Seemingly forever-shelved (and waylaid by backstage drama) for more than 12 months, NBC’s Love Bites — a rom-com anthology series starring Ugly Betty‘s beloved Becki Newton, Heroes‘ charmer Greg Grunberg, and Entourage femme Constance Zimmer — is finally making its debut, this Thursday at 10/9c.
After such a lengthy delay, there has to be something wrong with Bites, right? Actually, not really. In fact, I’m pretty smitten with this bit of summer fare — and I’m not alone. Newton is thrilled that the show is finally seeing the light of day, and believes “anything can happen” when it comes to the longevity of this Love.
TVLINE | Given that Love Bites was shelved for so long, was there ever a time that you were worried the show may never make it to air?
You know, I’ve learned through experience that you can’t ever predict what’s going to happen with any show. When I signed on to Ugly Betty, I just prayed that I wouldn’t get fired after the pilot, and four years later, I was still doing it. So, I’m really learning that you can just do your best work, and where the show goes from there is beyond your control.
TVLINE | What were your thoughts on all of the behind-the-scenes drama we kept hearing about? [TNT compelled My Boys star Jordana Spiro to vacate a lead role, original showrunner Cindy Chupack stepped down, the episode order got slashed….]
That’s what was so incredible about this experience — all of these things were going on, but it was actually the most well-run and organized show that I’ve ever worked on. It was really this incredibly pleasant experience. All of [Love Bites‘] setbacks tend to happen individually on every show, but we just had a bunch of things happen around the same time. The impression of what was going on made it sound much more chaotic than it actually was. Every step along the way, people just went with the flow.
TVLINE | Love Bites is an “anthology series” — can you break it down in layman’s terms for prospective fans?
Love Bites is actually a bunch of vignettes put together — and that’s the most confusing and the most exciting part of the show. [Laughs] Every episode will have three separate stories that are linked thematically. Some of the characters are linked at times, but it’s really a chance to see three mini-episodes within one.
TVLINE | Love Bites has great guest stars each week. Was there anyone you were particular excited to work with? Or anyone you had a great time playing off of?
Someone that I’ve known about for a long time but had never worked with is Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl) and she made me laugh so hard every single day. I could not wait to get back to work when she and I were shooting together. She is really funny and I’d love to work with her in the future. Also, Jessica St. Clair (Worst Week) plays my sister and I really do feel like we’re sisters. I think maybe we are and we just don’t know it. [Laughs] I have to play her sister again in the future. It just made so much sense somehow.
TVLINE | How about a favorite moment in the series for fans to look forward to?
There is a moment in the second episode that I loved. Michelle’s character bakes banana bread for a guy as a token of affection, and it backfires horribly. I will say that when I first met my husband, I baked him lasagna and it did not backfire… because we’re now married. [Laughs] But it’s embarrassing that there’s an entire episode about why you should not bake anything for someone you have a crush on, when that’s all I did. I really think that’s how I won my husband’s heart over.
TVLINE | How are you feeling today, knowing that fans are finally going to see Love Bites? Are you proud of the finished product?
Everyone involved in Love Bites worked so hard — there’s really great writing, fantastic acting and the directors were incredible — so I’m really happy people will finally have a chance to see it. I think people are going to respond really well to the show.
TVLINE | Best case scenario: Love Bites is very well received and it takes the summer programming cake. Is there any talk of where things stand moving forward with the series?
As every person involved in Love Bites has learned, anything can happen! [Laughs] Of course, I would love to be part of this series again in the future, so I’m open to wherever the road leads.