Title card from the third season
|Created by||Brad Bell
|Written by||Brad Bell
|Directed by||Jeff Greenstein (17 episodes)
Eli Gonda (3 episodes)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||20 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Jane Espenson
|Producer(s)||M. Elizabeth Hughes|
|Location(s)||Los Angeles, California|
|Running time||3–9 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Ottoman Empire|
|Distributor||CW Seed (2013–present)|
|Original run||September 13, 2011– present|
Husbands is an American sitcom written and created by Brad Bell and Jane Espenson, which premiered September 13, 2011 via super syndication on platforms such as Blip, YouTube, and Roku. The series stars Brad Bell and Sean Hemeon as the newly married couple. Billed as the world's first marriage equality comedy, Husbands is a modern look on the classic premise of the newlywed sitcom.
The second season premiered August 15, 2012. After producing two seasons independently, it was announced that CW Seed had made a six-episode order for a third season of Husbands, which aired on August 15, 2013.
After six weeks of courtship, an actor (Bell) and a baseball player (Hemeon) travel to Las Vegas in celebration of a federal amendment for marriage equality, only to wind up drunk-married to each other. Fearing that a public divorce would be devastating to the cause, and their careers, the two decide to stay married.
- Brad Bell as Cheeks
- Sean Hemeon as Brady Kelly
- Alessandra Torresani as Haley
- Season one
- Season two
- Amber Benson as Angry Mom
- Joss Whedon as Wes
- Dichen Lachman as Pillow Girl #1
- Tricia Helfer as Pillow Girl #2
- Felicia Day as Sexy Pizza Girl
- Sasha Roiz as Photog
- Willie Warren Jr. as Sports Interviewer
- Emma Caulfield as Stadium Interviewer
- Mekhi Phifer as Mark
- Jon Cryer as Vic Del Rey
- Magda Apanowicz as TV Make-Up Artist
- Aasha Davis as TV Show Producer
- Clare Grant as Jessie
- John Hodgman as himself
- Season three
|Season premiere||Season finale|
|1||11||September 13, 2011||October 18, 2011|
|2||3||August 15, 2012||September 12, 2012|
|3||6||August 15, 2013||October 3, 2013|
The conceptualization of the series originated from a script written by Brad Bell, entitled SO L.A., the story of a gay man in his twenties, his female best friend, and the single life in Los Angeles. Jane Espenson read the script and declared it "brilliant, and funny, and hilarious". She urged Bell to move forward with the project and search for a more immediate angle. Bell countered by offering the premise of young same-sex newlyweds, giving the concept a "fresher take" and turning it into a platform for his signature comedic style of societal observations. Bell then wrote the initial draft of what became Husbands overnight.
On July 12, 2011 the main cast was announced as Brad Bell, Sean Hemeon and Alessandra Torresani. Hemeon was the last actor to audition for the part of Brady, and eventually got the role. The name of his character Brady Kelly is a deliberate word play on the name of show creator Brad Bell. During the live world premiere of season one on Streamin' Garage, Bell announced that the first two celebrity guest appearances would be Michael Buckley and Nathan Fillion.
At the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con, Brad Bell and Jane Espenson revealed that Joss Whedon would appear in all episodes as Wes, on which Whedon commented that it was his "biggest acting role yet". Further casting for season two included Jon Cryer, Mekhi Phifer, Felicia Day, Amber Benson, Emma Caulfield, Tricia Helfer, Sasha Roiz, Magda Apanowicz, Aasha Davis, Dichen Lachman, and Clare Grant.
On July 5, 2013 The Hollywood Reporter announced Amy Acker as the first guest star of the third season. During the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, the casting sheet for season three was revealed to include Seth Green, Michael Hogan, Beth Grant and Deb Theaker. A trailer later confirmed that Hogan and Grant would be playing Brady's parents Scott and Gillian, respectively. Janina Gavankar and Elaine Carroll were later added to the list.
To fund the second season, the creators launched a Kickstarter platform for individual pledges, the primary goal being $50,000. On April 18, 2012 the campaign reached $60,000, 120% of their original goal. Whilst the first season consisted of eleven two-minute episodes, the second season consists of three eight-minute acts. In an interview with Heat, Bell added that they were "turning everything up, the quality, the controversy, the comedy, the heart, the sex -- everything". On August 13, 2012 season two premiered at the Paley Center for Media, in Beverly Hills, California, making it the first online series to be hosted by Paley Center.
On March 27, 2013 Variety reported that Husbands would continue production in partnership with CW Seed. Accordingly, CW Seed ordered six episodes for the third season, consisting of two story arcs. It aired on the network on August 15, 2013, and debuted a special screening at the Paley Center for Media on August 14, 2013. With the move to CW Seed, the new content on its website became geographically locked to air in the United States. Brad Bell explained, "25% of our audience is international, and we love those fans. [...] I am working on how we are going to get it to them". The issue was later redressed, re-releasing the season internationally on October 17, 2013.
