Byron Balasco Byron Balasco

The world of mixed martial arts is brutal enough, but DirecTV's freshman series Kingdom throws something else into the ring: family. The show, executive produced by Byron Balasco (Without A Trace, Detroit 1-8-7), centers on Alvey Kulina (Frank Grillo), who owns an MMA gym and attempts to take care of his fighters while also maintaining a relationship with his sons (Jonathan Tucker and Nick Jonas). DirecTV has already ordered a 20-episode second season of Kingdom, which wraps up Season 1 Wednesday night. Balasco took time to answer our TV Guide Magazine showrunner survey and explain why viewers should tap in.

TV Guide Magazine: I've got room in my life to watch just one more show. Why should it be yours?
Byron Balasco:
We will fill your void.

TV Guide Magazine: Who should be watching?
The citizens of all four quadrants.

TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch your show?
You will become irrelevant.

TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing anyone has said or written about your show?
"Without a doubt the greatest TV drama ever made."

TV Guide Magazine: What's the worst thing?
"Most likely the greatest TV drama ever made."

TV Guide Magazine: Who was right?
The truth is always somewhere in the middle.

DirecTV's Gritty New Drama Kingdom Tackles the World of MMA Fighting

TV Guide Magazine: What's an alternate title for your show?

 TV Guide Magazine: Give us an equation for Kingdom.
The L Word minus women plus Finding Neverland divided by your late local news.

TV Guide Magazine: Come up with a premise for the spin-off.
A brash, uncompromising, brilliant, snarky, left of center (though politically neutral), team of doctors fight staph infections in the high-stakes world of Los Angeles fitness clubs. But it's in their personal lives where the real infections begin.

TV Guide Magazine: What credit of yours would you like to forget?
: Four dollars at Crate and Barrel. I'm just never going to use it so let's forget about it.

Scene Stealer: Why We Love Kingdom's Jonathan Tucker

TV Guide Magazine: Tell me one thing about your cast.
It goes all the way up to my hip and itches like hell. But all my teachers signed it.

TV Guide Magazine: On what other series would you most like to be an executive producer?
CSI, all the Law & Order editions and Two and a Half Men. But not because of the money. I don't want you to think that.

TV Guide Magazine: Let's scare the network. Tell us an idea that didn't make to the screen.
: I was going to have Alvey murder his sons, ex-wife, fiancé, prized fighter (and prized fighter's roommate) and any pets he could find. But then I realized I had written myself into a corner.

TV Guide Magazine: Finish this sentence: "If you like _______, you'll love our show."
If you like most stuff, you'll love our show.

TV Guide Magazine: Pick another show and start a fake feud.
Jane the Virgin. She knows why.

TV Guide Magazine: With what show would you like to do a crossover episode?
Charlie Rose.

TV Guide Magazine: How will your show change the face of TV as we know it?
It will fix its eyes and get rid of those jowls.

Kingdom's season finale airs Wednesday, Dec.10, at 9/8c on DirecTV's Audience Network (channel 239).

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