It’s a hard-knock life out there for scripted TV shows these days. With increasing pressure from unscripted shows, video games, the Internet and the economy, getting and especially keeping a show on the air is not only a creative but a financial challenge.
But every now and then, the stars align, and you get just what you want.
For Callie Thorne of USA’s sports-psychologist dramedy “Necessary Roughness,” which began its third season in June, that’s a huge, colorful new office set, boasting funky modern furnishings and shiny white floors that reflect light back into the face.
It’s home to V3 (short for Caesar’s famous declaration “Veni, vidi, vici” — “I came, I saw, I conquered”), the New York City sports agency/global marketing firm that has just hired her character, Dr. Dani Santino.
“I call it the magic castle,” she tells Zap2it in the show’s Atlanta production offices during a break in filming. “There are so many different rooms and areas to shoot in. Starting the seventh episode, I don’t even think we’ve actually used every piece of this set yet. Because, all of a sudden, we’ll be doing a scene, and I’ll be, like, ‘Where’d this come from?’
“But I love the way it’s set up. To me, it looks like an agency could move in and use it, because everything is so intricate and well thought-out. I also like the fact that it’s so bright, and the floors are so white. I call it my own private bounce card, because it’s white and bright.
“All of a sudden, when we go to shoot in Dr. Dani’s house, we have to bring the white bounce card and carry it around. I also think it sets up the spirit of Connor and V3. It’s a bright, shiny object. It’s seductive in how sparkly it is, and yet there’s something underneath that they can’t quite figure out, because it’s so pretty.”
“Connor” is Connor McClane (John Stamos), the charming, enigmatic owner of V3.
“My friend (Paramount CEO) Brad Grey,” says Stamos, “I look to him to play the good part of Connor McClane. Brad’s always in control. When there’s chaos around him, he just becomes calmer and cooler. He takes care of business.”
CEO Connor’s opposite number at V3 is his CFO, Troy Cutler (David Anders), who does the sorts of things that let his boss keep looking cool and charming.
“It does play out to be a good cop/bad cop in scenarios at times,” says Stamos. “He always has the end game. It’s very smart, this writing. Even when I’m reading, I wonder how he’s going to get out. ‘Here’s where they’re going to show I’m a villain.’ Nope, I work my way out of it.”
As to whether Troy does the dirty work, Stamos says, “Again, in Connor’s mind, a lot of the stuff isn’t dirty. You’re going to find out some of the things he may not even know. He puts buffers up with this David character. He’s going to have an out, ‘He did that.’ I just walk around and smile.”
Meanwhile, one of the show’s other regular characters, New York Hawks football player Terrence “TK” King (Mehcad Brooks) — who follows therapist Dani to become a V3 client — is embarking on a new venture of his own. The longtime ladies’ man may finally be settling down.
Kate Miner appears in the recurring role of model Sheera Kane, who captures TK’s eye.
“We meet because of V3,” says Brooks, “because we’re in the same branding agency. So, there’s some love in the air, and there’s some sex in the bed. It becomes complicated, as all relationships do, but it definitely starts off as a wonderful thing, and the love blossoms.
“There was a lot of chemistry between Kate and I, and we just clicked. We have a lot in common in person. We went to the same college and knew some of the same people. It’s just weird.”
Brooks is also enjoying working with Stamos.
“Oh, he’s amazing. He’s like a long-lost brother or something. It’s crazy. He and I just find things in scenes that aren’t on the page all the time. They started writing for our relationship as well, because it’s this really cool chemistry.
“We just play off each other. We’re both kind of lounge lizards trapped in a different era, so it’s fun. It’s just a lot of fun. I’m Sammy; he’s Frankie; Callie’s Dean.”
But with TK in the halls of V3 and elsewhere more, Brooks sure doesn’t miss wearing those football pads all the time.
“Those things are not as light as they look,” he says. “They’re pretty heavy. It’s summertime, 110 degrees in the shade, and it’s just crazy. I don’t miss those at all. Not at all.
“I prefer my hot-pink shirt and my bling.”