As television viewers have witnessed, the medium is in a constant state of evolution. Taking another brave step into that ever-evolving future is Disney Channel. The cabler has greenlit a series that is one-part scripted series, and other-part improvisational comedy. Here is what you need to know, including how it works.
The new series is titled Just Roll With It, and it will take that title to heart. That is because the multi-camera sitcom will let its studio audience decide what happens next. How will this work?
At the sound of a horn, the actors will break from the scene their filming to go backstage. This will give the studio audience time to then electronically vote between three "outrageous stunts" the actors will have to perform. After the vote is final, the actors will come out and do it. The stakes are high.
One of the stunts is one of the actors having to eat a burrito filled with sardines, grasshopper, and ice cream. Another one involves a man falling through the roof of the family house. So, this is a decision the audience will have to take seriously. Now to the premise that fuels the series.
The show revolves around the Bennett-Blatt family, which includes step-siblings Owen and Blair, and their parents Byron and Rachel. Ramon Reed's Owen is an organized athlete, who likes schedules. Kaylin Hayman's Blair is a "rebel without a cause." Owen's dad, Tobie Windham's Byron, is a creative and charismatic morning radio show host, while his wife and Blair's mom, Suzi Barrett's Rachel, is former military.
Regardless of their differing personalities, the family pulls together by working through whatever comes. Hence, they "just roll with it." As will the actors, who will have to deal with the outcome the audience decides regarding the stunts they will have to do. This idea will uniquely break the fourth wall.
It sounds like the show will be your classic family sitcom meets Nickelodeon's Double Dare. Another aspect that makes this show interesting is that it comes after some similar news. A few weeks ago, word spread that Netflix was planning some shows that would allow viewers to choose how their storylines unfolded. With both Netflix and Disney moving forward with comparable ideas, it seems like a sign for the future.
Is this the new direction television is going? And will it be popular enough to sustain a trend? With a live studio audience making the decision, viewers can watch comfortably knowing the choice is out of their hands. Just Roll With It comes from co-showrunners Adam Small and Trevor Moore of Disney XD's Walk the Prank.
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Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.