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Twentysixmiles Interview with series creator Rob Miller

What I love about the Internet is discovering cool new things you don’t hear or see on mainstream tv. One day I discovered this cool interesting tv show called Twentysixmiles set in Catalina and features of the one things I love Music. It’s about a guy who wants to get his old band back together and his mate who comes to Catalina to be nearer his kids after he and his wife split up. It’s a wonderful series worth watching. It stars John Schneider,Eric Lange & Daniel Quinn.  So I asked Rob Miller the creator of the series about it all. so read on and go get the DVD and the soundtrack highly recommended.

http://www.twentysixmiles.com/

1. What was the inspiration for the series?

1.  Back in 1978, there was a terrible blizzard in my hometown of
Cincinnati, OH.  And while I was trying to endure the ten straight days
of sub-zero temperatures, I became a big fan of the
"escape-to-an-island" musical style of Jimmy Buffett.  Those island
songs allowed me to escape the freezing temps and go on a holiday.  Ever
since then, I’ve had a real affinity for the music genre now called
Trop-Rock.  When you combine my love for Trop-Rock with my memories of
the Monkee’s TV show, which I enjoyed as a junior high student, and you
have the inspiration for twentysixmiles.  The show’s concepts started in
my mind as a psuedo-Monkees in Margaritaville concept and evolved to
the show that it is today.

2. Why set the series in Catalina?

2. Seems like escaping weather is a theme with me.  I’ve spent the last
25 years living in the desert in Scottsdale, Arizona.  The summer
temperatures can reach 120 degrees, and most summers there are 70 to 100
consecutive days over 100 degrees.  To escape the summer heat, my
family and I started vacationing on Catalina Island.  We fell in love
with it.  Cool island breezes, small town life, and friendly people…
oh, yes, and ice cold beer and great cocktails.  We had big groups of
friends and family go to Catalina with us. It became a home away from
home.  It immediately became the island of escape for twentysixmiles.

3. How was the cast chosen for the series?

3.  Casting was a long evolution.  We started with the character of
Jack, and started out thinking very small… looking for singers who
might want to act.  After discussing this with a few directors, they
highly recommended getting an actor who could, instead of a singer who
thought he could act.  As we developed the project and began to get some
industry interest, we became convinced that we needed a big name as the
lead role.  As our team bantered around potential names of actors who
could sing, and who might be willing to work on an independent
production, the name John Schneider came up.  The more we talked, the
more we liked the idea.  Of course, John’s management team highly
recommended that he not take the part because we were a small
independent production.  But once John read the script for the pilot, he
was hooked.  Eric Lange, was a friend of the writers, and they
suggested him for Murph.  I took one look and I new he was the guy. Eric
has won an Accolade Award of Honor for his depiction of Murph in
twentysixmiles.

4. What did you learn from making the series as a first time creator and producer?

4.  I could talk for days about what I learned. At first, I got push
around by everyone, and everyone had a different opinion of the best way
to do everything.  Probably the biggest lesson was to learn to trust my
gut and make my TV show the way that I thought it should be.  I
listened to my directors, but as the production I became a much stronger
visionary and decision-maker.  

5. Do you think the Internet has played huge part in the promotion of the series?

5.  The internet has be an incredible asset to marketing the series.  We
have many thousands of fans from all over the world who love the show;
and they’ve found it via the web.  Facebook has been our first line of
promotion, and then when the series hit HULU, our fan-base exploded.  We
set HULU viewership records for original programming.  We had hundreds
of thousands views and very high percentages of complete view-thrus.  We
continue to get DVD requests from all over the US and the world.  Our
music has recently been picked-up by BeachFront radio, a web based radio
station, and now our music is exploding too.  The web has been very
good to us. 

6. Has it been hard trying to get the series to a network?

6.  It has been a huge challenge getting the series on a network.
 Hollywood network executives are not big risk takers.  That’s why
American TV has so many shows that are similar… cops procedural shows,
and lawyer shows.  And the economy over the last few years hasn’t
fostered great risk taking by anyone.  So we are taking a grassroots
approach at proving this is an audience for this type of fresh and
interesting content.  

7. How did George Segal, Jeffery Tambor & Billy Dee Williams get involved in the show?

7.  John Schneider loves this project and from the beginning was willing
to do anything he could to help.  George Segal and Jeffery Tambor are
poker buddies of John’s, so they played John’s bosses in twentysixmiles.
 Billy Dee Williams is close and long time friend of Daniel Quinn.
 Daniel plays Dirk, the drummer in the Renegade Band.  Daniel recruited
Billy and he became a very good friend of the show and of mine.  Billy’s
a wonderful, warm person, and plays an interesting role as the
mysterious messenger.

8. How did Sean Kelly involved in the music for the show as it is a important part of the show?

8.  Early in the development of the series, we realized music was one of
the most critical elements.  In fact, we recorded most of the music
before any scripts were written.  We wanted the music to set the tone
for the series.  So I shopped around Nashville and Los Angeles looking
for the right song writers and producers.  It turns out that I found
Sean right in my back yard.  Sean’s mother-in-law Connie is the pastor’s
wife at my parents church in Cincinnati, OH, and she is my mom’s best
friend; and since she was a long time resident of Nashville, I was using
her to help me find song writers to interview.  After I’d met with
several other song writers, Sean said to Connie "me, mom, what about
me?"  So Connie introduced us, and I loved it music.  He totally got
what we were trying to do. So he recruited some band mates, and they
became the back-bone of our music.

9. Did Eric Lange & Daniel Quinn know how to play music before the show or did they learn for the show?

9.  Eric and Daniel can both play their instruments.  Eric has played
piano for many years; and as a teenager,Daniel was in a competitive Drum
and Bugle team.  Both of them had to practice and adapt to playing in a
Trop-Rock band, but they both had the basic skills to pull it off.
 Daniel still practices and wants to get the band back together.  John
Schneider is an excellent guitar player.

10. Have you had much response from overseas networks?

10.  We have a few international sales pending.  One is in Italia and is
a fairly large network.  The other is in Australia, on a faith-based
network.

11. What is next for yourself and your company?

11.  My team produced a romantic comedy called "Karaoke Man" which is
very cute, quirky and funny.  It’s coming out in a few film festivals
this fall.  I’m working on a couple reality shows.  And I’m opening a
few medical clinics in the western US.

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