The Cleveland Show's Cleveland Brown has to deal with a lot of pressure since moving out of Quahog, R.I. He's had to acclimate to a new town (Stoolbend, Va.) and a new job, all while taking on a new stepdaughter and stepson in Roberta and Rallo. Now Cleveland Sr. is taking on his biggest challenge yet: a live episode for his show.
"We're playing Cleveland as the star of a relatively new show who really wants this to go well," co-creator/executive producer Mike Henry jokes to TVGuide.com. "It's got a very different feel from any other episode. It's one of my very favorites."
The episode, airing Sunday at 8:30/7:30c on Fox, shows Cleveland trying to plan a romantic anniversary dinner for Donna when, naturally, things start to go wrong. Henry says his inspiration for the episode partly stems from Family Guy's success with special episodes and movie parodies. However, he also says the episode is one small step toward a bigger departure that The Cleveland Show is making from its sister series this year.
"There were a lot of jokes early on that would be more Family Guy jokes than what The Cleveland Show is turning out to be. We have worked out some kinks to differentiate ourselves a little bit," Henry says. "To me, I've always been a counterculture person who likes to make fun of everything and screw you if you don't like it. So the biggest challenge has been getting comfortable being a little bit nicer and showing a little heart.
"This is one [episode] where you're kind of rooting for Cleveland to pull off this show and he's up against a lot."
Check out this exclusive first look at Sunday's episode: