Are you buying what Tom Cavanagh and Eric McCormack are selling this Monday at 10 pm/ET? In the new TNT dramedy Trust Me, TV's former Ed Stevens and Will Truman play Connor and Mason, creative partners at a (modern day, ahem) ad agency. As the series kicks off, the buds' professional and personal bonds are tested by the departure of a cold body and the arrival of a hot blonde. Can TV's newest ad men draw eyeballs? Cavanagh gave us a sneak peek.
TVGuide.com: I think you and I last talked during your Love Monkey days.
Tom Cavanagh: That show [about an indie music label] was a massive success. [Laughs] But thank you for your support!
TVGuide.com: Better to have a show go off the air and have a few people saying, "Darn it," than...
Cavanagh: Yeah, we got that a lot. We shot it in New York, and there are certainly a lot of music-philes there. You get a lot of, "Hey, dude! Love Monkey!"
TVGuide.com: And there's that kid whose music career the show kinda launched.
Cavanagh: Man, Teddy [Geiger]... . So talented. When we started, the guy was playing in his garage. Cut to: [Show writer] Michael Rauch and I in the Nokia Theater packed with screaming teenage girls holding signs saying, "Marry me, Teddy!" We looked at each other like, "Wow."
TVGuide.com: And you're like, "Um, I used to be on a hit prime-time show... ?"
Cavanagh: [Laughs] Yeah. "We... ah, forget it."
TVGuide.com: Was Trust Me a situation where you and Eric McCormack were like, "I'll do if he does it."
Cavanagh: There's certainly an element like that to it. Both of us were interested in the specific roles we were doing, but at the same time you're like, "What if the other guy is a dud?" [Laughs] When we heard each other was doing it, it quickens things, I have to say. Eric is phenomenal.
TVGuide.com: You two strike me as having similar comedic sensibilities. That whole sardonic, sarcastic thing.
Cavanagh: Exactly. We like the rapid-fire, the smaller thing. He also likes to know what's going in a scene — the different things that work beneath the surface — and so do I. We both like to rehearse a lot. There are a lot of similarities, and it's good to click on those levels.
TVGuide.com: Would you say Connor is the more anxious of the two?
Cavanagh: No, I don't think so. It might possibly be the reverse.
TVGuide.com: But he gets so bummed out when he's passed over for a promotion.
Cavanagh: Yeah, but he's more of the free-wheeler and, I think, more irresponsible and immature. But he's really good at his job. He gets the great grades, but then can let go and chase the females. It's like high school.
TVGuide.com: Will they be playing sexual tension between you and Monica Potter (as a new hire/award-winning copywriter)?
Cavanagh: I don't think anyone's interested in getting involved in a "Will they/Won't they?" predicament. You can rise and fall on one of those. If I'm a viewer, it's like, "Here's a woman who's divorced, and here's a guy who's romantic trouble. I can see it." But I don't want it to be a thing. I want the attraction of the show to be the many things opposed to the one.
TVGuide.com: So I'm watching the first episode of Trust Me and I'm like, "Wow, Jason O'Mara is in this?! How are they going to pull that off with Life on Mars and everything?"
Cavanagh: But you got your answer in a hurry, didn't you?
TVGuide.com: Do you fear any Mad Men comparisons?
Cavanagh: It's inevitable. But you've seen our pilot and you've seen Mad Men, so you know they're not similar at all. If I were to say what Mad Men is about, I don't know if I would lead with advertising. There's a lot more darkness that comes first.
TVGuide.com: Trust Me's biggest obstacle might actually be distinguishing itself, title-wise, from Lie to Me, the new show on Fox.
Cavanagh: What's that show about?
TVGuide.com: Tim Roth as a human lie detector.
Cavanagh: Tim Roth as a human lie detector... . Good get! I think there's room for both of us, Matt.