Brad Bell and Jane Espenson are a dynamite duo. The team has created the winning Web series, Husbands, which was recently picked up by the CW’s online content branch, CW Digital Studio.
In case you’re not familiar, Husbands follows a gay actor (Bell) and a gay baseball player (Sean Hemeon) who wake up in Vegas married. Despite having only known each other for six weeks the two decide to go for it and that means dealing with moving in together, petty fights, cute make ups, and public scrutiny (and then some).
Not only will fans get to see existing episodes via CW but the network is also funding new episodes. Bell and Espenson, who also created Husbands: The Comic with Dark Horse, are excited to continue exploring the still very much newlywed relationship of baseball superstar Brady and outgoing actor Cheeks.
“When they got married they’d known each other six weeks,” Espenson said. “This is a really new relationship. They haven’t celebrated each others’ birthdays yet.”
The fact that Husbands is popular is without question. The channel has over 25,000 subscribers and the episodes have garnered over 100,000, and in some cases 200,000, views. Seasons one and two have included guest appearances by Nathan Fillion, Joss Whedon, Mekhi Phifer, Jon Cryer, Felicia Day and more. Literary legend Neil Gaiman wrote the introduction for the comic. Popular may in fact be an understatement.
By and large the fan response to Husbands has been, as Bell said, “massively positive.” The politically charged plot has brought some negative YouTube comments but Bell and Espenson have taken them in stride. “That’s a good thing, a show that makes people talk,” said Espenson.
They’ve made a point of letting fans know that trolls are something to laugh about, not something to be bothered by. Bell admits that the show is politically and emotionally charged but it’s more than that. “It has something to say, but it’s also fresh and entertaining,” said Bell.
At its core, Husbands, is about real relationships, and that beyond anything else has resonated with audiences. Bell, a self-described “sitcom scholar,” says he’s all about making Husbands fun. Espenson, a geek goddess who has penned episodes of Buffy, Firefly, Game of Thrones, and Once Upon a Time, is quick to admit that Bell writes most of the stories. He readily counters that she brings in the all-important structure and character development. Their collaboration has made a genuinely hilarious show that could rival most major network sitcoms.
“We really want to be funny,” Espenson said. “If the argument is between funny and anything else, funny wins.”
Check out the trailer for Husbands below: