Splitting Up Together airs on ABC tonight (Tuesday, March 27th), 9:30 EST. Learn about ABC’s new comedy series, our interview with the producers and members of the cast down below. 

Splitting Up Together ABC TV Show

 

New Show On ABC | Splitting Up Together {Exclusive Interview with Producers + Cast}

A new show airing tonight on ABC is Splitting Up Together. During our A Wrinkle In Time press junket, we had a chance to screen several episodes and talk to the producers and some of the cast of this new show. Our interview included Emily Kapneke, Creator, and Executive Producer, Dean Holland, Executive Producer; he also directed the pilot, Oliver Hudson  (“Martin” on “Splitting Up Together”) and Lindsay Price (“Camille” on “Splitting Up Together”). 

Here’s a synopsis of Splitting Up Together

Premieres on ABC, March 27th at 9:30|8:30c

From executive producers Ellen DeGeneres, Emily Kapnek (“Suburgatory”), Jeff Kleeman (“Little Big Shots”) and Dean Holland (“Parks and Recreation”) comes “Splitting Up Together,” the story of Lena (Jenna Fischer, “The Office”) and Martin (Oliver Hudson, “Scream Queens”), whose marriage is reignited by their divorce.  

Emily shared, “this show is actually based on a Danish format. So, there was another series that they did in Denmark with eight episodes. And when I watched it, I was like just blown away. It felt very real and how much you were rooting for her, for that main character Lena.”

Splitting Up Together ABC Show

JENNA FISCHER, OLIVER HUDSON (ABC/Eric McCandless)

 
Lena and Martin were once madly in love. But, like many marriages, time and circumstance eventually took their toll. Lena, the perfectionist, fell into the role of caretaker for everyone, including Martin. Martin felt he could never do anything right and gave up making an effort. This created a romantic rift between them. Finding themselves in a platonic marriage and acting more like a pair of camp counselors wrangling their kids than a couple hopelessly in love, they decide that everyone’s lives would be better served if they got a divorce. Still wanting the best for their three kids and facing a daunting real estate market, the couple decides not to sell their house and to “Birds Nest” instead. One parent will live in the house as the “on-duty” parent taking care of the kids, while the “off-duty” parent will live in the detached garage, doing whatever he or she pleases. They will switch off every other week.

Their kids, 7-year-old Milo (Sander Thomas), 14-year-old pre-pubescent Mason (Van Crosby) and 15-year-old feminist Mae (Olivia Keville), seem to be taking the divorce in stride. While Lena, the consummate caretaker, has to learn to loosen her reigns, Martin, who has always taken a backseat when it comes to parenting, needs to learn how to step up his game. 

Splitting Up Together ABC Show2

BOBBY LEE, LINDSAY PRICE (ABC/Eric McCandless)

Then there are Lena and Martin’s married friends, Camille (Lindsay Price) and Arthur (Bobby Lee).  Camille, stunning and way out of Arthur’s league, is sad to lose their best couple friends. Arthur, aware he married up, begins to question the stability of his own marriage when his friends’ falls apart. And Lena’s sister, Maya (Diane Farr), a serial dater who often gets in her own way due to her terrible taste in men, thinks that her sister is too rigid and needs to chill out if she’s ever going start dating again.

As Lena begins to dip her toes into the dating waters, Martin begins to see his own culpability in his marriage falling apart. When Martin realizes that it all began when he refused to dance with Lena at their wedding, he wants to atone for it. He secretly takes dance lessons to surprise Lena by dancing with her on what would be their upcoming wedding anniversary. Could being apart ultimately lead to them getting back together?

I’m sharing snippets of our interview. And I’ve left out many fun parts of our conversation since they have spoilers in them! 

Splitting Up Together ABC Show

Photo credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

 How do you think this show will portray divorce in real life?

