Jeff Schaffer and Jackie Marcus Schaffer Talk The League Season 4
While most sports fans can't wait for the NFL to start every fall, the new season also means another batch of hilarious (fantasy) football-themed comedy with The League. FX kicks off Season 4 Thursday, October 11 at 10:30 PM ET with "Training Camp". Series creators Jeff Schaffer and Jackie Marcus Schaffer recently held a conference call to discuss the new season, and how the married couple's life outside of the show inspires the material within it. For instance, the Schaffer's recently welcomed a new baby, and this season, Kevin (Stephen Rannazzisi) and Jenny (Katie Aselton) also have a newborn, their second child, this time a boy.
Jeff Schaffer shared a particularly embarrassing moment at dinner that lead to a bit on the show.
"Sometimes the fact that Jackie and I work together and live together and have a family together does-they all sort of complicate each other. I think last season we were out to a restaurant. We were working on stories and just talking and Jackie started to have a drink of water and was sort of choking and I was sort of saying, 'Are you okay? Are you okay?' But as I was doing that there were TV screens and ESPN was on and my eyes darted from her choking to the TV and she goes, 'Were you watching TV while I was choking?' And I said, 'No. No way. I was not.' I swore up and down that I wasn't but I'm thinking to myself that's a funny idea so we put it down on our idea list, and later (I didn't think anything of it then) she's looking through the idea list and she goes, 'Kevin' looked at the TV when Jenny's choking. You did! You did!' I didn't realize I had totally ratted myself out by putting it on the big list of ideas."
Jackie Marcus Schaffer revealed that Kevin, the reigning Shiva Bowl champion, will have to prove he is worthy to hoist that trophy, after winning under shady circumstances last year.
"We already had our own asterisk stories as you will come to see with Kevin who won the Shiva Bowl last year, and he's got to prove to everyone that he deserves to actually be considered a Shiva Bowl Champion because he won under pretty false pretenses by cheating against Ruxin. For the season they are going to be calling him Kevin McAsterisks."
Jeff Schaffer also spoke about balancing the fantasy football story elements with character-driven material.
"We always start with 20 stories. That's how we write each episode, you know, what's a funny thing for Kevin to do? What's a good Pete story? What's a good Ruxin story? And we always start with just good straight comedy stories. I think the good episodes also mix in some of the fantasy aspect because that's what these guys really care about, and it's their obsession. Their obsession about this little thing but treating it like it's a big thing is the heart of the show."
The series always plays host to a number of actual NFL players, and this season is no different. Here's what Jeff Schaffer had to say about one of this year's most notable cameos.
"There are a lot of NFL players who want to be on the show, and the challenge for us is writing them in in a believable way. But one of the nice things that's happened this year with Kevin and Jenny having a baby and them living in Chicago is that Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler, the quarterback for the Chicago Bears, have also just had a child. And in the fourth show of the season the Cutler baby or as we call him the "Cutlet" is going to feature very prominently. And so they're using that kid. That kid had basically one free day on this earth before being used as a pawn."