The cast and creatives of the hit Apple TV+ musical series “Schmigadoon!” arrived at the TV Academy’s Saban Media Center in high spirits on Thursday night. Despite the rainy welcome, which forced the red carpet indoors, the theater was packed with fans and TV Academy voters who were treated to the first three episodes of season two.

Having found true love in the town of Schmigadoon, season two of “Schmigadoon!” finds Josh (Keegan-Michael Key) and Melissa (Cecily Strong) in Schmicago, the reimagined world of ’60s and ’70s musicals. The second season of Apple’s broadly acclaimed comedy will include new original musical numbers from co-creator, executive producer and showrunner Cinco Paul, as well as returning stars Cecily Strong, Keegan-Michael Key, Ariana DeBose, Martin Short, Dove Cameron, Jaime Camil, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Ann Harada, and Jane Krakowski. Newcomers Aaron Tveit and Tituss Burgess are welcome additions to the season two ensemble.

Co-Creator, Executive Producer, and Showrunner Cinco Paul was the first to arrive and he was quickly joined by his multi-talented cast. The FYC panel included stars Keegan-Michael Key, Cecily Strong, Dove Cameron (“Jenny Banks”), Jaime Camil (“Sergeant Rivera”), Jane Krakowski (“Bobbie Flanagan”), Aaron Tveit (“Topher”), and the scene-stealing Tituss Burgess who plays season two’s Narrator.

The series’ invaluable below the line talent were also in attendance, including Supervising Sound Editor Cormac Funge. “The second season introduces a new location which allows the sound crew to expand the world,” Funge says. “The first season was more rural and now we have cars, people, and darker elements mixed with jazz which we didn’t explore in year one.”

When it came to the series’ complex song and dance numbers, Funge expanded on his craft as a Sound Editor. “We wanted to add in the appropriate amount of sound effects without getting in the way of the music or lyrics,” Funge shares. “In the golden age of movie musicals there were no sounds effects, but here it needs to feel real and that these people are actually in front of you.”

Funge layers in the real sounds and takes special care to make sure the authenticity of sound has that human element. “When hands clap together or chairs hit the floor, we make sure the sounds are in time with the music, but they’re not not occurring at the same beat.. allowing for the human variance.”

For Cinematographer Jon Joffin, he was excited for the new era of season two. “When they brought me in and said that they wanted it to look darker and edgier, that always speaks to you as a cinematographer,” Joffin says. “I didn’t know much about technicolor before this, but I worked with a colorist and we came up with a look-up table and made it very technicolor and glossed it with a lot of lights and information.”

Technicolor with a nice rich contrast was Joffin’s aim and he more than succeeded with the episodes released so far from season two. Joffin worked with the Sony Venice 2 camera while filming the series. “It’s a rich camera with so much color space, and we used ice radiance lenses shot wide open to get the combination you see on screen.”

For newcomer Titus Burrell, he took to the narrator role. “I understood that as much as I was the narrator and center stage, it was not my story that I was telling,” Burrell said. “I was there to facilitate, shape, and craft the narrative.”

Burrell steals almost everey scene featuring the narrator with comedic facial expressions and inflections on the show’s well-written dialgoue. “I trust my instinct and my instrument, and it really combines so many of the things that I love,” says Burrell.

“I’m not as flashy as the characters I play, so for me, I hover on the softer moments of the series and there’s a moment in the finale that resonates with me and lives in my heart,” Burrell teases of the season two finale.

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 13: Tituss Burgess attends the Emmy FYC event screening and Q&A of the Apple TV+ award-winning series ÒSchmigadoon!Ó at the Television Academy in Los Angeles. ÒSchmigadoon!Ó season two is now streaming globally on Apple TV+.

Jane Krakowski had just stopped crying after a heartfelt compliment was paid to her by another reporter. Krakowski was feeling very moved by the reunion with her cast as they reflected on the hard work that they put into the series’ second season. “I love Cinco’s humanity and how he infuses that into his work, and I’m so grateful we’re a part of bringing tha to life,” says Krakowski.

Krakowski received consistent praise from her cast mates for her fantastic musical number “Bells and Whistles,” which required the star to tackle the art of trapeze in addition to delivering a rousing vocal performance.

