“Rake” is going to be bringing the antihero to network TV. The stars and producers showed up in full force to the TCA 2014 winter press tour to promote the upcoming FOX series.
The show brings Greg Kinnear to the small screen as a lawyer named Keegan Joye who doesn’t have a filter — or shame, for that matter — and who gets himself into a lot of trouble while handling challenging cases. Kinnear jokes, “I don’t know that I’d necessarily want him to represent me.”
“He wasn’t built like a typical television protagonist, so that was kind of what appealed to me. The good thing is that he probably doesn’t charge very much for representation,” Kinnear quips.
Creator Peter Duncan, who also created the Australian series of the same name, promises that “Rake” won’t be another network procedural. Though there will be cases of the week, Duncan says that this is a show that is about its characters more than its extreme cases.
“There’s enough depravity out there in the world for us to be very confident that we can find more and more increasingly depraved cases,” he says. “We learned a lot from making our first pilot. Actually, what we discovered was a bit of a gold mine [about the characters].”
After filming their initial pilot, that episode was moved farther into the season with new episodes filmed to air prior to it. Executive producer Peter Tolan says that was a “tonal question more than anything else,” and allows for more fleshed out stories earlier in the season.
“Just to get the audience comfortable with a guy who’s this much of a f*** up … even though we have someone like Greg who makes being a f*** up be charming,” Tolan says.
Duncan adds of the slow burn of the show, “There’s a journey in this character.” He says it’s important not to immediately turn the show up to “11.”
The title of the series might pose some confusion for audiences. A “rake,” by Merriam-Webster definition, is “a dissolute person,” or a libertine. When asked if the name is ever a cause for concern, Duncan says he “respects the audience’s intelligence.”
The producers quip they’re trying to bring in the 350-year-old demo and the Elizabethan viewers who actually used the term “rake.”
“Rake” premieres on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 9 p.m. ET on FOX.