ABC Scoop: “GCB” Banks On The Gays, Max’s New Romance on “Happy Endings” and Dawson’s Gay Assistant

ABC had a strong showing on its television schedule this fall with new hits like Revenge, Once Upon A Time and Suburgatory, but they also had their share of missteps with Charlie’s Angels and Pan Am, which is bound for the cancellation block. However, the new offerings this spring such as GCB, the sitcom Don’t Trust The B—- in Apartment 23, and heavier dramas The River and Shonda Rhimes’ new series Scandal.

AfterElton was there at the panels and ABC’s end-of-day party to chat with the stars and creative forces behind some of our favorites and the soon-to-be-favorites.

If GCB star Kristen Chenoweth brings her gay following to the show, it could be a hit!

Desperate Housewives may be coming to an end soon but during their final TCA panel, creator Mark Cherry may have been mum on the series finale (though he said the final scene is the same one he’s had in his head since the first season of the soapy drama) but stars Eva Longoria and her on-screen husband Ricardo Antonio Chavira agreed that their characters have done just about everything over the past eight years but maybe there’s one more thing they could do before it’s all over. “There’s nothing surprising about Carlos and Gabby and their relationship,” Longoria said, “and they’ve just kind of been through everything, up and down. He’s been in jail and blind and now he’s in rehab so I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s going to be gay.” Chavira replied, “Hey, stop stealing my lines!” To which Longoria admitted, “That was his line.”

One new entry that looks destined to take over for the ladies of Wisteria Lane is GCB (formerly called Good Christian Bitches). During the panel with cast and producers, AfterElton grabbed the chance to ask a question of series creator Robert Harling, who wrote a little play/movie called Steel Magnolias. The show has what I would call a fabulous gay sensibility. (laughter.) Can you talk about that a little bit and the fact that [there are] closeted husbands in the mix? Can you talk about that being a part of the show? (Mark Deklin, who was not in attendance, plays gay hubby Blake Reilly)
Robert Harling: Oh, gosh, that’s a good one. I think what we’ve tried to do is create a world…I mean, everyone says write about what you know. I know this world very, very well. What’s always been fascinating to me in particular is there’s a dynamic in Dallas, there’s a dynamic in New Orleans, where these really great guys fall in love with their old childhood sweethearts, they marry, and they have this wonderful life together and sometimes there’s extracurricular activities. I’ve always been fascinated by that dynamic. As far as this show goes, and everyone will tell you I’m always loathe to giveaway plot and storylines, but we love complicated, interesting characters. Nobody wants to watch normal. I think I’m normal. Nobody wants to watch me on TV.

Leslie Bibb (Amanda): You’re not normal. (laughter.)

RH: So it’s a starting point for our particular character. I know you were mentioning the Blake and Cricket relationship. It’s a fascinating point to start. And stay tuned and it’s going to go through all sorts of…it’s going to go through a lot.

Kristin Chenoweth (Carlene): There’s one in every church. (laughter)

Later that night at the ABC party, Annie Potts (Gigi) and her GCB co-star Marisol Nichols (Heather Cruz) predicted that the new series will have no problem attracting one audience – the gay one. “It’s a smorgasbord for gay icons…we can go for sweet young things, old, sassy…we’re kind of banking on it.” In the pilot, Potts’ character hoists a rifle, which the former Designing Women star said comes from a story about her mother, who knew Harling. “Bobby is like a sponge so if we have a great story or anecdote he’ll take it and use it for anybody. ‘That happened to me but give it to her!’” Nichols added that she’s still wow’d by the great amount of craziness the show “There are several instances when we read the script and we were like ‘What? This happens all in the same episode?!’”

During the ABC party, Happy Endings Executive Producers David Caspe and Jonathan Groff previewed the upcoming 3-episode arc with dreamboat James Wolk playing Grant, the new man in Max’s (Adam Pally) life. Caspe fleshed out the backstory of ‘Grax’ by revealing that the twosome had dated previously but Grant dumped Max on a previous Valentine’s Day. “They run into each other again on Valentines Day this year,” said Caspe, “and that re-sparks it.” Caspe and Groff added that Grant, who we’ll meet in the February 8th episode, will be the more grounded, together one in the relationship. Not a shock, however, that Wolk had quite an effect on both sexes when he was shooting his episodes.

“The first night he shot,” Groff revealed, “all the guys were like ‘Oh, we get it. He’s adorable.’ The women were like ‘We get it!’ He’s a really great guy and super charming.” Agreed!

Writer/Producers Eileen Heisler, DeAnn Heline, Emily Kapneck, Steven Levitan,
David Caspe and Jonathan Groff speak during the ‘Wednesday Comedy Showrunners’ panel

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