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Interview with Jason Jones about TBS's 'The Detour' debuting April 11, already renewed for 2nd season

By RODNEY HO/, originally filed Monday, April 7, 2016

For the first time ever, Atlanta-based TBS last year shot a scripted series in metro Atlanta: "The Detour," a somewhat lewd comedy in the vein of "Vacation."

Jason Jones, a former "Daily Show" correspondent, executive produces and stars in the farce. (His wife and rising TBS weekly late-night star Samantha Bee is also involved but does not appear on the show.) Jones plays a family man Nate, who decides to take his wife Natalie and 11-year-old twins Delilah and Jared on a road trip from Syracuse, N.Y. to Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. nstead of flying to save money. (And you'll soon realize why he needs to save money.)

Some of the most notable metro Atlanta locations they used included the Atlanta Motor Speedway and Stone Mountain Park, which masqueraded as a year-round Christmas park.

You can watch the pilot episode in advance here.

"I wanted to do a show about a family that wasn't saccharine or overly sentimental," Jones said last summer while shooting an episode at Stone Mountain. "I hate that stuff. I love families. I have a family. I love my family. I just wanted a show that was real and honest. It's adult themed."

Indeed, the 11 year olds in the show will often hear or talk about sex in ways that may make some viewers cringe. (The trailers are already touting that.)

Jones kids were 5, 7 and 9 at the time of taping. Would they find the jokes acceptable? "My kids are pretty progressive," he said. "We let them watch what we watch. They have watched 'The Walking Dead.' They've seen 'The Lord of the Rings,' 'Kill Bill.' My four-year-old saw 'Braveheart.' "

If there is sex, he fast-fowards. "I try to mute the language," he said. "I know movies really well."

As for this particular show, he said it's really about the crazy journey, not the destination.

Reviews have been solid.

The LA Times: "The series' intelligent dopiness is something of a going style in comedy."

The LA Daily News: "After some hijinks at a strip club and a crazy confrontation with some truckers, “The Detour” finds its rhythm. And if this is a family comedy, then it brings an unexpected edge to the laughs."

The Columbus Dispatch: "The high point of the five episodes (out of 10 total) sent to critics emerges when the family stops at a restaurant called the Conquistador, where they eat oysters while a completely insensitive and outright wrong floor show is taking place, celebrating the genocide of native people by European conquerors."

The show has already been given a second season so TBS clearly has high hopes for an original comedy scripted hit, something the network has been craving for for years.


"The Detour," 9 p.m. Mondays, beginning April 11, TBS


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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.