Dana Fox was working on New Girl last year when she came up with the idea of developing a show loosely based on her brother, Ben (he's currently an ad exec but years ago was a bit of a free spirit). The siblings' real-life relationship forms the basis of Fox's Ben and Kate, (Tuesdays, 8:30/7:30c). Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson star as the brother-sister duo who bicker but ultimately lean on each other for support. Fox filled out our showrunner survey to explain why Ben and Kate deserves some brotherly love.
TV Guide Magazine: I've got room in my life for one more show. Why should it be yours?
Dana Fox: I'll give you five reasons: Nat Faxon (Ben), Dakota Johnson (Kate), Lucy Punch (BJ), Echo Kellum (Tommy), Maggie Jones (Maddie). The funniest, most talented group of people on TV. And I like them. And please.
TV Guide Magazine: Who should be watching?
Fox: Anyone who likes laughing, or families, or friendships, or getting verklempt.
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch your show?
Fox: You'll essentially be firing an adorable 8 year-old girl. Have you seen Maggie Jones? Do you want to tell her to her face that you didn't watch?
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an equation for your show.
Fox: Ben and Kate = Friends (plus a kid) + New Girl (minus a guy) + Will & Grace (minus a gay)
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing anyone has said or written about your show?
Fox: "Let's make 12 more episodes and air it this fall" — Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly
TV Guide Magazine: What was the worst thing?
Fox: A reporter used some ellipses to make it sound like I said that Nat wasn't cute.
TV Guide Magazine: Why were they wrong?
Fox: Because Nat is the most handsome man on primetime television. Obviously.
TV Guide Magazine: If you weren't on this show, what series would you most like to work on?
Fox: If time travel wasn't an issue, I would have loved to work on Friday Night Lights, so I could write entire episodes of Tami and Coach staring soulfully at each other in bed.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's scare the network. Tell us an idea that didn't make it out of the writers' room.
Fox: An early draft of the pilot had Kate creating a very elaborate, numbers-and-math-heavy system to determine when she should sleep with a guy. It was like the algorithm for Pandora. When we couldn't follow the system we had created, we realized we may have gone too far.
TV Guide Magazine: Finish this sentence: "If you like _______, you'll love our show."
Fox: Laughing, crying, strapping men, funny women, adorable children, high-fives.
TV Guide Magazine: Fall is brutal. Pick a rival show to start a fight with.
Fox: I'm a lover not a fighter. And not that this is a rival show, but Liz Meriwether, who created New Girl, is one of my best friends, so I'd start a fight with her so I could get to see her. We work in the same building and we're both so busy that we basically just wave to each other's cars every once and a while.
TV Guide Magazine: What show would you like to do a crossover episode with?
Fox: I would love if Ben could somehow help Carrie take down Brody on Homeland. I feel like he and Saul would get along. Ben Fox at Langley can only lead to great things.
TV Guide Magazine: What credit of yours would you delete if you could?
Fox: If I started with that game, I'd never stop.
TV Guide Magazine: How will your show change the face of TV as we know it?
Fox: I'm doing a sitcom about a group of friends, some of whom are related, hanging out with each other. The TV landscape is never going to be the same.
TV Guide Magazine: Tell us something we don't know about one of your stars.
Fox: Dakota can't laugh really hard without crying.