Randal Edwards talks Package Deal and its live studio audience

PackageDealRandalEdwardRandal Edwards believes his new City sitcom Package Deal is “as close to live theatre as TV gets”.

The Calgary native is one of the stars of the new Vancouver-set comedy series, which centres on a successful young lawyer and his uncommonly-close relationship with his two brothers (Harland Williams and Jay Malone).

The series breaks from the usual single camera set-up in favour of multiple cameras and a live studio audience.

“It’s as close to live theatre as TV gets. It’s a meeting of both worlds. It’s unlike any other TV job I’ve had. It’s a unique animal,” Edwards tells the Calgary Herald. “Seeing it done with a live audience, I couldn’t see doing it any other way because you get so much from the audience itself, with instant feedback. It makes the show. It really gives the show the life it needs.”

He admits there are drawbacks to shooting in front of a live audience.

“It’s an amazing thing when you drop a bomb and you’ve hit the joke on the screws and the place erupts. You are addicted!” Edwards said. “On the flip side of that, you drop one and it’s crickets out there, the silence is deafening.

“It’s a great way to say, ‘Okay, we’ve got to brush that one up.’ And you go and rewrite, bring in new dialogue on the fly. It’s such an amazing, vulnerable place to work in and from, which frankly, I haven’t felt since I was on stage.”

The series features heavyweight cameos from Canadians Eugene Levy and Pamela Anderson.

A sneak peek of Package Deal will air tomorrow night at 9pm ET/PT on City.

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