Bryan Cranston is used to campaigning for an Emmy on behalf of his big acting roles on projects like “Breaking Bad” and “All the Way.” But this time, he’s hitting the circuit as a producer of Amazon’s “Sneaky Pete,” and not even entering himself as an actor (even though he’s in every episode).
Cranston helped create and executive produce the show, which stars Giovanni Ribisi as a recently released convict who, in order to avoid his past life, adopts the identity of his cell mate. “Sneaky Pete” was originally inspired by an Emmy acceptance speech that Cranston made, and underwent several changes during the development process. Originally set up at CBS, it wound up at Amazon. Original co-creator David Shore eventually left the show, replaced by Graham Yost. Cranston’s role, as the menacing Vince, was also greatly expanded.
With strong reviews, Amazon quickly picked up a second season of the show, soon after its January launch. IndieWire’s TURN IT ON spoke with Cranston about “Sneaky Pete” and several other projects percolating at his company, Moon Shot Entertainment.
Cranston’s Moon Shot is behind the animated series “Supermansion,” set up at Crackle and Adult Swim, and is also producing the anthology series “Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams,” in production this summer for Amazon. Also at Amazon: Cranston and writer Greg Mottola are turning the best-selling “The Dangerous Book for Boys” into a comedy/adventure series.
The show was originally developed at NBC, but the Peacock network ultimately passed. Now it’s being reimagined as a family-friendly Amazon show. The logline: Three young boys discover a guide to living written by their late father.
“There is no plot and there are no characters in the book,” Cranston said. “It’s a guide to how to embrace boyhood: How to build a fort, how to talk to a girl, what are the rules in baseball, what are the great battles in history. But there is no show. I was in Boston [performing ‘All the Way’] and running along the Charles River when all of a sudden it popped into my head how to crack this story!”
Coincidentally, Cranston’s “Breaking Bad” co-star Anna Gunn first gave him a copy of the book. “She said, ‘this reminds me of you!’ So I was very familiar with it, I do go through it a lot.”
The show idea, he said, “is sweet and funny and honest. It’s not crude, there’s no innuendo, it’s truly for the family.”
IndieWire’s “TURN IT ON with Michael Schneider” is a weekly dive into what’s new and what’s now in TV – no matter what you’re watching or where you’re watching it. With an enormous amount of choices overwhelming even the most sophisticated viewer, “TURN IT ON” is a must-listen for TV fans looking to make sense of what to watch and where to watch it.