The Watchman: Tattoo Show Is ‘Master’ of Its Domain, Disney Channel Crowd-Sources Comedy
Season 12 of Ink Master premieres on Paramount Network June 11. This season, it is “Battle of the Sexes.” The tattoo world has long been dominated by men, executive producer Glenda Hersh said, but women are finally getting their due.
“Battle of the sexes couldn’t be more timely subject matter,” she said.
Paramount Network ordered two seasons last month, which Hersh said “really speaks to Paramount’s commitment to the franchise” and helps the producers sleep at night.
There’s also a new Ink Master YouTube channel, which Hersh said is “a way for people to scratch their Ink Master itch 24/7.”
The show will have regular coaches, and Dave Navarro, guitar guy for Jane’s Addiction, continues to host. Hersh said he knows a ton about tattoos, and has solid credibility among tattoo artists. “He’s a rock star in so many ways,” she said.
Hersh’s Truly Original produces. What has enabled Ink Master, on Spike TV and now Paramount, to exist for so many seasons? She compared the series to a cooking show. A poorly prepared meal gets tossed in the garbage. A bad tattoo is there for life. “The stakes are really high,” she said.
Hersh is, shall we say, enthused about the new season. “I want to say it’s the best season ever,” she said. “But I don’t want to jinx it.”
And the guys behind Just Roll With It don’t want to jinx their new show, a funky mix of improv comedy and family sitcom that previews on Disney Channel June 14. The studio audience votes on the next scene, with the actors backstage.
Adam Small and Trevor Moore, both formerly of Disney XD’s Walk the Prank, created the show and executive produce it. Moore always loved those moments on Saturday Night Live when Horatio Sanz and Jimmy Fallon would crack each other up, and sought that kind of vibe throughout Just Roll With It.
Tobie Windham and Suzi Barrett play the parents, and Ramon Reed and Kaylin Hayman the step-sibling kids. “The show constantly pulls the rug out from under our actors,” said Moore, who refers to the audience voting as “crowd-sourcing a sitcom.”
Moore likens the audience to a fifth character on the show. In fact, the studio crowd is treated pretty well. There’s a DJ on set, and games and prizes are given out.
Just Roll With It “lifts the curtain” on a traditional sitcom to get behind the scenes, in Small’s words.
Producing a show like this is an awful lot of work, and casting it is no easy feat either. “We were hoping for lightning in a bottle,” Moore said. “And we got it.”
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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.