Family Dinner Scenes Where ‘Sneaky Pete’ Shines, Says Showrunner

The new season of gritty con drama Sneaky Pete starts up on Amazon March 9, promising more shady adventures for Marius, who is played by Giovanni Ribisi. Out of jail in season one, Marius assumes the identity of his cellmate Pete, and connects with Pete’s old family, looking to reboot his life.

In the new season, a couple goons are after Marius, thinking he’s Pete. Mayhem ensues.

Executive producer/showrunner Graham Yost said he was pleased with how season one landed. “It was really gratifying,” he said. “As writers and producers, you always think, that scene could’ve been better. But when people enjoy it, it’s a relief and a nice pat on the back. It ends up being encouragement going into the new season.”

Related: ‘The Dangerous Book for Boys’ Premieres on Amazon March 30

There are 10 episodes in season two. Also in the cast are Marin Ireland, Margo Martindale and Peter Gerety.

Regarding his season two highlight, Yost says he’s always game for a good Marius con. There is a handful in the new season. “Those are really fun to be a part of,” he said, “to help bring them to life.”

He added that big family dinner scenes involving Pete’s estranged family and Marius are always fun, too, as Marius has to be exceedingly careful not to give himself away as a fraud. “One turn of phrase, everything can blow up in his life,” said Yost.

He describes the scenes as “dangerous,” and key to Sneaky Pete’s success.

“Every season needs to have some family dinner in it,” he added.

David Shore and Bryan Cranston created the show. The executive producers are Yost, Michael Dinner, Fred Golan, Cranston and Seth Gordon.

Yost, whose credits include showrunner on FX’s Justified and executive producer on FX’s The Americans, said he knew Cranston “long before Walter White.”

“He’s incredibly smart, he asks a lot of good questions,” added Yost. “He’s very, very funny and a good leader, because he’s Bryan Cranston--that carries some weight.”

Asked how many seasons Sneaky Pete might run for, Yost quipped, “a minimum of 20,” then added that he really had no idea. “I don’t feel like you can run out of story after two seasons,” he added, “when the cast is this good.”

The cast and producers got together for an event at the 92nd Street Y in New York March 1. Yost says the premiere night for a show’s new season isn’t much of an event in the streaming world. “I’m not going to stay up and see the clock roll over on the Amazon website,” he said of the post-midnight premiere.

But he gives Amazon high marks for being a good partner on the series. Like most writers, he tends to despise network notes, but said Brian Harvey, development executive at Amazon Studios, “is good at giving me some smart ones.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.