Another new comedy on ABC, airing tonight at 8:30 est is Alex, Inc. A show where one man ditches his 8-5 and follows his dream to start his own podcast business, with the help of his family and friends. We’re taken on this journey with Alex while he discovers the growing pains of starting a business, with limited savvy business skills. We also get a look at today’s, 2018 family as they deal with cultural challenges, embracing differences, and defining their family.
New Family Comedy on ABC | Alex, Inc Encourages Multicultural Family And Following Your Dreams
During our last day of the A Wrinkle In Time press junket, we sat down and talked to executive producer and director, Zach Braff, executive producer and writer, Matt Tarses, and co-star Tiya Sircar to learn about Alex, Inc., and how it went from a very popular podcast to a new comedy on ABC. It airs tonight, March 28th at 8:30/7:30 est p.m.
What is ABC’s show Alex, Inc. all about?
Based on Alex Blumberg’s successful podcast “StartUp,” comedy series “Alex, Inc.” is all about the things that happen – the good, the bad and the ugly – when a journalist and family man quits his job to start his own company. He quickly discovers it’s going to be a lot harder than he thought.
Alex Schuman is a successful radio producer with a whip-smart, public defender wife, Meheroon (aka “Rooni”), and two confident, quirky children, Ben and Soraya. After years of making the kind of content that brings no creative fulfillment, in what most would consider an early mid-life crisis, Alex decides to risk everything – including his savings – to start his own business. Armed only with the help of his overenthusiastic producer, Deirdre, and his fast-talking, unemployed second cousin, Eddie, Alex navigates the crazy world of start-ups while trying to keep his marriage and family a priority.
The series stars Zach Braff as Alex Schuman, Michael Imperioli as Eddie, Tiya Sircar as Rooni Schuman, Hillary Anne Matthews as Deirdre, Elisha Henig as Ben Schuman and Audyssie James as Soraya Schuman.
Matt Tarses is executive producer and writer. In addition to his role in front of the camera, Zach Braff is executive producer and director. John Davis and John Fox are executive producers of Davis Entertainment, as are Alex Blumberg, Chris Gilberti and Matt Lieber (Gimlet Media) in association with Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios.
It all started with a podcast
Zach: I went to meet with the producer, John Davis, and he said you gotta hear this podcast. I’m not even sure if you wanna act right now because I had been directing a bunch. And I said I don’t know. He said it’s the best podcast I’ve heard in a long time. Everyone’s talking about it. We want to turn it into a family comedy. On my drive home from the meeting, I listened to two episodes and then kept listening. I thought it would be a great TV show.
I’m an uncle, and I have a lot of godchildren. And one thing that kept coming up and I know you all can relate is that even though there’s so much great TV out now, I kept hearing there’s not a ton that we all want to watch together. Like, we all love these shows that you can’t watch with your kids and your kids all have their shows that they love to watch. Obviously ABC’s great at it with Blackish and Modern Family and stuff like that. So, I felt like a great space to do it.”
A multicultural family
Matt, Zach, and Tiya shared with us the importance of having a multicultural family, and how Tiya was cast for Alex, Inc.
Matt: “This is based on this real podcast, and the real couple-it’s about a guy, but his wife is a Persian-American. And so, we just wanted to preserve that. We looked for all kinds of actresses. We tried to find the best actress we could find who was, not the same; who’s different, have this kind of multicultural, multiracial and Tiya was the best one we found.”
Zach: “And we were open to any woman of color, but this particular woman of color…”
Matt: “Came in and…”
Zach: “… came in and blew our socks off.”
Matt: “I mean she’s so good and so — and they (Zach ad Tiya) are good together. And I feel like we found these two kids who are incredible actors and who look like they could be their kids. And that’s almost my favorite part of the show is just that picture of the four of them together. It looks really…”
Zach: ” It looks very 2018.”
Tiya: “Well, it was originally written as a Persian-American woman (based on the real-life version of this). And when I got this job, I thought, oh, Hollywood. Like, guys, I can’t play a Persian-American, but these guys were like, well, let’s change her and let’s make her you. And then the more we all got to know each other, and they had me come in and meet the writers, and we had this two-hour conversation about my upbringing in Texas and my parents’ upbringing in Calcutta and when they came over as grad students and their experience as Indian immigrants. And we just talked for a long time and then slowly this character evolved from who she was on paper to closely related to who I am in real life, which I have never gotten to play before.”
Tiya went on to mention that the producers brought her parents in. “So, that’s another amazing part of this story for me anyway. You know, they wanted to get to know me, and they wanted me to get to know the writers. And as we were talking, they were asking a lot of questions about my parents. And so I was talking about my parents’ stories that I’ve grown up listening to, and I happened to mention that my parents were coming to town the next day to visit. And these guys asked would they maybe want to sit down with us. And I was like absolutely. Are you kidding? For sure. So, I brought them in.”
Tiya went on to talk about a story her mom talked about, which ends up being part a future episode (so keep watching because it’s an amazing moment and story). Zach mentioned how entertaining Tiya’s parents were, and they were able to find quite a bit of inspiration by talking to her parents.
What’s cool about this show is that, while it’s about a guy ditching his 8-5 and going for his dream job, we get exposed to another culture and learn about real-life experiences through a T.V. show. Another thing I like about Alex, Inc., is that it’s not your typical family comedy show. From the episodes that I have watched, this is a family-friendly show for everyone to watch. You get to see a mixed couple deal with their different cultures and bringing them together to make their family. It’s totally 2018.
This show gives viewers a look at how roles are reversed in a family, as well as offers fun entertainment, and possibly give that person inspiration to ditch their 8-5 and go after their dream job. I left my job several years ago to pursue my dream, so I understand how Alex wants to make that same transition. And since his dream is podcasting, I’ll be watching to pick up tips I can for a future podcast show (maybe, ha!)
Watch the trailer down below, and be sure to catch it tonight on ABC at 8:30 EST. And if you miss an episode or want to rewatch the pilot, you can get caught up or rewatch past episodes either streaming or on the app.