Emily: “How do we think it will portray it in real life? I mean I think we felt like a lot of people seem to identify with the world and the characters whether they were going through a divorce or not. We kind of drew from all of our own real-life experiences. We’re all married with kids. So, we’ve had lots of stories to share. And I think the main goal is just to tell a story about divorce that isn’t toxic and negative, and that has a little bit of hope and a little bit of optimism. For me personally, having grown up with parents who are divorced, I think everyone always hopes, oh, my gosh is there any chance in the world that they can get it back on track. And I think a lot of kids feel that way. And to have a show where there is that sort of glimmer that’s being dangled, and a lot of love between the main characters was just sort of a new way of telling a divorce story for us.”

Dean: “Historically it’s always been kinda negative that divorce is such a bad thing. And while we were shooting it, numerous people came up to us and told us we’re doing this (exes living together, raising kids). My friends are doing this. So many people were like, hey, it’s let’s kind of both still raise our kids and somehow manage to make it work.”

Emily: “Yeah, I know a lot of couples that have good relationships, even if they didn’t reconcile good relationships with their exes and they’re co-parenting happily, and I don’t think you see a lot of that represented. Right?”

Splitting Up Together ABC Show Oliver Hudson

SPLITTING UP TOGETHER – ABC’s “Splitting Up Together” stars Oliver Hudson as Martin. (ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Oliver, a natural dad on the show

Emily: “I think one of the things that is so great about Oliver in the show is that Oliver has three kids in his real life. And watching him deal with these kids, it’s so authentic. Do you know how I kept saying over and over again, it’s like you can tell he’s a dad. You can tell how he deals with these kids, how he delivers the kids, no kid-glove thing where he’s like — sometimes he says stuff that’s harsh to the kids. You know, there’s a couple of episodes in where he gives it to them pretty bluntly, and it feels authentic. So, we love his  performance.”

Oliver: “What I love too is that you would say it’s a show about divorce, but at the end of the day there’s so much you can find in this show from every walk of life, especially if you have children. You don’t have to be divorced to relate to this thing because it’s about co-parenting. As individuals coming from different backgrounds and families, we have different ideas on how we wanna raise our kids. My wife has an idea, and I have an idea. Now there is a meet in the middle, but what I found, which was amazing casting, is Jenna is very much like who she is on this show, and I am very much like who I am on this show, you know.”

I’m glad that Oliver mentioned this because in the episodes we screened, I saw myself as a mom of teen boys going through some of the same situations. 

Splitting Up Together ABC Show Lindsay Price

SPLITTING UP TOGETHER – ABC’s “Splitting Up Together” stars Lindsay Price as Camille. (ABC/Bob D’Amico)

The best friend role

Lindsay Price plays Jenna Fischer’s best friend on Splitting Up Together. She’s funny but straight to the point. She talks about what captivated her to do this type of role.

Lindsey: “I mean this script in and of itself captivated me, and I loved the characters ’cause they’re real. They’re real people. But I do think it’s interesting she probably immediately seemed selfish that she, you know, doesn’t want them to get divorced. But I think what ends up happening is when people close to you go through it, you start checking your own life and, you know, looking under the bed and seeing what’s under there. And I think it’s challenging, you know. But typically I think she knows that they love each other and that they should be together. Sometimes people can see it better than you can.”

Splitting Up Together ABC Show

Photo credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

On the similarities of sticking to the Danish show

A question was asked if the producers of ABC’s Splitting Up stuck to the Danish version of this show. Emily answered this questioned.

“Yeah, not really. I mean we did — we took a lot of the elements that I thought were the most compelling from those eight. They had almost — they had zero storylines about the kids in the Danish format. The kids were very peripheral. They never went to their workplaces. I love the way they approached it. It was very different. It was very unlike a show you’d see here. It was almost like a stage play, and you just were really focused on Martin and Lena. And it showed me that you can tell smaller stories and focus on these two main characters and it’s not — you’re like, gee, what’s happening at work or what’s happening with — no. You’re very invested — if you’re doing it right, you’re very invested in this core relationship. You’re rooting for them. The Danish creator based this show on her life. She came up to the writers’ room, and everyone was like did you get back together with your husband?  She was like no. She never intended to play with it as much as I wanted to in our show, and we do. We go in a way that their show doesn’t. We really feel like the chemistry between Martin and Lena is part of what makes you so invested.And, again, we just wanted that optimism. And we always said that there was sort of two fundamental questions about divorce in general and the show, and it’s like can you go back. Once you divorce, can you go back? And then the second question is, should you. And so, you know, if there’s the opportunity to do it, does it mean it’s right? And just because you want these two characters together, if she’s getting something from someone else who’s making her feel more valued, if he’s able to be who he is more fully — and that sort of complication is something we kinda delve into in the later episodes.”

