‘Six Feet Under’ 20th Anniversary: Cast And Crew Reunite At PaleyFest LA, Reflecting On Groundbreaking HBO Drama’s “Indelible” Legacy

The conversation then turned to the series finale, which depicted the way in which each key character would go on to die. While Poul said "it meant that we never had to worry about doing a reunion movie 20 years later," Greenblatt teased, "There's always a way to reboot something."
Later, Poul and Greenblatt reflected on the show's ascent into the upper echelon of prestige TV. Poul noted that as the show went on, it became a "talent magnet."
Hall, Lauren Ambrose, Freddy Rodríguez and Frances Conroy. The creatives joining Entertainment Weekly's Lynette Rice in conversation included creator and executive producer Alan Ball and EPs Robert Greenblatt, David Janollari and Alan Poul, along with cast members Peter Krause, Rachel Griffiths, Michael C.
"People wanted to just be in that room." "We had people calling us saying, ‘Put me on.’ Or the other thing was, ‘I’ll play a dead body,'" added Greenblatt.
"It was amazing, our first table read. "There was something magic about the script. It felt like I was meeting my family from a parallel universe, and it still does." Like Six Feet Under's EPs, each cast member had treasured memories to share of the show's early days—so much so, that they repeatedly choked up during the Zoom conversation. There was something magic about every bit of the process," said Hall.
During a virtual PaleyFest LA panel that aired Tuesday, the cast and crew of Six Feet Under reunited for the first time in 15 years, sharing fond recollections of their time on the show, and their thoughts on its legacy.
Over the course of its five seasons, the show won three Golden Globes and nine Emmys, among many other accolades. Debuting in June of 2001, Six Feet Under centered on the Fishers, a dysfunctional Los Angeles family running an independent funeral home.
Poul later got specific, saying that the show was ABC sitcom Oh, Grow Up—which was canceled in 1999, after its first season aired.
"Sopranos was on the air, and Sex and the City, and The Wire, and some of the greatest shows in the history of that network. For the series' entire team, working with HBO in the early 2000s could not have been a bigger opportunity. I think it was and still is, in many ways," said Greenblatt. "HBO was the greatest. We were so honored to join that lineup."
"It’s incredible how unique this show was," Krause noted. The show's creatives reflected, in closing, on the legacy of Six Feet Under. "You couldn’t compare it to anything else, and that is rare, to get to do a television series that stands alone."
At first, Greenblatt referred to the network as one "that shall remain nameless," joking that "it begins with the letter A." For Janollari and Poul, working with HBO was the "complete opposite" of what they had just recently experienced with Ball, while trying to get a sitcom off the ground at a broadcast network.
Krause recalled bonding with Hall over their shared experiences at New York University, while Rodríguez remembered Ball telling him that the part of Federico ‘Rico’ Diaz was written specifically for him. "It was the kindest, most gracious thing anyone has ever done for me," he said.
"I just remember getting that note and thinking, ‘I will never get this note again in my life,'" Ball added.
Alternate reality films." "Yeah," Krause added. "Alternate realities.
It was just this tapestry of characters, and it really reflected the world." "Latinx, LGBTQ, female characters, a Black gay character. Greenblatt also took the opportunity to chime in on the show's "quietly groundbreaking" nature. I mean, that was revolutionary in and of itself," he said, "and those weren’t soapboxes that Alan and this great writers’ room was on.
"I’d go back and do it all again if I could," said Krause. While it's unclear if we'll ever see another incarnation of Six Feet Under, it appears that all involved would jump at the right opportunity to expand on the story.
Like my heart is beating out of my chest," added Ambrose, "just because these people are so knitted into the fabric of who I am as an actor, and an artist, and a person." "I’m so overwhelmed right now.
"So [Six Feet Under] was a blessed experience," he added, "from start to finish."
Griffiths and Rodríguez added that the show was ahead of its time, in terms of the way it represented women, members of the Latinx community and others. "I think it gave permission to so many creatives to be truly brave," Griffiths said.
The next day, [they] called and ordered the pilot," Janollar saidi. "We essentially shot 98% of exactly what Alan wrote, and I think they had one big note, which was, ‘Just make it more f**ked up.’" Early in the conversation, Ball and Janollari reflected on their experience pitching Six Feet Under to HBO. "I think it was the day after Alan racked up a million nominations for American Beauty, and they sat there and loved what Alan had to say.
The entire conversation, presented by the Paley Center for Media, can be found at this link.” />
On the sitcom, Janollari says, "There was no support, it was adversarial. There was lying, there was meddling in the creative."
"It’s just purely a coincidence," Ball deadpanned. Their method of doing so was to craft a gag at the expense of ABC exec Stu Bloomberg, naming a corpse in one episode Mr. Bloomberg. In the HBO show's early days, though, Ball and his team made sure to get their revenge. "Nothing to do with reality."
"It really left an indelible impression." "Whether [Ball] knew it or not, it was revolutionary," Rodríguez added.
What the premium cabler offered, Greenblatt said, was a "premium experience on every level." At the time, streaming services didn't exist, which meant that there were few places other than HBO to put a show like Six Feet Under.

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