Seriously? OMG! WTF? » Six Things You Don’t Know About Trial & Error
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[ # ] Six Things You Don’t Know About Trial & Error
March 28th, 2017 under NBC

Trial & Error is back with 2 new episodes tonight at 9p on NBC and they have an arm up on the competition. You will find out what that means in the first episode where you will also see Anne (Sherri Shepherd) and Summer (Krysta Rodriguez) do a mock trial and question Larry Henderson (John Lithgow) on the stand. How does it go? He decides not to testify and you can totally understand why. On the second episode, some new shocking evidence is unveiled that leads to Henderson taking a lie detector test on live televison. Will he pass? All I will say is don’t pass on the hilarious comedy to find out.

Want to know more about your newest obsession? A few weeks ago at the NBC TCA Summer Press Day Executive Producer Jeff Astrof and John Lithgow revealed some interesting tidbits about the Mockumentary.

How did Trial & Error come about?
So the genesis of this was around five years ago in the writers’ rooms across Warner Bros, and probably across the sitcom world, a documentary called The Staircase was going around. And I remember I watched it with my wife, and at the time I wish I had said John Lithgow for this story to work. I said, “If this guy was played by Steve Carell, this would be the funniest comedy I’ve ever seen.” And my wife gave me as much encouragement as any time she ever has, and she said, “Yeah, maybe.”
And so I went and I ran and I pitched it to Warner Bros, and I said, “I want to do a show about a guy who is accused of murdering his wife. It’s a documentary.” They said, “You have to do a comedy.” I said, “It’s going to be a comedy. And they said, “How about a multicamera about your family?” And I went back to the well, five times, and then, finally, they said, “You can do it if you hook up with a drama/comedy writer.” And they introduced me to Mr. Matthew Miller over here, and the two of us, it was a match made in Hebrew school.
It was fantastic, and the timing was really great because right at the time everybody was watching The Jinx and Serial and we had handed in our script. And that’s when Making a Murderer came out, and we were just, like, if we don’t do this now, someone else is going to do it. Then once we got this cast, I just have to say writing is only good casting, and I’ve never worked with a cast like this. They are unbelievable, top to bottom.

Was Trial & Error the original title for the show?
Astrof told me on Twitter, “The original title was The Trail.” Then he followed up with, “It was based on Anne writing The Trail on the board. People thought it was confusing.” Then they came up with Trial & Error. That name stuck on the murder board and they also love the name we know it as today.

How does Trial & Error get that documentary look and feel?
I should mention Jeff Blitz, who is an unbelievable documentary [director]. We hired a documentary director for this. So everything in the show seems like it’s an actual documentary, which is why we have no coverage. But it’s really filmed, you know, beautifully in that way. As long as people keep interested in the genre and these characters and we’ve created a whole world in East Peck, we hope this continues at least seven years.

On that note, what are the plans for season 2?
If there’s a second season. That’s up to you guys to a large extent and NBC, but the plan is that, at the end of this season, we start with the arrest of Larry Henderson, and the final episode we do the verdict and a “Where are they now?”

When it comes to the verdict, the only cast member who knew who the murder was was Lithgow.
This is the second time this has happened to me. When they hired me for The Trinity Killer, they pitched it by telling me the whole story of that entire season. I was the only actor who knew, and I had to keep it to myself.
I want this in my contract for now on. I always want to know things that nobody else knows.

Talking about things Lithgow knows, did he know how to roller skate before Trial & Error?
I did try, and then I was, oh, Gd, it was so pathetic. I used to be able to roller skate. I don’t know what happened. And I was determined to spend, you know, three rigorous weeks becoming quite extraordinary on roller skates, and then I was told not to because well, I think first they saw my first attempts. But also, the insurance company covering the show would not allow me to be on roller skates.

While insurance wasn’t willing to take a risk on Lithgow wearing roller skates, I think everyone needs to take a risk on Trial & Error.


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