This is my final post for the amazing press event I covered for A Wrinkle in Time in LA! Today’s exclusive interview is with Zach Braff, Tiya Sircar, and Matt Tarses from the new comedy Alex Inc appearing tonight on ABC TV Network.
I was invited as media to cover this event. All opinions are my own.
Alex Inc Interview
Zach Braff teams up with his “Scrubs” writer, Matt Tarses for a new comedy series for the entire family. Zach shared how he came up with the idea because of a producer friend who turned him onto the Startup podcast. He found himself fascinated by the podcast after just two episodes and thought “what a great idea for a TV show!” They specifically focused on a comedy series that was family friendly because they don’t feel like there’s enough of that on TV, and they knew ABC was the right network due to their huge success with Blackish.
Tiya was the perfect actress for the multicultural family they wanted to incorporate into the show. Zach and the writers invited her parents into the office so they could pull inspiration from their Indian history and culture – providing viewers a more diverse show to learn from. Zach shared, “Her parents were so entertaining. I mean they’re very interesting people.” Adding, “I had never seen a woman speak in Bengali and then end it with y’all. [LAUGHS] And I was like if that is not America….I want that in our show!” Tiya’s parents are Indian immigrants who moved to Texas. Matt said, “Tiya’s been a real guide for us.”
Tiya shared, “It’s exciting to me because growing up there was no one that looked like me on television. So, and now there is, you know, Master of None, Mindy Project, and so on and so forth. If I were a kid watching that I would have been so excited. And I just feel like privileged to get to be a part of this change that’s happening.”
We asked Zach and Tiya about the two child actors on the show and their connection with them. Zach shared, “As you see more episodes you’ll see that the kids are truly special. I have this joke with Matt, because — I don’t know if you know this — but Family Ties was intended to be a vehicle for Meredith Baxter Birney, and Michael J. Fox completely stole the show. And I’m like that kid is gonna Michael J. Fox me. [LAUGHS] I’m gonna be a supporting character in the show.”
Several of the episodic stories come from real life experiences either by Tiya’s family history or even the dynamic between Zach and the kids on set. Matt shared, “there is this funny thing where Elisha, the kid who plays the boy, is so good at everything, and it kinda bothers Zach.” Tiya chimes in “in real life.” Matt adds, “Like, he picks up a guitar and he can do this stuff. There’s a funny episode where he wants to score the podcast. And so, he’s combing around trying to get the job, and it’s really bothering [Zach’s character] how good he is at it. And the key is to make sure we know he loves him still.”
Alex Inc puts a light on the role reversal of a dad who’s home but experimenting with this new endeavor and a working mom, and how the family has to adapt. Tiya adds, “I just love that it’s flipped on its head a little bit and it’s not like the normal familial dynamic that we generally see on network television.”
The interview was so much fun. Zach was just as funny in person, and Tiya was a delight to learn more about. If you’re looking for a great show you can watch as a family, Alex Inc is it!
More about Alex Inc:
Alex, Inc. – Based on the podcast StartUp, Alex Schuman (Zach Braff, “Scrubs”) is a brilliant radio journalist, husband and father of two who is about to do something crazy – quit his job and start his own company. He quickly discovers it’s going to be a lot harder than he thought. Zach Braff stars, directs and is executive producer with Matt Tarses (“Scrubs”) and Davis Entertainment (“Dr. Ken,” “Blacklist”).
The newest addition to ABC’s outstanding Wednesday night comedy line-up, “Alex, Inc.” premieres on Wednesday, March 28th at 8:30/7:30c. Check out the trailer here.