DISNEY CHANNEL’S NEW ORIGINAL SERIES
WORLD PREMIERE, MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 7PM ET/PT
AIRS WEEKLY, MONDAYS, 7PM ET/PT
Disney Channel’s new half-hour live-action drama, explores
phenomena – ghosts, UFOs, ESP, you name it.
Using actual reported phenomena as a launching
point, the series follows the exploits of 14-year-old- Fiona
“Fi” Phillips (Cara DeLizia), a
computer-loving kid with an obsession for all things weird.
She travels the country with her
15-year-old brother, Jack (Patrick Levis), and their rock star
mom, Molly (Mackenzie Phillips).
Also along for the trip are Fi and Jack’s friend,
Clu Bell (Erik von Detten), whose dad, Ned
(Dave “Squatch” Ward), is the roadie and whose mom, Irene
(Belinda Metz), is the band’s stage
Winkler, Tom Aslte, Michelle Davis, and Alec Griffith serve as
producers. The series
is produced by Larry Sugar.
The concept for So
Weird came about when Henry Winkler worked with Michelle
and Alec Griffith on the 1991 documentary The UFO Report:
Sightings (and subsequent series) for
the Fox Television Network – which proved to be the
highest rated Friday night show since Fox’s
mentioned to them his interest in developing a show for children
around the paranormal.
Griffith liked the idea and it was shopped around for the next two
years. It was
eventually brought to Disney Channel, where the series found a
“The reason the
show works,” states executive producer and show runner Jon
“is that it’s humorous, it’s scary – though not enough to
frighten children – and very eerie.
I think it’s hard to put that together without
short-changing any of the elements.
We have a cast that can play things
very real. When they’re funny, you laugh with them.
When they’re scared, you are scared with
them. Every episode has a payoff.”
Phillips returns to television as a series regular for the first
time since starring in
the popular CBS sitcom One Day at a Time in the mid-70s.
Her role as teenager Julie Cooper
lasted seven years. “You
dream about getting a series again,” says Phillips.
“Often you can find
yourself in some place where you say. “This isn’t exactly what I thought it would be.”
So Weird we have an incredible ensemble cast and great
“I love these
kids a lot,” continues Phillips.
“We have a family here.
I think that if we were
shooting at home we wouldn’t have this much of a felling
of family, because you would be getting
those needs met at home. Here,
we have each other.”
also have the opportunity to utilize another of her talents on the
show – singing.
In her 20’s, Phillips spent three years touring the world
with her father, John Phillips, when he
re-created his legendary group The Mamas and the Papas.
Cara DeLizia was
thrilled at the opportunity to star in the series.
“Fi and I both march to
the beat of our own drum,” says DeLizia, “which is on of the
reasons I was really attracted to the
role. We don’t
really care if people turn us down.
We do our own thing. If
someone tells us “no”,
then we think that’s okay because that’s only one
“We both do
what we feel is right,” continues DeLizia. “Fi and I have a lot of similarities.
We both love the computer, for instance.
I take over my dad’s office whenever I can.
isn’t a big stretch for me – except that in real life I
don’t live on a bus,” she laughs.
Levis arrived for his audition, he ready knew that Cara had gotten
of Fi Phillips. “We
were sitting there,” recalls Levis.
“and my dad started talking to Cara’s mom
and she mentioned that they were from Maryland.
When we said we were also from Maryland,
she asked us where exactly and we replied, “Silver Springs.”
It was “so weird,” laughs Levis,
“because it ended up that we lived about twenty minutes from
DeLizia even taught my younger brother in kindergarten.
It’s a small world!”
of Clu is totally different from all my other roles,” remarks
Erik von Detten.
“it was a challenge to define his character, but now that
I’ve figured him out, he is a totally fun
character to play.”
is shot entirely on location in Vancouver, British Columbia. The
of diverse locations makes Vancouver an ideal place to shoot
the series. “We are
trying to put
across that we are in a different city each week,” explains
Cooksey. “We can do
52 states in
52 episodes and Vancouver doubles for anywhere.
That authenticity is so important to this show.”