RAISING HOPE Series Finale: Mike Mariano on the Ending, Kenny Loggins, and More - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

RAISING HOPE Series Finale: Mike Mariano on the Ending, Kenny Loggins, and More

April 7, 2014 by  


RAISING HOPE’s Mike Mariano opted to give the underrated Fox comedy proper closure in its season 4 finale in case the show wasn’t renewed for a fifth season (he bet correctly), and so the Chances ended on a quiet note…with the exception of Virginia’s father, Arnold, moving into Jimmy’s old room.

I spoke with Mariano about the ending, what season 5 ideas they had, getting Kenny Loggins, and more…

I know you didn’t want to leave RAISING HOPE with a cliffhanger ending, but what can you say about the ending you did choose?
Mike Mariano: I thought it would be a great beginning for season 5 to have Jeffrey Tambor’s character come into their lives, and give us some new places to go with story. I was working towards that, but at the same time protecting us, because if this did end up being the ending, I wanted it to have a cyclical nature back to the pilot. And it is called “The Father Daughter Dance,” because that’s what the show has always been: a guy becoming a father, and raising his daughter with his family. I wanted to connect it that way, so if someone was to sit down and watch 88 episodes in a row, they would feel like it went somewhere in the end. So it was conscious. I was hoping it would be exciting to see what would happen when the dad moves in at the end.

Jeffrey Tambor is a pretty busy actor, and he’s also the lead in an upcoming Amazon series. Did you have a commitment for him to return if the show had returned for a season 5?
MM: No, but I could get him. He loved coming there, he had a ball. I had a whole plan on how to do it so we could work it out with salaries and everything, budget-wise.

Jeffrey is a great guy, he loved being on the show. He wouldn’t have been on every episode, but he’d come and go, and he’d do his other things when he had to. He’s [also] the Sabra hummus man now.

There was no deal in place with him, but I said, “I’m going to try and get you in for more.” And he said, “Great.” He’s a great guy. He’s an actor who loves to work.

How much of a potential season 5 did you have shaped out, or was it just the bare bones we saw in the finale?
MM: Basically for season 5, there were some things we wanted to do in terms of the girls getting bigger and wanting to do more; there are things that happens when a child turns five with school that we wanted to explore. But we hadn’t started breaking any stories — you don’t break stories for a season until they order it. But there was stuff we didn’t quite get to this year that we thought, “Eh, in another year, she’ll be able to do stuff like that.” We always have some stuff going.

But there was nothing [huge planned] except we would have Jeffrey. And he and Cloris[Leachman’s characters] hated each other, so having them in a house together would be a fun thing.

As you were prepping this potential series finale, did you reach out to RAISING HOPE creator Greg Garcia to see if there was anything he wanted to make sure to put in that episode?
MM: I did reach out and say, “Is there anything you want to do?” And then I told him where I was going with it.

I see him every weekend — our sons play hockey together — obviously, I’ve known him for such a long time, and we’re such good friends. So every week, when I see him, we talk about what I did that week, what he did that week. I’d throw off some ideas for his show, and he’d tell me what he thought about what we’re doing. Nothing ever formal.

And when I did do the first cut [of the series finale], he brought the idea to see if I could try to get the footage of Martha [Plimpton (Virginia)] singing from the original pilot in, and I thought that was a great idea, so I went back into editing and did that as I was working through my final edit. And that came from a conversation we had, and it was probably his idea. Little things like that, but he really gave me free rein to live or die on my own, and he was always there. Because we talk every week, I’m sure little things seeped in from things he and I would have discussions about.

The flashbacks of Martha singing Kenny Loggins in the pilot juxtaposed with the real Kenny singing for them in the present were really great. Was Kenny always your first choice for the wedding singer?
MM: We had the idea for this episode all laid out, and we had thought of another person who would be in that book of hers for that ideal wedding act, and we tried to get him and he was going to be in Africa, or some other part of the world performing. So we couldn’t get him, and we thought it would be a fun one, and a fun thing to see people doing the song…and the original idea to have that part of the show came with the original person.

So that was one where I was panicking all weekend, it occurred to me, “Hey, if Kenny Loggins is available, it ties back to our pilot nicely and it gives us that.” So Monday morning, I inquired if Kenny was available, and he was, and I talked with him on the phone that week, and he was in.

What did you think of the RAISING HOPE finale?


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5 Responses to “RAISING HOPE Series Finale: Mike Mariano on the Ending, Kenny Loggins, and More”

  1. Thomas on April 9th, 2014 2:19 pm

    I love Raising Hope. I thought the last season was easily the worst but the finale was great. I hope to see Garret Dillahunt and Martha Plimpton on TV again soon.

  2. Barbara Walker on April 9th, 2014 2:36 pm

    I loved it…it made me almost cry…I will really miss the Chance family ! Still cannot believe it us the end!

  3. Rick Foley on April 10th, 2014 1:30 am

    Thanks for a funny show that took my mind off the 5 different careers I’ve attempted since being laid off back in 2010. I’m ready to start doing lawn care and if I didn’t live in a drought prone area, er high desert, I’d be well on my way. There were slow seasons but the last 5 episodes were among the best. You appreciate it more when you know it won’t be around much longer.

  4. Cathy on April 11th, 2014 1:00 am

    I really enjoyed this series. The humor was genius. The plots were creative. Even the sign-off screens were creative.

  5. Austin Moore on April 19th, 2014 1:08 am

    I’m as upset about this as anyone and am Legitimately searching for ways to make an impact and raise a tiny possibility of renewing the 2nd best show fox has ever had especially since it’s a slow with limited time that it could be made considering the girls who pay hope will get older