WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?: Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie on the Show’s Renewal and Continued Popularity
August 6, 2013 by Marisa Roffman
Whenever a canceled show is revived in one form or the other, it runs the risk of not quite living up to the nostalgia that made us yearn for more. But thankfully for The CW’s WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?, viewers tuned in for the funny-as-ever improv series…which led to the show already getting renewed for an expanded “second” season.
“I think we had a feeling it would do well,” WHOSE LINE star Colin Mochrie told me after the renewal news was announced. “Just because ever since the first show ended, people were always going on Facebook and Twitter, ‘Bring back WHOSE LINE.’ What I loved is that they were like, ‘Why don’t you bring back the show?’ As if we had that power. So we knew there was an appetite for it. And [The CW boss] Mark Pedowitz was at ABC when we did the first show, so I think once he moved here, he was just trying to get it back. And I think some people thought The CW was an odd choice because of the younger demographic, but our fans are younger. All of us that have been touring have noticed our fans are getting younger, thanks to YouTube. They weren’t born during the first incarnation, and they’re discovering how funny we were in the last century.”
“That’s why, I think, CW was the perfect place,” Wayne Brady added. “Because I think you have in this day and age, the reality TV where people cherish and watch people’s lives falling apart and a lot of that behavior is rewarded. And people just want to see funny, light stuff…just watch funny. That has changed from people being voyeuristic and seeing other people’s lives crumble. It’s like, hey, my stuff is in disarray, let’s watch funny. And that’s what you get when you watch this. And the CW, thanks to the younger viewership, the kids watch everything in these three minute chunks anyway, so it works out that these games are built for that; they’re built for that attention span. It’s built for the family. So we’re so happy.”
And while the series was technically not producing episodes for seven years between the ABC and CW version, the comedy never truly went away.
“It’s never gone away, and worldwide, it’s never gone away,” Brady noted. “Colin and I tour, and Jonathan Mangum and I tour, and we’ve been all these places, multiple tours in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa…and all these different countries and WHOSE LINE is on the air there for real. Not just [syndicated on] ABC Family, it’s on like you would watch it in primetime.”
Since the show clearly has a future in America, too, the men are thinking ahead about what season 2 might bring.
“I think we’re hoping to get some of the guys we worked with [in the ABC version], like Greg Proops and Chip Esten [who is now starring on NASHVILLE] to come on,” said Mochrie. “It’s constantly trying to make the show the best it can be. Just trying to get our producer to listen to us! There’s always new games coming up, we’re always trying out new games, just basically doing the same thing where it’s goofy fun.”
Which could also lead to some new guest stars for the second year.
“One of my personal favorites [of potential guests] would be Darren Criss from GLEE,” Brady shared. “I think that guy is so talented, and he’s fast. I think that’s the thing — we don’t have people just because this guy is a star on blah, blah, blah show; you want someone that has personality and can put two sentences together and that doesn’t take themselves quite so seriously.”
WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? airs Tuesdays at 8 PM on The CW.
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