The premise of A Million Little Things brings a group of friends together after their unofficial leader John, played by Ron Livingston, commits suicide. It will also premiere on ABC after a summer where multiple celebrities, including fashion designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain, have taken their own life, and shows like 13 Reasons Why were accused of glamorizing suicide.
The cast and creators were asked during the Television Critics Association summer press tour how they would handle tackling such a serious topic when it's at the forefront of the public consciousness. Series creator DJ Nash wasted no time ensuring the press that the show in no way is trying to romanticize the idea of suicide.
"I think there is absolutely nothing romantic about suicide. I worry about every single person that is suicidal," he said. "It is a real, conscious thing in our writers room."
The high-profile suicides over the summer also pushed Nash to do something extra for the pilot to make the intentions of the series clear. ABC was more than happy to assist in helping him to get it done.
"ABC got together and for the end of the pilot, when this airs, three of our cast members along with my friends Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park and Talinda Bennington, Chester [Bennington]'s widow, are doing the PSA," Nash revealed. Bennington was lead singer of Linkin Park and also committed suicide earlier this year.
"We have to make sure that we're not doing exactly what you're saying, which is romanticizing suicide. We're telling the story in a different way," Nash continued. "You can watch the show and see that these people's lives are forever changed by this. I don't think people will watch this show and go, 'Oh, I want to do that too.' If anything, I think it is a cautionary tale."
A Million Little Things premieres Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 10/9c on ABC.