Oliver also chimed in and added, “What I loved about it initially, I mean when I read it, it felt different. It felt different than your network, single-camera, half-hour comedy, which as we know has a certain sorta tone to a lot of them, you know. And I was only hoping that we were gonna be able to execute the way that I sorta felt that it should be. And, of course, it was, and, of course, now ABC’s gone along with exactly how we wanted to sort of do this thing, which is not your typical half-hour comedy. I mean I felt, well, just as many dramatic scenes as we did comedic scenes. And the comedy comes from the situation. It doesn’t come from, you know, these punchline type of jokes.”

Splitting Up Together ABC Show

Photo credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

On how this show has impacted their personal relationships

Oliver: “I’m a product of divorce also, and my parents divorced when I was a baby and got back together after 35 years. So, when you picked the name Splitting Up Together, it seems like it’s off the table that they will ever get back together.”

Emily: “My husband has definitely threatened to sue. (she chuckles) He’s like you should’ve had me sign that. I mean I think it’s part of the process. I think for a show like this to work, it’s sort of like one step forward, two steps back. There is the intrigue of it, and I think there will be times (to see more) if we get to tell those stories in future seasons.”

Splitting Up Together ABC Show

Photo credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

Does the title, Splitting Up Together limit the storyline?

Emily: “We think there’s another interpretation of that title also, which we’ll have to regroup after you’ve seen the first season.” Emily assures us that this comedy “has legs, I promise.”

This is not your typical comedy show

Emily wrapped up our interview by sharing a little more about the direction of Splitting Up Together. “It’s not your typical half-hour comedy. It’s not your typical family comedy. But they embrace it, and they really saw what was special about it. And they let us make the show this way (referring to ABC}. It’s a half-hour show, and you want people to understand that, but it’s kind of what our show is. There is a lot of heart. There is a lot of emotion. And we are hoping to get people invested in that way, and those heartfelt moments are equally if not more important than the last.”

Oliver also gave his thoughts about Splitting Up, “typically in half-hour comedy you’re invested mostly in the comedy, but I think with this you’re gonna be invested in the people. You know, you’re gonna return because it’s a funny show and it’s gonna make you laugh that week. But I think people are gonna return to this show for the laughs for sure, but I think more so for watching these people go through.”

And they are both right. This isn’t your typical comedy show. It’s going to make you root for Martin. Then root for Lena. And there’s a scene where Martin does something, and your heart is going to MELT. You will want to continue to tune in because now you’re curious. How do two people going through a divorce, co-parent AND live together? While this may be a T.V. show, this is happening in real life in many homes across the country (I know of a few couples that are doing this for financial reasons). Splitting Up Together has already captured my attention. While the title says a lot, it still gives a lot of room for this show to develop as we see Lena and Martin figure out what’s next for their life, with their family, and their friends. 

Splitting Up Together will have you laughing one moment, then questioning why Lena and Martin went two years without getting busy (quite a few of bloggers wanted to know the answer to this, which gets covered in future episodes); while watching Lena and Martin figure out how to parent separately, together, along with taking care of their own needs. 

Splitting Up Together is a family-friendly show, but I don’t think a lot of little kids or teens will find interest in wanting to watch this. No, this is a great show for spouses to watch together. You might just see yourself in Lena. Or Martin. 

Catch it tonight on ABC, at 9:30 EST. Watch the trailer down below! 

Follow along on social media using the hashtag #SplittingUpTogether Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


    

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