‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas’ Boss on Finally Giving Jane Levy Her Musical Moment

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist
Q&A
Roku

Your present is ready early — NBC’s canceled dramedy Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is back, with 12 songs all wrapped up into a movie for Roku, titled Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas!

In the Yuletide flick, software developer Zoey Clarke (Jane Levy) is determined to have a perfect first Christmas after her father Mitch’s (Peter Gallagher) passing, but she’ll face plenty of obstacles, including her family’s desire to get out of town over sticking around to sing carols by the tree.

Speaking of singing, Zoey will also be dealing with the series ender’s massive twist: her on-again-off-again boyfriend Max (Skylar Astin) now shares Zoey’s power to hear the “heart songs” of the people nearby. While that stresses Zoey out, it also means we’ll get to hear Levy sing… a lot. Below, Creator Austin Winsberg teases the ho-ho-holiday drama that ensues.

What does Max’s new ability mean for Zoey and Max’s relationship when the movie picks up?

Austin Winsberg: Max now having the powers is something both Zoey and Max are going to have to wrestle with. New relationships are always challenging, but imagine how much more challenging they would be if both people could constantly hear what’s going on in the other one’s head…

What other struggles will Zoey face?

How does the Clarke clan navigate the holidays for the first time without their beloved patriarch? Zoey takes it upon herself to recreate the perfect Mitch Christmas in memory of her father — only to discover that trying to step into her father’s shoes is far more difficult than she ever imagined.

Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas, Jane Levy, Skylar Astin

Can you tease any of the holiday songs, or non-holiday numbers, that we’ll see characters singing in the film?

The movie has a great combination of holiday classics and well-known songs by popular artists. The opening number of the film is “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and it is by far the biggest number we’ve ever done on the show. It’s also all one take with no cuts! It still blows my mind what we were able to accomplish so fast. Because it’s a family holiday musical film, it was important to me to really get a lot of Christmas and holiday songs in the mix. However, I still wanted to make sure we had songs by [artists] like Taylor Swift, as well.

What are you most excited for fans of the series to see in this movie?

I’m most excited that people get to see Jane Levy really sing and dance in the film. One of the benefits of Max getting the powers is that it allows Zoey to lead several musical numbers — not just witness them happening. Jane does one number that truly makes my jaw hit the floor every time I watch it.

Beyond that, I think the movie walks that tonal tightrope between comedy, musical, and heartfelt emotional moments that the fans have really come to expect from Zoey’s. And I love that we have a — somewhat — standalone Zoey’s holiday film now that people can watch for years and years to come.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas, Movie Premiere, Wednesday, December 1, The Roku Channel