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Pop TV’s Hot Date is the latest web series to successfully make the leap to television — and EW has your first look at the new romantic comedy.
Executive-produced by Will Arnett, the sketch comedy series — based on the CollegeHumor series of the same name – explores the idiosyncrasies of relationships and dating. Real-life husband-and-wife duo Emily Axford and Brian K. Murphy (a.k.a. Murph) star as heightened versions of themselves, as they did on the web series.
“We try to come up with some kind of relatable nugget from relationship life and play that out with Murph and Emily,” Axford tells EW. For example, viewers can expect an episode about the tension that arises from one of them being sick. “I think one of the reasons we found an audience at CollegeHumor was that we would sort of do relationship humor that felt less like complaining about the relationship and more making fun of the nuances of sharing a life with someone.”
As seen in some of the first look images below, the fictionalized versions of Murph and Emily are… a mess. “We get beat up quite a bit,” says Murphy. “Emily takes a real hard fall at one point and I have to carry her into the club.”
But the series isn’t just about Murph and Emily’s adventures in a long-term relationship. Along the way, this duo will also play several supporting characters whose love lives receive some attention, too, ranging from a teenage couple to new parents.
“We like to use the characters who aren’t Murph and Emily to tell all of the dating, first date, hooking up kinds of stories,” says Axford.
Being able to play multiple characters is one of the benefits of bringing the show to television, where they have a bigger budget, which means they can afford wigs and different costumes. In one recent scene they shot, Murphy was responsible for playing both an Uber driver and another character Axford was trying to take care of in the backseat; he used the time when they were shooting Axford’s parts to make his costume changes.
“It’s been crazy to shoot,” he says. “There’s a been a ton of wardrobe changes and wigs changes.” Adds Axford, “Never a dull moment.”
With BoJack Horseman, Flaked, and the upcoming season of Arrested Development, Arnett is a busy guy; however, he has still made time to check in with the team and even guest-star.
“He’s been tremendously advantageous to us,” says executive producer Luke Kelly-Clyne. “The guy’s still been watching dailies, sending emails saying, ‘These looks great,’ and giving little tips and hints as to make things better, and also he has been helpful in getting some celebrity buds to come on and guest-star, too.”
Says Kelly-Clyne, “The last thing he said on our last lunch in L.A. before we took off for Chicago was, in his classic raspy Will way: ‘Just kill out there. Have a lot of fun,’ which was great and almost a huge amount of pressure as we got on the plane. Hopefully, we’re meeting his expectations.”
Hot Date premieres Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. ET on Pop TV.