect storm for comedy.

Jessica and Lennon explained why Playing House is a good fit for them right now:

LENNON: With Best Friends Forever we were ‑‑ that was perfect for the time in our lives that we were, you know, in Brooklyn and ‑‑

JESSICA: Early married and ‑‑

LENNON: Yeah. With this show we’re really tapping into where we are right now and the storytelling that we want to tell. I think comedy really comes best out of a place of truth. So we’re accessing ‑‑ both of us were just pregnant for ten months. You know what I mean. Both of us are new moms, and both of us are living this best‑friend, mid‑30’s story.

JESSICA: Yeah.

LENNON: So that’s where we’re drawing all of the comedies from.

JESSICA: Right. We’re not raising a baby together, but we sort of are because the show is just as needy as a baby.

LENNON: Yeah, the show is our baby.

JESSICA: …24‑hour attention.

The actresses are super excited about the guest stars they were able to secure for their show:

LENNON: We have this amazing cast that ‑‑ I think you’re going to recognize a lot of people from the comedy world, the alternative comedy world. We have some huge comedy stars like Jane Kaczmarek, Keegan-Michael Key. Zach Woods… So the level of comedy they’re bringing to the table is out of control.

JESSICA: Something we did differently for this show than in BFF is, in the writers’ room, we were very conscious of writing our guest star parts with our friends in mind.

LENNON: Yeah.

JESSICA:  So UCB is sort of like a grad school for comedians.

LENNON: Yeah.

JESSICA:  So all of these guys, we were 22 years old with.

LENNON: Like on a tour bus in Iowa doing terrible sketches together.  So ‑‑

JESSICA: Yeah. Deep‑frying a turkey.

LENNON: So the same chemistry that Jess and I have you’re going to see with our guest stars because we’ve just known them forever. Zach and I were on an improv team together when he was 17 years old. Do you know what I mean?

Playing House airs tonight at 10/9c. Both Jessica and Lennon will be live-tweeting during the one-hour series premiere.

Social Media Stats

Playing House on Twitter: PlayingHouseUSA
Jessica St. Claire on Twitter: @Jessica_StClair
Lennon Parham on Twitter: @lennonparham

Additionally, viewers will have unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access to Playing House content on USANetwork.com

VIDEOS

Promo

Clip: Safety First [Chuck‘s Ryan McPartlin and Key and Peele‘s Keegan Michael-Key are in this clip!]

PHOTOS
Photo Credit for all Images: Neil Jacobs/USA Network

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