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?
Balasco: The citizens of all four quadrants.
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch your show?
Balasco: You will become irrelevant.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing anyone has said or written about your show?
Balasco: "Without a doubt the greatest TV drama ever made."
TV Guide Magazine: What's the worst thing?
Balasco: "Most likely the greatest TV drama ever made."
TV Guide Magazine: Who was right?
Balasco: The truth is always somewhere in the middle.
TV Guide Magazine: What's an alternate title for your show?
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an equation for Kingdom.
Balasco: 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.
Balasco: 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?
Balasco: Four dollars at Crate and Barrel. I'm just never going to use it so let's forget about it.
TV Guide Magazine: Tell me one thing about your cast.
Balasco: 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?
Balasco: 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.
Balasco: 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."
Balasco: If you like most stuff, you'll love our show.
TV Guide Magazine: Pick another show and start a fake feud.
Balasco: Jane the Virgin. She knows why.
TV Guide Magazine: With what show would you like to do a crossover episode?
Balasco: Charlie Rose.
TV Guide Magazine: How will your show change the face of TV as we know it?
Balasco: 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).