In other media
At the 2012 Dragon*Con, it was announced that an exclusive six-issue Husbands digital comic book series would be released, starting October 24, 2012, with Dark Horse Comics, featuring art by Ron Chan and various other artists. Jane Espenson elaborated on the key concept, saying that "the comic books are going to totally dive into a whole [alternate-universe] premise. So we're going from genre-curious to full-on genre". The storyline follows the events that take place after Cheeks and Brady receive a mysterious wedding present, which sets in motion a chain of events, thematic to the rabbit hole metaphor. Brad Bell, who wrote the script with Espenson, says "I wanted to make sure we translated Husbands into something worthy of the comic realm. It’s not some sort of trans-media marketing ploy. I think fans of comics and fans of Husbands will enjoy it". The series was ultimately collected in a hardcover edition, released March 27, 2013.
Impact and reception
Husbands was the first new media series to receive critical acclaim from multiple mainstream media outlets, including high praise from The New Yorker, which marked the publication's first inclusion of a new media series. Commending the series' writing, TVLine remarked that "rapid fire wit and comedic cleverness dominate every moment". Maureen Ryan of The Huffington Post noted the intricacy beneath Husbands' sitcom sensibility, saying, "Husbands doesn't side-step the complexity of the situation…it deftly uses those problems as comedic fodder". Lifestyle magazine Out echoed this sentiment by calling Husbands "crackling cultural commentary with the quick-step energy of classic screwball comedy" while Time observed that, though Husbands "starts from a high-satire topic about the public debate over gay marriage" it ultimately "ends up telling a very sweet story about two guys trying to have a relationship simply as people". In addition to being named the Best Web Comedy of 2011 by TV.com and "currently the best web series running" by A.V. Club's Todd VanDerWerff, Husbands was also called "One of the smartest, most unique, and powerful pieces of entertainment this year" by The Insider.
As for the show's role in the context of the entertainment industry, political blog ThinkProgress defined Husbands as "pioneering", and "an important example of how television distributed online fits into a larger pop-culture ecosystem". Adding to that idea, Complex praised the show for being "consistently hilarious…while blazing digital and social trails".
Before guest starring in season two, Joss Whedon expressed his admiration for the series, and described it as "full of the kind of whip-smart remarks you wish you'd written yourself". Additional media coverage has included Wired, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Atlantic, The Advocate, The Austin Chronicle, The Salt Lake Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Backstage, The Backlot, AfterEllen, as well as the media monitoring organization GLAAD.
On September 24, 2011 the numbers of the individual viewers were announced, which amounted up to 100,000 after 10 days on air. The series currently holds over 2,300,000 total upload views on YouTube, as of November 2013.
|Year||Award||Category||Recipients and nominees||Result|
|2012||Indie Soap Awards||Best Actor (Comedy)||Brad Bell||Nominated|
|Best Writing (Comedy)||Jane Espenson & Brad Bell||Nominated|
|Telly Awards||Online Video||Scriptacular Productions||Won|
|Webby Awards||Best Writing||Nominated|
|2013||International Academy of Web Television||Best Comedy Web Series||Husbands||Nominated|
|Best Male Performance (Comedy)||Sean Hemeon||Nominated|
|Best Female Performance (Comedy)||Alessandra Torresani||Nominated|
|Best Writing (Comedy)||Brad Bell & Jane Espenson||Nominated|
|Best Directing (Comedy)||Jeff Greenstein||Nominated|
|Streamy Awards||Best Male Performance: Comedy||Brad Bell||Nominated|
|Best Female Performance: Comedy||Alessandra Torresani||Nominated|
|Best Guest Appearance||Joss Whedon||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography||Benjamin Kantor||Nominated|
|Series of the Year||Husbands||Nominated|
|Indie Soap Awards||Best Web Series (Comedy)||Nominated|
|Best Actor (Comedy)||Brad Bell||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor (Comedy)||Joss Whedon||Nominated|
|Best Writing (Comedy)||Brad Bell & Jane Espenson||Won|
|Best Directing (Comedy)||Jeff Greenstein||Nominated|
|Best Ensemble (Comedy)||Husbands||Nominated|
|Best Guest Appearance (Comedy)||Jon Cryer||Nominated|
|Best Editing||Nathaniel Atcheson||Nominated|
|2014||Writers Guild of America Awards||Short Form New Media – Original||Brad Bell and Jane Espenson for the episodes
"I Do Over Part 1–2"
- Deal, Cody (July 26, 2011), Jane Espenson's New Web Series 'Husbands', mediablvd.com, retrieved October 22, 2011
