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Steve Carell Says ANGIE TRIBECA Is Like “Catching Lightning in a Bottle”

You’ve never seen a procedural like this before. Steve Carell, aka the King of Comedy, is stepping behind the camera for TBS’ new show Angie Tribeca, and it’s the perfect definition of the TBS slogan, “Very funny.” The first-ever police procedural on the network is so ridiculously silly, it’s bringing new meaning to satire.

“It’s such a specific tone and I think walking the line is the perfect way to put it,” Carell said at the 2016 TCA Winter Press Tour. “It is broad but in broadness, there are all sorts of rules. It’s always changing. It’s a moment-by-moment decision you have to make. The whole idea is that none of these characters know they’re in a comedy and we start from that… It’s catching lightning in a bottle. You hope it works. Get Smart is definitely influential in this sort of tone. It’s tricky and it’s incredibly silly, while at the same time, a ton of thought goes into it.”

And according to Carell, the idea for the show (starring Rashida Jones as the titular Angie) came from just the name of the main character.

“It specifically came through the name Angie Tribeca, the name made us laugh,” Carell said. “[My wife Nancy and I] built the character based on the name and it expanded over time. We created this world of who this detective would be. We were just making each other laugh riffing on this name.”

Angie Tribeca follows a squad of committed LAPD detectives who investigate the most serious cases, from the murder of a ventriloquist to a rash of baker suicides. The titular Angie Tribeca (Jones) is a lone-wolf detective who is none too happy when partnered with J. Geils (Hayes MacArthur) by the squad’s apoplectic captain (Jere Burns). Helping solve each complex case are detective Danny Tanner (Deon Cole), Dr. Monica Scholls (Andrée Vermeulen), the quirky, bespectacled medical examiner, and Hoffman (Jagger), Tanner’s K9 German Shepard partner. And yes, there’s a real dog on the cast.

Angie Tribeca

“The difficulties involved getting the dog to do anything,” Carell said of Jagger’s acting abilities. “You never know. The dog doesn’t know he’s an actor. Jagger is great, a fantastic actor in his own right. But when I was directing the pilot, there’s one scene where all he has to do is run around the desk and get into a chair [laughs] and he didn’t feel like doing that.”

But when it comes to the show’s star, Carell credits all of the show’s success to Jones.

“It’s all Rashida,” Carell said. “She makes it look so effortless. She gives it depth in a strange way amidst all this absurdity and silliness. In my mind, that’s the lynchpin for the entire show, her ability to do this character.”

Carell’s wife Nancy, who is executive producing Angie Tribeca, also appears onscreen in at least one episode.

“I am in the pilot. I play the mayor’s wife, very memorably,” she said with a laugh. “That was a lot of fun to do but it wasn’t anything I planned to do. I didn’t want to write myself into my own show.”

But when Steve was asked if he’d ever appear on the show, he laughed. “The only part I’m interested in playing is the mayor’s wife,” he said. “So if that opens up at any point … ”

As for the network’s plan to roll out all 10 episodes at once in a giant binge-a-thon, the entire cast is excited about premiering their show in a completely new way.

“25 hours is the average length of a pot brownie, right?” MacArthur joked.

Jones added seriously, “I think the show lends itself to that kind of watching. It’s a procedural so the story starts over in each episode. There’s wall-to-wall jokes in every episode. If you like that, you’re going to want more of that.”

It was also announced today that as part of the network’s 25-hour marathon kicking off the show, TBS will hold an all-day, all-night launch party packed with stars from Angie Tribeca and other TBS shows, along with special guests, surprise appearances, music, comedy and more. Binge-A-Thon: 25 Hours of Commercial-Free Angie Tribeca Episodes Plus Comedy with the Cast and Friends in Studio LIVE!, sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts, Redd’s Apple Ale and Intuit TurboTax, will air in segments between episodes throughout the entire launch marathon.

Image: TBS

The 25 hour binge-a-thon of Angie Tribeca featuring all 10 episodes of the first season premieres Sunday, January 17 at 9 p.m. on TBS.

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