This was posted on Friday, January 3, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk
I spent some time today at the SCAD aTVFest with Boston native Mike O'Malley, showrunner and head writer for Starz's Atlanta-based show "Survivor's Remorse," who is a huge New England Patriots deep in Atlanta Falcons land.
Best known for his acting roles on CBS's "Yes, Dear" and Fox's "Glee," O'Malley told me he is planning to leave Atlanta tomorrow for Houston to attend the Super Bowl to root for his team. He is currently shooting the fourth season of "Survivor's Remorse."
Thanks to his ties to CBS and president Les Moonves, he managed to snag a couple of tickets to the game. Tim Werner, who has ownership in the Boston Red Sox and also happens to be an executive producer of "Survivor's Remorse," got him a few more. He ended up with five and is able to take most of his family.
He has already experienced the thrill of Super Bowl victory live, seeing the Patriots win three times, plus lose a fourth time. In fact, this will be his seventh trip to the Super Bowl. He admits that nabbing tickets to coveted events is one of the benefits of being a successful Hollywood actor and producer. "Both CBS and Fox carry football," he said. "I got lucky."
But O'Malley said he's not a trash talker. He's not going to knock the Falcons in any way. He said he expects a close game and wouldn't offer up a predictive score.
The best he'd go with is "this game is going to go down to whoever has the ball last."
"I have no control over the game," he added. "I'm just a football fan. I love how professional sports unite a city and a group of people." He recalls growing up when the Patriots were horrible, the Red Sox were lovable losers and the only saving grace was the Boston Celtics.
O'Malley, in "Survivor's Remorse," is not afraid to knock the Celtics of all teams.
In the final episode of season 3 of "Survivor's Remorse," the unnamed Atlanta team lost in the first round to the Celtics. A reporter interviewing Cam, the star basketball player after the series ended, basically mocked him. A humiliated Cam ran into a separate room to bawl.
"The Celtics are not very good," he said, at least in the series. "Atlanta is going to go for broke this year." (The real Celtics team is having a decent year: 31-18 so far, better than the Hawks at 29-21)
O'Malley chose not to name the Atlanta basketball team at all in his series as not to muddy the waters with the Hawks (and deal with whatever NBA licensing rights that might involve.)
"I have great respect for the [Hawks] franchise," O'Malley said, "and the people who are there now. When you start bringing in fictional characters behaving badly, you don't that to reflect on the real franchise. So it's easier for this to just be a made-up thing."
He said he has no animus toward Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan because he was a star at Boston College, a school his father, grandfather and numerous relatives attended. "Boston College is like the UGA for all of New England," he said, in terms of manufacturing football stars.
"You have a sense of pride," O'Malley said, "in that he is from your area. I want him to do well. I just don't want him to do better than the Patriots. That's my team!"