Better Off Ted is about to start airing in the UK. How would you describe the show?
“It's a pretty comedic look at the corporate greed that exists in both [the US and UK]. My character is the moral compass of the show. He's trying to navigate his way through this greed but also trying to take the high road as much as possible.”
What sort of character is Ted?
“He's a single dad. I guess ultimately it's his daughter who is the moral compass of the show – he lives his life through her and tries to do right by her.”
How did you feel when you found out that ABC were cancelling the show after two seasons?
“I was disappointed [but] I wasn't surprised, based on the lack of marketing that had gone into it. Even up until... when the Emmy nominations came out for this year, we were talked about. It's too bad.”
Were you disappointed by the lack of Emmy recognition as well?
“No, not at all. Had that happened it would have been an off-the-charts miracle. Just the fact that critics were speaking of us was really lovely. There was certainly no disappointment in that area.”
The style of the show has been compared to Arrested Development. Why do you think both shows were popular with critics but struggled to find a large audience?
“I don't know. The sensibility of the comedy is similar, I think. It's long-form, it's not quick 'Gotcha!' jokes. You had to pay attention because there were jokes at the end of an episode that would call back something from earlier in that episode.”
Do you think audiences struggle with that kind of humour?
“Yeah, a little bit. I think it also goes back to being marketed properly because if people know that you're on and [are reminded] consistently, then they'll tune in eventually. Early on, the show was interrupted a few different times, once by the President's State of the Union speech and once by American Idol. We were kind of up against it, which is unfortunate.”
What will you miss most about working on the show?
“The Monday table-reads where you got to hear the next week's episode. The cast and crew really got a kick out of each other. It was a fun show to work on and the scripts were so good.”
You've made some notable guest appearances in shows like Private Practice and Desperate Housewives. Are there any other series out there that you would love to appear in?
“Yeah, Mad Men - just so I can smoke and wear cool clothes! I'm a big fan of 30 Rock too. And American Idol - I want to get in the top 10!”
What's next for you now that Better Off Ted is over?
“I'm here [in the UK] for about a week. I have a couple of meetings with producers in the West End. I would love to have the opportunity to do a play. This show kind of took it out of me! But vacation time is wrapping up and now shows are getting back to work, so I'll see what's available. I'd love to do something a little different than Ted."
We spoke recently to Taye Diggs who told us he's got his own series in development and that he's interested in working with you. Would you like to do that?
“I know that project and it's a little way away, but yeah, absolutely. To have him as my boss? I could show up late for work! That's a little further down the line, but it's certainly something [I'm interested in].”
Better Off Ted begins on FX on July 27 at 9pm.