Trophy Wife is a perfect marriage of concept and title — one both the new sitcom’s producers and ABC are quite comfortable with, it was explained Sunday at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour in Beverly Hills.
After stating that “Trophy Wife” is meant to be “ironic” (since Malin Akerman’s party girl-turned-Bradley Whitford’s third Mrs. is much more than some shiny arm candy), EP Lee Eisenberg told TVLine that ABC never expressed any Cougar Town-style concerns about the title being too provocative and not 100-percent representative of the actual content.
“It was always a conversation that we had with them, but collectively we never felt like we had a title that beat it,” he said. “We kicked around titles the way you always do, and it always came back to Trophy Wife. It’s simple, it’s clean it’s memorable.
“We suspected that people might have certain expectations about it,” Eisenberg added, “but ultimately in success a show is a show and the title melts away a little bit. We won’t win or lose because of the title.”
Series star Akerman, for her part, had a distinct initial reaction to the title. “I saw [it] and said, ‘Aw, hell no, I’m not playing a trophy wife,'” she shared. “But I read it and it was brilliant.”
As series cocreator EP Sarah Haskins — on whose own marriage Trophy Wife is based — noted, “Kate is going to face the challenge of how other people see her,” including at least one of husband Pete’s exes, a Type-A surgeon played by Marcia Gay Harden.
“We’re not watching the story of a sexist who cycles through wives,” Haskins stressed. “We’re watching the story of a family.”