How Long Will 'Friday Night In With the Morgans' Last? Jeffrey Dean Morgan & Hilarie Burton Weigh In
At a time when a crowded studio or a lot filled with production and crew members just isn't feasible, a new type of series has taken over television.
Viewers are now being treated to self-shot, at-home series, like Food Network's Amy Schumer Learns to Cook and Fox's Celebrity Watch Party. One such successful show of this kind is AMC's Friday Night In With the Morgans, which began airing April 17 and has slowly picked up steam—and additional episode orders—along the way.
The Walking Dead’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan and wife Hilarie Burton Morgan (Council of Dads) lead a lively 22-minute video chat show from their Upstate New York farm, with guests who include both friends and frontline workers. For example, last week's episode featured Morgan's Dead costar, Samantha Morton, in addition to their son's elementary school teacher.
“It was important for us to [feature] not just actors talking to other actors but also the amazing people in our town, from doctors to small business owners, to ask about how we can all help out and work together as a community,” Burton says.
In the May 29 episode, the seventh of the series, Burton and Morgan check in with Chicago P.D. vet and Burton's former One Tree Hill costar Sophia Bush, Dead alum Sonequa Martin-Green (Star Trek: Discovery), her husband Kenric Green, local contractor Mark McEathron, plus one very lucky viewer.
“We sent out emails to our friends as soon as we heard the show was happening, asking them to be guests," Morgan explains. "The turnaround from getting the greenlight to filming was so quick that we booked the people who responded the fastest. We’ve had some scheduling conflicts, and there are many more people we would like to have on the show than we’ve had space for." He adds, "Hopefully, this is a lesson to our friends to not take so long to respond to us!”
The biggest hurdle to jump-starting an at-home series? Building a studio on their farm. Admits Morgan, “We had to enlist our 10-year-old son, Gus, to set up the lights and cameras.”
Of course, most folks are anxious to return to pre-quarantine normalcy, but does that mean we'd lose a show like Friday Night? "It’s very bittersweet," Burton says. "We love spending every Friday night together at home and catching up with friends, but we are also looking forward to getting back into a normal routine like everybody else."
Meanwhile, Burton is also busy sewing masks for essential workers, which Morgan delivers to local hospitals, not to mention the farmland they're maintaining. Says Morgan, "There's not a lot of downtime for us."
Friday Night in With the Morgans, Fridays, 10/9c, AMC