ABC’s fall dramedy Kevin (Probably) Save the World is taking on a less holy moniker, having changed its title from the far more biblical The Gospel of Kevin.
“Kevin (Probably) Saves the World captures the tone better than the old title,” executive producer Michele Fazekas (Agent Carter) explained at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Sunday. “I think people were thinking that the show was one thing. The tone of it is the hardest thing to understand, or to capture. I think this actually works quite well.”
Despite the less religious connotations, Fazekas insists she and co-creator Tara Butters are “not afraid to talk about those big, conceptual things,” as witnessed by their work on the devil-fronted CW series Reaper.
“We use the spiritual storytelling to tell a human story,” Butters added. “Whether you believe in God or don’t believe in God, the fact is I want to see stories about real people and what they’re going through, but in a slightly highlighted way.”
Guiding Jason Ritter’s selfish Kevin is “warrior for God” Yvette, a role played by Cristela Alonzo in the original pilot. “We love Cristela, and she’s very funny,” Fazekas said before noting that Yvette’s new portrayer, Vice Principals‘ Kimberly Hébert Gregory, was actually one of the first actresses to audition, but was unavailable due to another project. Following the completion of a short pilot, “we are able to actually look at it with new eyes, and we did see that we wanted that character to go in a bit of a different direction,” Butters explained.
Even thought she is Kevin’s celestial guide, Yvette is “not angelic,” Gregory emphasized. (The character is not even called “an angel” in the show.)
“She has her own mission,” Gregory continued. “Her purpose is really bigger than just helping Kevin do that what he needs to do. She’s bucked the universe, and she’s sacrificed greatly [to come to Earth] because she loves humanity. Her love for humanity is so great, she’s almost playing God.”
Kevin (Probably) Saves the World premieres Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 10/9c on ABC.