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?
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.

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

TV Guide Magazine: What's an alternate title for your show?
Balasco:
Heart-Punchers

 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.

Scene Stealer: Why We Love Kingdom's Jonathan Tucker

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).

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