ABC’s upcoming midseason series “Mistresses” had two messages to deliver to the press at the TCA 2013 Winter Press Tour: The show will be different from its BBC inspiration and it will be sexy. Very sexy.
“Tonally the show is different from the BBC version,” star Alyssa Milano says. “There’s a lightness and a fun to what we try to do that’s different.”
“The BBC format happened at a much slower pace,” executive producer Rina Mimoun (“Everwood”) adds. “We took a lot of what they had and front-loaded our show with that. We had to run in a whole other direction because we had to make a lot more episodes.”
Executive producer Bob Sertner (“Revenge”) explains the decision to deviate from the original series was only logical: “We always said from the very beginning a show like this wouldn’t be very fun to watch if you could go online and find out where it was heading.”
Just like the British original, the American “Mistresses” will follow four longtime female friends each facing their own romantic crisis. And, as usual on soap operas, that means a lot of network-TV-friendly sex.
“For my scenes mostly the guys are naked,” Milano deadpans. “I had just given birth when we shot the pilot. I was still breastfeeding, in between takes every two hours I would go into my dressing room and pump.”
Co-star Jason George (“Grey’s Anatomy”), who plays the man Milano’s married character has a fling and starts to fall in love with, adds: “There are [good] things that come from pregnancy…”
As for any concerns that American audiences may be a little more uptight than Brits about the title and concept, the producers urge not to just a book by its cover. “The title is provocative,” Mimoun allows. “As soon as people starting watching it, the way the mateiral is treated it’s not glib. It’s not a bunch of ladies whoring around. It’s one mistake for each of them that has snowballed into a bigger mess.”
“I also think the title encapsulates what we’re trying to say,” executive producer K.J. Steinberg (“Gossip Girl”) adds. “At first blush it sounds salacious, but if you scratch the surface it’s about so much more than an affair or the word.”