O’Malley Game for ‘Survivor’s’ Sunday Shift

Survivor’s Remorse makes its Sunday debut July 24, paired with potent drama Power as Starz aims to elbow its way into premium cable’s most prized night. Mike O’Malley, showrunner on Survivor’s Remorse, calls the night shift a “real vote of confidence” from Starz. The show led out of Blunt Talk last season, and O’Malley believes his basketball comedy, about star hoopster Cam Calloway and his colorful family, is a better fit alongside 50 Cent’s Power.

“Starz has done a great job being bold creatively,” he says. “They allow us to pursue storylines that are the reasons people watch premium cable,” he says.

Survivor’s Remorse has some big names in the executive producer ranks, including Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and NBA superstar LeBron James. James’ business partner and pal Maverick Carter is much more hands-on with Survivor’s Remorse than James, for obvious reasons. “LeBron has been consumed with his own pursuits, including winning an NBA championship,” says O’Malley. James does talk story lines as the writers hash out a new season, he adds, and is in regular contact with Carter about the show.

O’Malley is a familiar face on both sides of the camera, on screen during the aughts in CBS comedy Yes, Dear and more recently playing Kurt’s plainspoken father in Glee, as well as producing on Shameless and now Survivor’s Remorse.

But here’s a new venture for him—bringing Jimmy Buffett’s songs to life in a stage musical based on the Margaritaville singer’s catalog. O’Malley was brought on to the project by Greg Garcia, who co-created Yes, Dear. The two are writing the book.

“It’s been a whole different thing,” O’Malley says, “creating a musical from scratch.”

Escape to Margaritaville will premiere at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse next May before (presumably) making its way to Broadway. O’Malley has been jetting to and from New York to further the project.

O’Malley, a Boston native, says he grew up on the Beatles and the Stones, but when you’re exposed to enough Buffett tunes, you start to feel the sand between your toes and maybe even the tequila on your tongue. “I’m not a Parrothead, but I’ve kind of become one because the music is so infectious,” he says. Buffett’s songs, O’Malley adds, offer “an incredibly deep glimpse into the human condition.”

The new season of Survivor’s Remorse goes pretty deep as well, examining love, death, God and how success affects the family dynamic. Says O'Malley of season three, “It’s a lot more in-depth."

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.