Wednesday, April 1, 2015

We Now Know The Sad Truth About That ‘Happy Endings’ Countdown Clock

EW.Com April Fools’ Day is officially here. For some of us, that means skeptically studying every news story and trying to figure out which ones are fake. For Happy Endings fans, it brings the hope of finding out what—or if—anything is going on with their beloved show.

Back in early February, the Twitter account run by the writers of Happy Endings—ABC’s fun-loving, pun-loving, high-energy, low-rated, gone-too-soon ensemble comedy—mysteriously posted a link to a countdown clock with the slogan “It’s almost a new day.” Immediately, fans began speculating away, and over the next few weeks, the account was updated with more cryptic hints, often including the hashtag #wintercomestwice. Did this mean that a revival of the show in some form was in the works? Or was it a reference to star Casey Wilson’s due date (although the pregnancy math didn’t line up)? Was it correctly forecasting the snowiest February in history? Or was the whole thing just a big joke, as the clock expired on April 1? Draaamaaaaaa!

As it turns out, the truth started with the fourth question—but almost ended with the first.

Let us explain. Happy creator David Caspe tells EW that a writer or an assistant with access to the Twitter account set up the countdown clock as a gag without his knowledge. As fans and the media began gushing about the possibility of more Endings, the feed was updated over the next few weeks with more fodder. Caspe says that he wanted to reveal that the tweets were a gag so as not to string along fans and raise unrealistic expectations, but then a funny thing happened: All of that buzz sparked the possibility of an actual reunion.

“It took on a life of its own to the point that actually there was some interest in finding a place to do a few more episodes or an hourlong special,” says Caspe. “So then I couldn’t comment because I wasn’t allowed to say anything yet. But as we hit April 1, nothing has really panned out, and I don’t want to keep people hanging on, so I have to say something. Happy Endings remains cancelled for now. Hopefully one day we’ll be able to do an hourlong or a couple stand-alone episodes, and I’ve talked to the cast about even just doing a five-minute cold open. I want to apologize to anyone who is annoyed. It was just a writers’ room bit that kind of got away from them. I realized that this could piss off a lot of fans, and our hardcore fans and critics are all we’ve ever had…. But I also have to say that it was really awesome to see how much love there was for the show. We didn’t really think anyone was watching anymore. It was great to see that someone was.”

Seconds Wilson: “I feel bad for anyone who got their hopes up. My hopes got up! But should there ever be any type of reunion, Penny and I will be there in a heartbeat… as long as it doesn’t interfere with Penny’s Sea Org obligations.”

The timing for a Happy reunion could work out for its in-demand cast members, who were last gathered together in the same room at the wedding of Caspe and Wilson in May. Damon Wayans, Jr. is departing New Girl, Adam Pally just exited The Mindy Project, Eliza Coupe’s USA comedy Benched was canceled in January, and Wilson’s NBC comedy Marry Me (which Caspe created) is on hiatus. (Meanwhile, Elisha Cuthbert’s new NBC comedy One Big Happy launched two weeks ago and Zachary Knighton’s Fox comedy Weird Loners debuted last night.)

Caspe says he and the writers haven’t gone too far down the road of plotting what could happen in the sextet’s next adventures. “I had always thought that they all died on that dance floor, so it would definitely take putting our heads together to figure out where they would be now if they didn’t die,” he deadpans. “Or we could just do a prequel, and even though they all look six, seven, eight years older, they’re actually 20 years younger.”

Given that we’re not getting younger waiting for a new beginning to Endings, we must ask: How realistic are the chances of a reunion eventually? “The cast wants to do it and the writers want to do it,” Caspe says. “It wouldn’t shock me if we did something. Never say never because something may pan out in the future.”

Keep in mind: The show that was hanging from the edge of cancellation has seen unexpected life before. “We spent more time dead than we did alive, for sure,” he says. “You never know. That’s Happy Endings.”

UPDATE: The @happywrites account, which had promised an update at noon ET, has tweeted: “Happy… April Fools’ Day! Sorry! All for fun. Caspe & Co. had nothing to do with it. Thanks for being so hyper-passionate about the show.”

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