‘Perfect Harmony’ sets the tone for the 2019 PaleyFest Fall TV Previews

Image: Brian To for the Paley Center

The cast of “Perfect Harmony” seems to be living in just that: perfect harmony. The new NBC show, set to premiere on September 26, on NBC at 8:30/7:30c is about to add more happiness, music, and comedy to the network’s lineup. When former Princeton professor Arthur Cochran (Bradley Whitford) happens upon an out of tune church choir in a small town, he ends up helping the group out. Hilarity and harmony then ensue, making this bunch just as lovable on-screen as they are off.

Meet the Choir

Image: Brian To for the Paley Center

Whitford, who also plays Commander Joseph Lawrence on Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” not only stars in the new NBC show but is serving as executive producer as well. The creative team includes director and executive producer Jason Winer, as well as executive producer, creator, and writer Lesley Wake Webster.

“Pitch Perfect” star Anna Camp (Ginny), Geno Segers (Dwayne), Rizwan Manji (Reverand Jax), Tymberlee Hill (Adams Adams), Will Greenberg (Wayne) and Spencer Allport (Cash) are part of the “Perfect Harmony” crew. Each of them unexpectedly brings a little more glee to the others’ lives.

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The cast made an appearance on the opening night of the 2019 PaleyFest Fall TV Previews at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills.

Living in Perfect Harmony

“I was so excited to do a comedy with music because music suggests energy and energy suggests movement for the camera,” Jason Winer told The Burn-In during the September 5 PaleyFest event. “As the director, it was an opportunity to do comedy with a sense of visual style, and usually that’s not allowed on network TV.”

“It’s an amazing group of really funny people,” Winer added. “Most of all, you can get that sense that they like each other; they like working together, and that shows up on the screen. In my opinion, you can’t really succeed as a comedy unless you’re actually having fun making it, and this bunch is having fun.”

Spencer Allport, the youngest of the group, agrees that it’s the relationship between the cast that makes this show so special. “We’re all one big happy family. It’s just amazing to see these people. We, as actors, barely know each other. But we come together and it’s like we’ve known each other for years now.”

Life on the Set

“We sing everything all the time – and not well,” Tymberlee Hill joked while discussing what goes on behind the scenes. “The girls, we will sit together and sing anything on the radio… I think we’ve got more video of us dancing in the trailer than probably actual footage from the show.” Hill went on to acknowledge that the type of camaraderie they share is rare.

Her praises also went to Whitford. “Bradley is someone I am a huge fan of. He has done so many different kinds of interesting work, but one of the things that I’ve been enjoying most about this is seeing the work that he does on our show and then going home and watching him on ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ I cannot wait for people to see this other person. It really is the most exciting thing. He’s the nicest man in the entire world. And I love that they’re going to get to see him being funny and cute.”

“We are at work every single day having the time of our lives, and we can’t wait for it to air,” Hill adds. “That’s what’s going to translate. And the general love that we have for each other. Which we really, really do.”

Image: Brian To for the Paley Center

Singing Each Other’s Praises

“He’s hilarious and constantly telling stories,” Will Greenberg also said of Whitford, just after complimenting his “dreamboat” co-star, Anna Camp. “He’s probably putting us well behind schedule because of all those stories, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” the actor said with a smile.

“I’m really excited for people to see how much fun we’re having. It’s going to translate into them having fun. That’s how it works in comedy. If we have fun, you have fun. There are a lot of great songs, a lot of great dancing, and a lot of big laughs.”

Part of the beauty of this show, as Geno Segers pointed out, is that they are all helping each other rediscover happiness. “I think of it as inspiration,” Segers tells The Burn-In. “I think that Arthur finds inspiration in the choir. The choir finds inspiration in Arthur. For the most part, in my humble opinion, the show is about finding inspiration in the most unlikely of places.”

Dream Team

With Anna Camp in the starring role, it’s hard not to draw comparisons to “Pitch Perfect.” Others are quick to call out similarities to “Glee” or “High School Musical.” That’s been corrected by Camp, who has referred to the show as more of “The Office” meets “Sister Act.” As noted during the PaleyFest event, the show is its own creation. Different from the rest. It is “an ensemble with musical elements.”

Image: Brian To for the Paley Center

Lesley Wake Webster brings an original idea to life and has assembled a cast where each member brings a fun-loving spirit. It’s that real-life glee that shines through on camera. Thanks to its collective cast, “Perfect Harmony” will be adding some good-humored melodic fun to TV screens this fall.

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Sari Cohen is a journalist based in the Greater L.A. Area. She began her career in the entertainment industry as a stand-up comedy writer/performer and over the years has developed scripts for both the stage and screen. She currently covers music and live entertainment for AXS, reviews movies for Hollywood First Look Features and writes for InLove Magazine. She also pens funny stuff for popular sites such as Cracked and Screen Rant. You can often find her at concerts or on a red carpet somewhere, talking to someone about something. From on-the-scene reporting to exclusive interviews, she tackles every topic from music, movies and television, to fashion, lifestyle and politics. You can check out more on Twitter at @ask_sari or follow her adventures on Instagram under @thesavvyscribbler.