Yesterday we all gathered around to watch an assembly of an entire episode for the first time. It was exhilarating and enjoyable (we're two-thirds animated, I'd estimate!), but it also raised some questions.
For those who know the British series via BBC America, you might not have realized that it was originally aired as 8 minute segments. As such, the issue of packaging the show as a standard 22 minute American sitcom is a new challenge. There are no act breaks in Creature Comforts. No "gasp! They put a pacemaker in Sawyer that's going to make his heart explode!" moments that make you want to rush back to the TV after the commercials. Also, with each theme segment running around 8-10 minutes, we have shorter bits to round out the show. So the question is...how do you structure the darned thing? Theme 1, Themelet, Theme 2? Theme 1, Theme 2, Themelet? How do we let you know we're going to commercial? How do we let you know we're back?
Being something entirely different than anything in the primetime landscape is a tremendous advantage, in a way. But it also means putting a square peg in a round hole. In the end, the concept has to stand on its own. Regardless, you want to make everything as polished as possible. As we're nearing the end of production, this is probably the biggest (and neatest) obstacle we're presented with.