On August 15, The CW launched CW Seed, a digital studio focused on developing original series on the Web, with the goal of establishing projects that can ideally be ported over to the broadcast network if they connect with an audience.
It’s a strategy that’s worked well for shows like Lisa Kudrow’s “Web Therapy” on Showtime and Adult Swim’s “Childrens Hospital,” and CW Seed has launched with a diverse array of comedies, like the third season of critically-acclaimed “Husbands“; globetrotting “Backpackers” starring “Nikita’s” Dillon Casey; “The P.E.T. Squad Files” produced by “Heroes’” Milo Ventimiglia; and animated “Gallery Mallory,” which will feature guest voices from CW stars like Misha Collins, Justin Hartley and Kat Graham.
In an attempt to get over a serious case of cold feet, “Backpackers” finds recently engaged Ryan (Noah Reid) and Beth (Meghan Heffern) embarking on separate European adventures leading up to their wedding. While traveling they are free to act single, adopting the mantra “what happens in Europe, stays in Europe.” But hours into his adventure with his party animal, womanizing best friend Brandon (Casey), Ryan realizes he’s made a huge mistake and sets off in search of Beth. One problem: He has no idea where she could be. The series consists of eight episodes, each around 12 minutes in length.
HuffPost TV caught up with Casey to discuss the appeal and challenges of working on the Web, the experience of filming on location across Europe, and how he feels about his “Nikita” exit.
How did you first get involved with “Backpackers”?
“Backpackers” is a project that’s actually been around for a while. I auditioned for it first almost five years ago. It was one of these things where I was about to head back to Los Angeles; I had just moved there, and I was in Canada for a couple days. I went in for this thing where we were gonna get to do a lot of improvising and chemistry reads. It was a very vague idea of what it was going to be. So, I went in and had fun and, originally, I was cast with this guy named Chris Turner, so we originally went to Barcelona, Chris and I, and shot the presentation pilot that was about these guys who made this deal to go across Europe and have an amazing time.
Ryan, Chris’s character at the time, who is now played by Noah Reid, is trying to find his fiancée. She could be anywhere in Europe, but they made this deal where they’re allowed to go across Europe and have as much sex as they want, until they meet up two weeks later and get married. He quickly decides that he doesn’t want to do that, but by that time, she’s already lost, and my character, Brandon, is trying to keep his head on straight and make sure he has fun, but in the meantime he’s helping him find Beth … Half of that was how I got involved, and half of that was the plot of the show. [Laughs.]
Brandon is the wingman on the show, so is his goal in all of this to just screw his way across Europe and have as much fun as possible?
Well, I don’t want to paint him with that brush — his mission is to love his way across Europe, not “screw.” [Laughs.] He’s bringing a little bit of happiness to European women. He’s there for his buddy — he’s the best man, he’s the best friend. They couldn’t be more opposite when it comes to their love lives. Ryan is marrying his high school sweetheart, and Brandon has never been in a relationship in his life. So, I think that he’s looking for love, but he’s more open to the other stuff, I guess. So his mission is actually to get Ryan to screw his way across Europe. He’s already done it himself, it’s no big deal for him, so this is more for Ryan than for him.