One Way Adam Ruins Everything Almost Ruined Itself

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When it comes to making television as much of an informational medium as possible, truTV's info-heavy hit Adam Ruins Everything is an obvious standout, with episodes chock-ful of useful facts and surprising debunkings of common beliefs. CinemaBlend spoke with creator and host Adam Conover about Season 2 of Adam Ruins Everything -- which premieres this week -- and he explained how he almost ruined everything right from the get-go, so to speak, by going way too far and making everything way more complicated than it needed to be.

Our show is so effortful. It really is. And this is my mistake -- I don't mean to say a job's a mistake -- but it was my first TV show. I wanted it to be good in every possible way. We threw the kitchen sink into the pilot, and t was like, 'Holy crap, now we gotta make more than a dozen a year.' Every one of our episodes covers three different topics. It's incredibly information dense. We've got so many facts that we pack into a six or seven minute act. Every segment is on a different locations. There's a character with a story that I'm following throughout the episode. There's experts. And then it has to be edited, every single show that we do. . . . One episode of our show takes four 12-hour shooting days. So it takes us 48 hours to shoot one episode of the show, and that's just to shoot it. We spend 3 or 4 months writing it. And then we spend a month and a half editing it and doing visual effects. So we're doing talk show comedy in a really complicated single camera format.

Hey, I don't think anybody is going to blame Adam Conover for wanting to make his show TOO successful in its approach, except for perhaps all the people involved with busting their ass to create that pilot episode. (But then most of them, if not all, probably still work on the show, so it was temporary blame if anything.) Plus, even though he might have come close to setting Adam Ruins Everything up to collapse beneath its own monumental efforts, everyone persevered, and the finished product looks like something that took several years to perfect.

Not that the concept itself was completely thrown together while making the pilot. Before making the jump to truTV, Adam Conover formulated the central idea for Adam Ruins Everything during his years at CollegeHumor, and it's completely understandable that he would want to up the ante when bringing the project to TV. A bigger budget never hurt anybody. At least when we're talking about a relatively small scale, and not blockbuster movie-sized budgets.

Don't go thinking that Adam Conover has any regrets about the way Adam Ruins Everything came into being, either. Here's what else he told me.

I'm very, very happy with the show, and I'm not saying I would have done it differently. But if it hadn't been my first show, or if I had known what I was getting into, you know? [laughs] But because that's how our show is made, that's why it doesn't look like any other show on television, and why we're so proud of it.

Indeed. It's already hard to find info-tainment shows like this that play up the entertainment value as much as the learning, while also maintaining that the learning be as fact-checked as possible. (The show posts its citations on the screen during the segments, already quieting the "Fake News" crowd before that chant came into being.) As well, half-hour shows are a better fit for opinions than facts, outside of Jeopardy! and truTV's own Hack My Life. But Adam Ruins Everything is jamming an hour's worth of show into a tighter packaging, and he's absolutely right that it's a singular oasis that looks like nothing else in either the scripted or unscripted worlds. Hard work pays off, everyone, and there's no debunking that.

Adam Ruins Everything Season 2 premieres on truTV on Tuesday, July 11, at 9:00 p.m. CT, and he'll be taking on all kinds of great topics this year, such as hospitals, binged weight loss, having babies and more. To see when all the other new and returning shows will hit the small screen without Adam Conover's presence -- such as truTV's other big premiere this week, Andrea Savage's I'm Sorry -- head to our summer TV premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.