‘On Becoming a God in Central Florida’ Team on Exploring How the ‘American Dream is Really Rigged’

Variety | 8/23/2019 | Danielle Turchiano
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Like its protagonist, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” is something of an underdog.

The journey to bring it to the public was one full of ups and downs. Originally developed for AMC, the show ended up sold to YouTube Premium. During the process, head of TriStar Television Suzanne Patmore Gibbs, who was instrumental in developing the show, unexpectedly passed away (in March 2018), while series star and executive producer Kirsten Dunst got pregnant and had her son (in May 2018). There were murmurings that it would launch on YouTube earlier this year, but it never materialized there, and then in June, Showtime announced it had acquired the 10-episode one-hour series. From there, it was a fast turn-around to get the show ready to launch on the premium cabler in August. Although the show has a linear premiere date of Aug. 25, true to form for the network, it dropped the first two episodes early for sampling over the weekend of Aug. 16.

Kirsten - Dunst - Acting - Through - Braces

Kirsten Dunst On Acting Through Braces 'On Becoming a God in Central Florida'

The series was created by Robert Funke and Matt Lutsky, and it also counts George Clooney and Grant Heslov among its executive producers. But Gibbs felt strongly that the show could use a female voice behind-the-scenes, so Esta Spalding, whose previous credits include “Battle Creek” and “Masters of Sex,” had a deal at Sony and was brought in to meet the guys.

Meetings - Sensibility - Spalding

“We just really, really hit it off in those first meetings; we had the same sensibility,” Spalding says.

The pilot had already been written when Spalding became attached as showrunner, and she says she gravitated towards the story because she felt a personal connect to the character of Krystal (played by Kirsten Dunst). Starting the show as a stressed-out young mother with adult braces and a...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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