By Rick Bentley
LOS ANGELES — ABC is taking another stab at finding an animated series for its prime-time lineup with “The Goode Family.” The new series, which debuted last week, is from Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky, the guys behind the Fox series “King of the Hill.” It airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday.
The lead characters, Gerald and Helen Goode, are determined to wipe out their carbon footprint on the planet.
Their efforts range from going vegan to almost obsessive recycling. But their best intentions don’t always work out the way they planned.
The series’ creators talked about the new show with television critics in January at the Universal Hilton Hotel:
Q. Is this show all about poking fun at the green movement?
JOHN ALTSCHULER: It’s not about knocking it down. The idea for the show came from us all having these similar experiences where we’re trying so hard to be good, and they keep changing the playing field. One of the epiphanies was the paper-or-plastic debate. Then I got a reusable bag, and I looked in it. It was made in China.
Q. How is this show different from most sitcoms, other than being animated?
JA: There’s a sad thing happening in sitcoms where the vast bulk of them are horny guys, horny guys who have a kid, horny guys who live next to a bimbo, horny guys who are married.
Well, this is actually a show about something. And ABC embraced that. So we think that’s what’s going to make it stand out. And then also the horny guys.
Q. Will it be easier to make a mark on ABC since it doesn’t have any prime-time animated shows?
MIKE JUDGE: We were thinking it might be easier to get noticed for that reason. It seems like people don’t just say, “I feel like watching an animated show.” I think they see something they like, and something grabs them, the characters, whether it’s animated or not.
I think this show, maybe not as much as “King of the Hill,” but it is kind of like a live-action show. It’s not like talking animals or anything. I don’t think it’s a problem that there aren’t other animated shows to pair it with.
Q. What is the neighborhood like where the Goode family lives?
DAVE KRINSKY: What we like is that they live in a very multicultural neighborhood. It’s a working-class neighborhood. (There’s) Ray, their black neighbor. And there’s a Samoan family that lives across the street.
But all these neighbors kind of defy their expectations. They’re happy that they live in kind of a model U.N. community, but Ray is basically a NASCAR fan and black redneck.
The Samoans, who they think are going to be so culturally unique in their Samoan ways, just watch football on weekends and order pizza. So the Goodes are so disappointed when their neighbors aren’t that image that they hold these people in.