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A.P. Bio Season 3 Preview
“This has always been misrepresented a little bit,” Howerton says. “The show did OK on NBC but not great. And certainly not good enough for them to pick it up. But it was always my understanding that the show kind of crushed it on Hulu. Then Hulu wasn’t doing work with NBC Universal anymore. So we had this large streaming audience but nowhere to put the show. Then when Peacock decided to do Peacock Originals, they picked us up really quickly.”
Through two seasons, A.P. Bio was always indeed a streaming-friendly show. The darkly funny series follows disgraced Harvard professor Jack Griffin (Howerton) as he is forced to move back to his Toledo, Ohio hometown to get a job teaching A.P. Biology at Whitlock High School. Jack, however, has no intention of teaching his students A.P. Bio. Instead he puts them to work addressing his many petty grievances.
Like many other comedies with stellar ensemble casts, A.P. Bio has evolved a bit from its original premise into a charming, easy-watching hang out show. And that charm continues into its Peacock-exclusive third season, all eight episodes of which premiere on Sept. 3.
A.P. Bio creator and showrunner Mike O’Brien highlights some of the show’s changes in moving to a streaming format.
“We don’t have to get it down to 21:12 anymore. The length varies. I don’t have to kill one more ‘baby’ that I would have to for that time block on network,” O’Brien says. “We get to go back to a three-act structure as well. Everything builds to one big low point.”
To mark the occasion of A.P. Bio’s streaming debut, we caught up with the cast of the show, and by cast…we mean everyone. First up, we chatted with the “adult” portion of the ensemble consisting of Howerton, Patton Oswalt (Principal Durbin), Paula Pell (Helen Henry DeMarcus), Lyric Lewis (Stef Dunacn), Jean Villepique (Michelle Jones), and Mary Sohn (Mary Wagner) about the move to Peacock, their characters, and their own high school years. We even had time for a rousing game of “TOLEDO or TOLED-NO.”
Patton Oswalt was happy to talk about his character’s, let’s say, questionable leadership style.
“My favorite part of Durbin is how he reacts with everyone around him,” Oswalt says. “The three teachers played by Jean, Mary, and Lyric treat him like a little brother that they know they can kind of tease and get away with it. They know just where to push him. It’s a high school that I am running as a principal but I am basically a student that is trying to fit in with other cliques. The way they write it is great.”
Paula Pell spoke on her character’s big change in season 3. After spending two seasons as Principal Durbin’s co-dependent helper, Helen Henry DeMarcus goes back to school as a student in Jack’s class. Though whether she’s a student or an administrator, Helen is one of A.P. Bio‘s most potent comedic weapons, with an absolutely baffling background.
“(She was) definitely part of a carnival or some sort,” Pell says. “Helen was definitely in a tent. Every few years they changed what the attraction was like – ‘she’s got three boobs!’ I do feel that Helen has a lot of white-knuckling positivity with some rage underneath it.”
“We do know she’s an orgy baby,” Howerton adds helpfully from the A.P. Bio canon.
We also chatted with all 11 of A.P. Bio’s “kid” cast (which is a bit of a misnomer given that they’re all now very much adults). Aparna Brielle (Sariak Sarkar), Nick Peine (Marcus Kasperak), Allisyn Snyder (Heather), Eddie Leavy (Anthony Lewis), Jacob Houston (Victor Kozlowski), Spence Moore II (Dan Decker), Sari Arambulo (Grace), Miguel Chavez (Eduardo), Marisa Baram (Marissa), and Yuyao Deng (Yuyao) all discuss their advanced placement education.
So check out our live panel conversation with the folks behind Peacock’s latest streaming original and stay tuned for a bit of Mike O’Brien extra credit at the end.