“I get asked to do slightly quirky projects and this is definitively on that wavelength in the best way, combining my history of musical theater and comedy,” shares Krakowski. “This season, we’ve gotten the word out and people are finding our merry troupe of performers and our reviews have been wonderful.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 13: Keegan-Michael Key and Jane Krakowski attend the Emmy FYC event screening and Q&A of the Apple TV+ award-winning series ÒSchmigadoon!Ó at the Television Academy in Los Angeles. ÒSchmigadoon!Ó season two is now streaming globally on Apple TV+.

“Because the majority of the cast has that musical theater background, we use as many live takes as possible in the show,” Krakowski says. “What’s great about the show is that each season the majority of the ensemble comes back as completely different characters, and that keeps things incredibly fresh for us.”

For series producer and leading lady Cecily Strong, she’s also noticing the larger audience tuning in for season two. “I’ve loved the series since the table read, so I have no idea what is driving everyone to the show,” Strong. “It’s a joy anytime we’re able to be together and everyone contributes such great work on the show.”

In season two, Strong’s character deals with fertility issues, which are underlined by her job in healthcare. Through a very effective montage, Strong’s character is constantly performing sonograms on pregnant mothers while she’s dealing with fact that she can’t conceive a child with Keegan-Michael Key’s character.

“In this fantastical world, we have these two leading characters that are very grounded and real with problems they’re facing through this fantasy world,” Strong shares. “This season, we’re highlighting the reality for a lot of couples with issues conceiving… I’m thirty-nine now and it is something you think about.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 13: Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key attend the Emmy FYC event screening and Q&A of the Apple TV+ award-winning series ÒSchmigadoon!Ó at the Television Academy in Los Angeles. ÒSchmigadoon!Ó season two is now streaming globally on Apple TV+.

“Schmigadoon!” is co-created by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, and produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group and Broadway Video. Paul serves as showrunner and wrote all of the original songs for the series. Lorne Michaels is executive producer. Andrew Singer executive produces on behalf of Broadway Video with Micah Frank as co-executive producer.

Since its debut, “Schmigadoon!” has earned global acclaim and accolades, including Emmy and AFI Award wins and a Critics Choice Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for star Kristin Chenoweth. Viewers can catch up on the complete first season of “Schmigadoon!,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

About The Author

Founder, Awards Editor

Byron Burton is the Awards Editor and Chief Critic at Awards Focus and a National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award winning journalist for his work at The Hollywood Reporter.

Byron is a voting member of the Television Academy, Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Creative Alliance, and the Society of Composers & Lyricists (the SCL) for his work on Marvel's X-Men Apocalypse (2016). Working as a journalist and moderator, Byron hosts Emmy and Oscar panels for the major studios, featuring their Below The Line and Above The Line nominees (in partnership with their respective guilds).

Moderating highlights include Ingle Dodd's "Behind the Slate" Screening Series and their "Spotlight Live" event at the American Legion in Hollywood. Byron covered the six person panel for Universal's "NOPE" as well as panels for Hulu's "Pam & Tommy Lee" and "Welcome to Chippendales" and HBO Max's "Barry" and "Euphoria."

For songwriters and composers, Byron is a frequent moderator for panels with the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) as well as The ArcLight's Hitting the High Note Oscar series.

Byron's panels range from FX's Fargo to Netflix's The Crown, The Queen's Gambit, The Witcher & Bridgerton; HBO Max's The Flight Attendant, Hacks, Succession, Insecure, & Lovecraft Country; Amazon Studios' The Legend of Vox Machina, Wild Cat, & Annette; and Apple TV+s Ted Lasso, Bad Sisters, and 5 Days at Memorial.

In February of 2020, Byron organized and hosted the Aiding Australia Initiative; launched to assist in the restoration and rehabilitation of Australia's wildlife (an estimated 3 billion animals killed or maimed and a landmass the size of Syria decimated).

Participating talent for Aiding Australia includes Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Jeremy Renner, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Josh Brolin, Bryan Cranston, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, JK Simmons, Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina, James Franco, Danny Elfman, Tim Burton, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Tim Allen, Colin Hay, Drew Struzan, and Michael Rosenbaum.

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