PASADENA, Calif. – Zach Braff is ready to make his return to network TV in a big way, this time with a family-friendly show titled “Alex, Inc.” based on the story behind the “Startup” podcast.
Braff plays Alex Schuman, inspired by podcast creator Alex Blumberg. Braff, 42, said it was time to be at the helm of a family-oriented show after his sex-filled iconic series “Scrubs.”
He worked on the series alongside his former “Scrubs” executive producer Matt Tarses.
“I think it’s more of a family show than ‘Scrubs.’ You know, ‘Scrubs’ was pretty risqué,” Braff told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour. “Matt [Tarses] was saying his teenage son is watching it – he can’t believe how much sex there was on the show. And we’re not doing that.”
The show follows a family that is grappling with the father’s recent decision to quit his job in the hopes of launching a successful podcast. Tiya Sircar plays Braff’s wife and Elisha Henig and Audyssie James play their children.
Braff said he came up with the idea for the show after listening to Blumberg’s successful podcast.
“This one came up and I thought ‘Oh my God, I love this.’ And I loved the idea of doing something that… parents can watch with their kids. This was so entertaining to me and I thought this feels like a show like ‘Blackish’ or ‘Modern Family’ that a parent can enjoy and the kid can enjoy and they can all watch together.”
The show will air on the earlier side of ABC’s lineup, a plus in Braff’s eyes.
“We’re so happy they gave us the 8:30 time slot because it really is something that an 8-year-old can watch, but a parent is not going to roll their eyes. The parents will hopefully love it too,” he said.
Braff is hoping the loyal audience that loved watching his antics on “Scrubs” for nine seasons might just tune in.
“We want a show that parents aren’t going to cringe and go ‘Oh my God earmuffs, kids.’ So it is different tonally in that way. I am hoping that a lot of people who grew up with ‘Scrubs’ who are now parents themselves will love the tone,” he explained.
Taping the show was a challenge, he said, thanks to all the post-production work he was involved in.
“When I commit to something I go all in. This, for example, was harder than anything I’ve ever done… This became 100 percent of my life because it demanded more,” he said.
Like his character, Braff jumped into “Alex, Inc.” He said he can relate to the way Blumberg risked everything for a project he believed in.
“I think ‘Garden State,’ you know, I’d never made a movie before, and everyone had passed on it,” he recalled. “And I said, ‘I’m going to write, direct and star in this movie even though everyone in this town has passed on it. I’m going to get it made no matter what.’ That’s something I really can relate to.”
“Alex, Inc.” premieres on ABC on March 28.