Watch My Show: Full Circle's Writer on Setting Up the Show's Grittier Season 2

Michael Schneider

DirecTV's Audience Network has upped the stakes for Full Circle in Season 2. Each episode will still center on a conversation between two characters, with one of them continuing on to the next episode. But this season, which begins tonight, is going a bit darker, centering on Chicago cop Jimmy Parerra (Terry O'Quinn) who blew the whistle on police corruption 18 years ago and sent his father-in-law Bud (Stacy Keach) to federal prison. As the show begins, Keach's character is out of jail—and bent on revenge.

Each episode takes place in a Chicago Irish bar, focusing on conversations between two characters who are involved in Jimmy and Bud's story. Actors joining in this season include Rita Wilson, Brittany Snow, Patrick Fugit, David Koechner, Calista Flockhart and Eric McCormack. TV writer and playwright Keith Huff (Mad Men, House of Cards), who wrote Season 2, tells us why we should zero in on Full Circle.

I have time to watch one more show. Why should it be yours?

All these years you've wondered what ever happened to Chicago's Serpico. Your curiosity will finally be sated.

Who should be watching?

Fans of cop shows, fans of gangster dramas, fans of law and disorder, anybody who doesn't mind seeing a body drop every now and then, fans of scenes that run longer than 90 seconds.

What happens if we don't watch?

You'll have no conception of what a TV-Theater Hybrid looks, sounds, smells, tastes, and/or feels like. Henceforth, if anybody talks to you about a TV-Theater Hybrid over cocktails, you'll respond with only a vacant look and be dismissed as an idiot. Also, your short-attention span will never expand.

What's the best thing someone has said about your show?

"I love saying your words!" – Stacy Keach

What's the worst thing?

"You wrote too many f*%king words, Huffy!" – David Koechner

Who was right?

As a guy with a foot in both the world of theater and the world of television, I'm reluctant to take sides.

What's an alternate title for your show?
Playhouse 300. What Goes Around Comes Around. The Fourth Use of a Knife.

Give us an equation for your show.

The Wire plus The Godfather I & II plus Serpico minus Pacino multiplied by High Noon minus Grace Kelly and the relentless harmonica.

Come up with a premise for a spin-off.

The life and times of Buddy O'Rourke Junior – he's a total badass with a $300 haircut and $1800 suits.

What credit of yours would you prefer we forget?

The Age of Cynicism or Karaoke Night at The Hog. It was a play…with karaoke.

Tell us one thing about your cast.

Their names: Stacy Keach, Terry O'Quinn, Rita Wilson, Kate Burton, Eric McCormack, Calista Flockhart, Chris Bauer, David Koechner, Patrick Fugit, Brittany Snow, and Andrew McConnell.

On what other series would you like to be an executive producer?

Transparent. It has humor and heart. Both genre-bending and gender-bending, it's a real dramedy. Hybrids rule!

Let's scare the network. Tell us something that didn't make it to air.

A happy ending.

Finish this sentence: "If you like________, you'll love our show."

Blood and Chocolate.

Pick a show and start a fake feud.
Any show written by Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax, Scott & Bailey) – whose edgy drama can out-funny whose?

What other show would you like to do a crossover episode with?

Luther. Line-crossing cops with badditude.

How will your show change the face of TV as we know it?

Full Circle harks back to the roots of TV drama – Playhouse 90 and the like, shows that were anthology series, TV-Theater Hybrids. It won't change the face of TV, but it will give you a glimpse of what TV's face used to look like. For those who are old enough and still spry enough to remember: it takes you full circle. The entire series was shot in less than 2 weeks. It's not live TV – but it's pretty damned close.

Full Circle airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on DirecTV's Audience Network.