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Raising Hope's Dummies Make Your TV Smarter

Raising Hope, Lucas Neff, Martha Plimpton, Garrett Dillahunt Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Have you guys had time to see Fox's Raising Hope yet? We know it's hard to commit to a new series because they're so fragile and often vanish with a trace, but Raising Hope already got a full-season pickup, so it won't be taken from us too soon. Yay!

To celebrate the show's back-nine order, plus its return next Tuesday with new episodes, we sat down for five questions with creator Greg Garcia, the mastermind behind this very funny freshman comedy. Read on to find out who's playing Hope's other grandparents, how the brilliant Martha Plimpton got involved and what kind of arc we can expect for season one!

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How did you get Martha Plimpton to do the show? Because she's fabulous.
Greg Garcia:
We had looked around and I was a little lost with that role, so I just started Googling the birthdate for what makes sense for this woman who would have a baby at 15 that would be Lucas' age now, and Martha's named popped up. And I was kicking myself, I was like "Oh my god, why haven't I thought of Martha Plimpton? She's fantastic, I totally love her, and I've totally wanted to work with her." So then we got on the phone and we had a great conversation and thank goodness she liked the script and wanted to do it.

And how did you find Lucas and Garrett?
I saw Lucas Neff on tape in Chicago and immediately I knew he was the guy, he had this kind innocence to him. And he was funny without trying to push it, and I found myself rooting for him and I just knew he was the guy. Garret Dillahunt went on tape in New York, and he just does these little small subtle things that just elevate everything and again it feels so real.

Do you have a season-long arc planned?
No, I wish we did. That's why I got a little panicked when they ordered nine more. I get knots in my stomach thinking about stories, because they are the hardest thing to come up with. You've just got to pull them out of thin air.

Luckily for you, parenting is an endless pain in the butt.
You can find a million topics for stories, but we really put a lot of pressure on ourselves to have those stories then be good, and have different levels and payoff and stuff. We do not have those back nine episodes planned. In fact, my father called me and said, "Hey, I heard that [Fox president] Kevin Reilly said you've got the show running like a Swiss clock." And I said, "Yeah, that ticking you hear is not a clock."

Do you have any special plans for sweeps?
We have three episodes in November, and I'll tell you what they are. They weren't really planned as like sweeps or anything, but they're good episodes. The first one is, "Hope gets sick for the first time," so we have the neurosis of dealing with that. Then we have our Thanksgiving episode where the serial killer's parents [played by Greg Germann and Valerie Mahaffey] are coming for Thanksgiving dinner. And between the sick and Thanksgiving there's an episode where our family—I don't know what I want to give away here—but our family deals with sexual predators. Yeah, that doesn't sound funny, but it is. If I explained it more, it would sound funnier, but I feel like I don't want to kind of give away something funny. [Laughs.] It's a light look at sexual predators.

We're so there! Are you guys digging Hope as much as we are? What's your favorite episode so far?

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