If you have just about recovered from the Season 1 finale of NBC’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, here’s an opportunity to revisit all those feelings anew.
Series creator Austin Winsberg on Monday released to a YouTube the memorable, seven-minute, “one-shot,” full-cast performance of Don McLean’s “American Pie,” which — SPOILER ALERT! — captured Zoey and her loved ones’ mourning of passed-on family patriarch Mitch at his wake.
Winsberg told TVLine as part of our in-depth post mortem Q&A that it only took six takes to get the extended scene pretty damn perfect, though they did one more for good measure. He also shared that while it was conceived to appear as one continuous, uncut take, there was actually one deft edit. Because the exterior of the house is an actual location while the inside is a set, “The only edit is from the outside of the house to get inside the house. But the second you are inside the house, there is not a cut,” he explained.
Winsberg said the idea for the oner was born of the question, “What if we did an entire act that was all one song?” And while there are “not a lot of songs that are long enough that can kind of make that work and felt tonally appropriate,” “American Pie” is the EP’s father’s favorite song.
“When I thought of that song, and also the concept of ‘the day the music died,’ it felt very much like what Zoey would be feeling, because so much of the light and the love and the music came from her father,” Winsberg said. “So it felt poignant, and also felt like something that could be a big finale where you could get everybody together and everybody’s singing…. It felt like that checked a lot of boxes.”
TVLine readers gave the yet-to-be-renewed Zoey’s Playlist finale an average grade of “A+,” while in the Nielsen ratings the season ender ticked up just a bit, matching its best audience since March 1.