The prolific Jane Espenson took time out of her busy Comic-Con schedule to talk with Whedonverse about her upcoming online series, Husbands, along with her latest television work. Husbands is a first on many levels: a new web venture for Espenson, and “first marriage equality comedy.” The idea for the project got its start with her friend Brad “Cheeks” Bell who co-wrote the script with Espenson.
According to Cheeks, he approached Espenson with a comedy pilot that was initially a Will & Grace type of story, which over discussions evolved into a classic sit-com scenario ala I Love Lucy, but with a twist: a romantic comedy that’s “Mad About You with two guys.”
Together, they polished the script, including holding table-readings with sitcom writers, until Epsenson says, they ended up with a “script that is so sharp… [that] is so ready for television, but television is not ready for it.”
In addition to Cheeks, the cast is rounded out by actors Sean Hemeon and Caprica-star Alessandra Torresani.
The production will be self-producing and financed for the web, spanning eleven two-minute episodes, which when complete, will be available as a standard 22-minute pilot. By putting it online, says Cheeks, they can prove “this works… there’s a demand for this.” According to the site’s blog, the first footage was in the can as of July 30.
Espenson notes that the final version will launch during the same period as when TV series premiere, and be ready by September.
To catch the series as it develops, check out: HusbandsTheSeries.com
See our full interview below — and Espenson’s discussion of how she got advice from Joss Whedon and Felicia Day on producing for the Web:
Update, August 4: And check out the third part of our interview with Jane Espenson, in which she discusses her recent and upcoming television projects, plus reveals why she’s sticking to working on TV over film!