I used to be an ambassador for PBS KIDS and the only reason I stopped is because my son is now a teenager in high school. Of course, that doesn’t stop us from watching PBS KIDS shows. But working with that group afforded me all kinds of amazing opportunities, including meeting the creators of many of their shows. I was thrilled when Tim McKeon, who I met when Odd Squad launched, called and wanted to talk about his new show that is being featured in the Amazon Pilot Season. We chatted about Will Vs. The Future, his journey in the biz, and his favorite pastime outside of television. (Hint: it’s delicious.)
Interview with Tim McKeon about Will Vs. The Future
How did you get into kid’s programming?
Honestly, I fell into it. I’m from Massachusetts and I went west for TV. I mean, I did plays in high school and college but I really wanted to get into TV. I like how collaborative it is. I started looking for sitcoms just like everyone else does in LA. But my first job was on a children’s show and I loved it. You can do weird, crazy stuff and be passionate about what you are doing and have the most fun. Kids are the BEST super fans.
So, you went from Gravity Falls to Adventure Time to Odd Squad. How different was all that?
Odd Squad was the one that was really different. Because it was educational show, there were all these parameters to it. But I love the idea of secretly teaching kids within a show that was action-packed. But as far as my career, each show informed the next, so it’s been a great learning experience.
Tell me about your new show, Will Vs. The Future.
A lot of people are saying that it’s like the Terminator, but for kids. I hope that isn’t off putting? Comedy in the kid’s space can be a little difficult and there certainly isn’t much in the way of sci-fi. Will is a smart, thoughtful middle school kid, struggling with life a bit – and then the Warrior comes back to destroy him because in the future he actually destroys the world. Will convinces her not to kill him and they team up to change the future. There’s a lot of Buffy flavor to it and time travel, including a big wink to Back To The Future because Biff (Thomas F. Wilson) plays the school principal on the show. That was a fantastic choice. We’re really trying to have something that a family can watch together – and enjoy – since there is such a gap in those types of shows at this age range. And the great thing for Will is that he’s exploring the themes of growing up and finding yourself, but using this sci-fi angle as a vehicle to make it fun. Continue reading…