PBS is getting back into the sitcom business this Sunday with Vicious, a British series starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi. The show, which has already been picked up for a second season in the U.K., stars McKellen and Jacobi as an elderly gay couple that have been together for 50 years — and given how much they enjoy hurling insults at each other, it shows. Gary Janetti is the sole writer and executive producer on the show; his past credits include Will & Grace and Family Guy. Janetti filled out our TV Guide Magazine Showrunner Survey to explain why we should get Vicious.
TV Guide Magazine: I've got room in my life to watch just one more show. Why should it be yours?
Gary Janetti: It stars two of the best actors in the world, Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi. There's nothing else like it on TV. And you won't have to wait the whole season to find out who the murderer is because nobody gets murdered.
TV Guide Magazine: Who should be watching?
Janetti: People who own TVs and/or computers.
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch your show?
Janetti: I will be very chilly the next time I see you at a cocktail party.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing anyone has said or written about your show?
Janetti: "The dialogue is delicious and the acting is sublime."
TV Guide Magazine: What's the worst thing?
Janetti: Let's just say it was not kind.
TV Guide Magazine: Who was right?
Janetti: Um, the guy who loved it obviously.
TV Guide Magazine: What's an alternate title for your show?
Janetti: Vicious Old Queens.
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an equation for your show.
Janetti: Will & Grace meets The Golden Girls meets The Addams Family.
TV Guide Magazine: Come up with a premise for the spin-off.
Janetti: Ash (Iwan Rheon) gets cast on Game of Thrones. (Of which he is already on. Wait, did I create Game of Thrones too??)
TV Guide Magazine: Tell me one thing about your cast.
Janetti: Ian and Derek joined with Frances De La Tour and Iwan Rheon are perhaps the finest cast working on TV. They all have the most incredible stage experience that translates so beautifully to the sitcom format. Between them all I think I'm the only one who hasn't played King Lear.
TV Guide Magazine: If you weren't producing this show, what series would you most like to be an executive producer on?
Janetti: The Comeback or Veep.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's scare the network. Tell us an idea that didn't make it on to the screen.
Janetti: Freddie and Stuart get stuck with the Queen on the London Eye.
TV Guide Magazine: Finish this sentence: "If you like _______, you'll love our show."
Janetti: Will & Grace.
TV Guide Magazine: Pick another show, any show, to start a fake feud with.
Janetti: Downton Abbey.vWe could totally out-British them. Well, except for me.
TV Guide Magazine: What other show would you like to do a crossover episode with — and how would that go?
Janetti: True Detective. I would like to see a scene with Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey just for the accents alone.
TV Guide Magazine: How will your show change the face of TV as we know it?
Janetti: Oh. Was it supposed to do that?
Vicious airs Sundays at 10:30/9:30c on PBS.