As fans of Andy Richter Controls the Universe, we've been in a state of bliss watching Victor Fresco's new show Better Off Ted, which takes place in a similar office environment with a similarly quirky bunch of characters. And we're not the only ones -- critics seem to love it (like they loved Andy), and the show's stars have been mentioned as possible Emmy contenders. One such cast member is Jay Harrington, who plays the titular Ted, the friendly, good-natured research department liaison who happens to work for what may be one of the most evil corporations on Earth. We sat down with Ted to talk to him about what's planned for the remainder of this season and the seasons to come.
So people are throwing around the word "Emmy" in regards to your performance. How are you taking it?
Jay Harrington: With a grain of salt? The proverbial huge grain of salt? You know, it's appreciated, and it's incredible company to be in, but even just as a television viewer... I don't want to say it's not warranted, but let's just say I'm honored to even be mentioned. But I am excited to know that from the get-go, critics have been very kind and helpful with the show. I knew from the first time I read [the script] it was a great show, and I feel like what I've seen is good quality, and all we need now is to get more people to watch. But I'm very thankful.
Were you a fan of Victor Fresco's other shows before you got the part of Ted?
Harrington: I'd seen Andy Richter Controls the Universe a few years back. That was another case of being very well-reviewed and critic-praised and it didn't quite get the viewership. But it's tough in this time, with so many options; it's nice to be talked about in that same scenario. His others... I didn't see Life on a Stick, but Victor goes way back. He worked on ALF, so I guess, yes, I did watch ALF.
Were you surprised to be renewed for a second season, given the number of shows that didn't make the cut?
Harrington: Yes, in that sense I was surprised, but I did feel good about what we'd done and what we'd shot and what was left to go. I felt like, if ABC were going to take a chance on any of the shows that they had going on, why not us, because of the positive words spoken about it? Those that did watch it were passionate about it. The fans were really into it, but yeah, I was surprised. I mean, Samantha Who got canceled, and that was a critically-praised show. So I guess at this point you just go to work and not try to figure out why things work out the way they do.