In ABC Family's new drama Chasing Life, everything's going right for aspiring journalist April (Italia Ricci): She's got a great job and a hot office romance. Then her estranged uncle, an oncologist (Steven Weber), diagnoses her with cancer. Executive producer Patrick Sean Smith, whose credits include Greek and Everwood, filled out our TV Guide Magazine showrunner survey to explain why we should chase Life.
TV Guide Magazine: I have time to watch one more show. Why should it be yours?
Patrick Sean Smith: Because you're ready for a new perspective on the twentysomething experience that doesn't involve small stakes and a naked Lena Dunham. Or because you're interested in exploring issues of mortality that don't involve zombies or any variation of an apocalypse.
TV Guide Magazine: Who should be watching?
Smith: Anyone who loves to laugh and isn't afraid to watch a show that might just make them cry.
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch your show?
Smith: You'll go on living, but forever feel something missing in your life. And that void you'll probably turn to drugs and alcohol to fill, when really it would've just been easier for you to watch our show.
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an equation for Chasing Life.
Smith: Felicity minus college times 50/50 times Terms of Endearment times The Fault in our Stars plus Wings minus Tim Daly and Crystal Bernard.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing anyone has said or written about your show?
Smith: The newly appointed president of ABC Family admitted to watching a few of our episodes on a trip back from New York. And cried in business class.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the worst thing?
Smith: "Ugh, a show about cancer? That sounds so depressing."
TV Guide Magazine: Who was right?
Smith: There's a difference between television that's emotional and television that's depressing (see Keeping Up With the Kardashians).
TV Guide Magazine: What's an alternate title for your show?
Smith: The Little C.
TV Guide Magazine: Come up with a premise for the spin-off.
Smith: Grandma Emma (Rebecca Schull) realizes she's three credits short of receiving her college degree, so she enrolls at Cyprus-Rhodes University, ends up joining Zeta Beta and hooking up with an Omega Chi.
TV Guide Magazine: Tell me one thing about your cast.
Smith: A majority of this amazingly brilliant cast has been working on this show since 2012!
TV Guide Magazine: If you weren't producing this show, what series would you most like to work on?
Smith: Mystery Girls, mostly just to hang with Jennie [Garth] and Tori [Spelling}.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's scare the network. Tell us an idea that didn't make it on to the screen.
Smith: It's too early in the series. I'm afraid to name anything in the off chance we have to use it in Season 10.
TV Guide Magazine: Finish this sentence: "If you like _______, you'll love our show."
Smith: Feeling something when you watch television.
TV Guide Magazine: Pick another show and start a fake feud.
Smith: Bring it, Faking It.
TV Guide Magazine: With what show would you like to do a crossover episode?
Smith: April Carver, desperate to confront her illness head on, hires Olivia Pope to cure her cancer. And she does. Scandalous...
TV Guide Magazine: How will your show change the face of TV as we know it?
Smith: That's a tall order. We're not looking to change the face of television, but we are hoping to entertain while provoking some thought on life and death.
Chasing Life airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on ABC Family.