- Busch, Jenna (August 17, 2011), An Interview with Cheeks, Sean Hemeon and Alessandra Torresani of "Husbands", comediva.com, retrieved October 22, 2011
- Wieselman, Jarett (August 29, 2011), 'Husbands' - Prepare To Fall In Love, theinsider.com, retrieved October 22, 2011
- Tabrys, Jason (September 8, 2011), TRAILER: Fall in Love with Jane Espenson’s HUSBANDS, veryaware.com, retrieved October 22, 2011
- Shipp, Jeremy C. (September 22, 2011), Interview with Jane Espenson, jeremycshipp.wordpress.com, retrieved October 22, 2011
- Bernstein, Abbie (September 9, 2011), Exclusive: Set visit to new comedic web series HUSBANDS – Part 1, assignmentx.com, retrieved October 22, 2011
- Fleischmann, Simon (July 31, 2011). "Jane Espenson discusses her new online series 'Husbands'". whedonverse.net. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
- Dietsch, TJ (April 17, 2012), Interview With Writer Jane Espenson ("Buffy The Vampire Slayer") And The Cast From The Webseries Husbands!, mtv.com, retrieved April 18, 2012
- Jusino, Teresa (September 13, 2011), From "So L.A." To "Husbands", tor.com, retrieved October 22, 2011
- McDuffee, Keith (July 20, 2011), Husbands – Webisode Clack, cliqueclack.com, retrieved October 22, 2011
- Fleischmann, Simon (July 31, 2011). "Jane Espenson discusses her new online series 'Husbands'". whedonverse.net. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- Barnett, Barbara (October 21, 2011), Video Interview with the Husbands Gang, blogcritics.org, retrieved October 22, 2011
- Husbands The Series Invites Nathan Fillion and Michael Buckley to the Cast, buzzfeed.com, November 3, 2011, retrieved March 29, 2013
- Husbands, the Series, paperblog.com, September 14, 2011, retrieved October 22, 2011
- Rosenberg, Alyssa (March 20, 2012), Funding ‘Husbands’ Season 2, and Looking Beyond Kickstarter, thinkprogress.org, retrieved March 22, 2012
- Zakarin, Jordan (July 15, 2012), Comic-Con 2012: Joss Whedon Starring in Jane Espenson Series 'Husbands' (Exclusive), hollywoodreporter.com, retrieved July 15, 2012
- Hanks, Henry (July 17, 2012), What’s next for Joss Whedon?, cnn.com, retrieved July 18, 2012
- Sandler, Brittany (August 17, 2012), Hollywood Stars Drop in on Male Newylweds in ‘Husbands’, tubefilter.com, retrieved August 18, 2012
- Tabrys, Jason (August 22, 2012), Interview: Jane Espenson and Brad Bell talk ‘Husbands’ Season 2, nerdbastards.com, retrieved August 25, 2012
- Jane Espenson's 'Husbands' To Feature Whedonverse Favorites, mtv.com, June 27, 2012, retrieved June 28, 2012
- Ohanesian, Liz (June 11, 2012), Jane Espenson on Husbands: "This Is My Film School", meltcomics.com, retrieved June 12, 2012
- Vary, Adam B. (June 28, 2012), 'Husbands': EP and star on season 2 of their gay-marriage web series -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS, ew.com, retrieved June 28, 2012
- Ng, Philiana (July 5, 2013), Amy Acker to Guest Star on 'Husbands' (Exclusive), hollywoodreporter.com, retrieved July 6, 2013
- Wright, Eddie (July 19, 2013), SDCC 2013: First Look At 'Husbands' Season 3 Guest Stars [EXCLUSIVE], mtv.com, retrieved July 21, 2013
- La Rosa, Erin (July 20, 2013), 9 Things You Missed At The Comic-Con BuzzFeed Bash, buzzfeed.com, retrieved July 21, 2013
- Raftery, Liz (August 14, 2013), Exclusive: CW's Web Series Husbands Adds Cast Members from True Blood, CollegeHumor, tvguide.com, retrieved August 14, 2013
- Brew, Simon (September 14, 2011), Jane Espenson interview: Husbands, Torchwood, Battlestar Galactica and more, denofgeek.com, retrieved October 22, 2011
- "Husbands The Series" Joins Streamin’ Garage Roku Channel!, streamingarage.com, retrieved August 22, 2013
- Esai Morales in Fairly Legal, Husbands & Grimm get second seasons, The Hunger Games premiere, and more updates, capricatv.net, March 16, 2012, retrieved March 17, 2012
- Kennedy, Ed (March 18, 2012), Weekend Meme: "Husbands the Series" Returning, Jayson Blair In "The New Normal", and Channing Tatum Moons Jonah Hill, afterelton.com, retrieved March 18, 2012
- Husbands the Series Season 2, kickstarter.com, March 19, 2012, retrieved March 19, 2012
- Kuhn, Sarah (July 26, 2012), Brad "Cheeks" Bell, "Husbands", backstage.com, retrieved July 27, 2012
- Kennedy, Ed (April 19, 2012), Morning Meme: "Husbands" Finishes Strong, Eliza Dushku is She-Hulk, and Matthew Mitcham Doesn't Mind the Attention, afterelton.com, retrieved April 20, 2012
- Update #6: AND… YOU DID IT!, kickstarter.com, April 18, 2012, retrieved April 20, 2012
- Wilkinson, Sophie (June 29, 2012), Husbands gets a second series and Joss Whedon says he loves it, heatworld.com, retrieved July 1, 2012
- Husbands: Season Two Premiere of the Acclaimed Online Sitcom, paleycenter.org, July 27, 2012, retrieved July 28, 2012
- Barnett, Barbara (March 27, 2012), Husbands Creator Jane Espenson Chats About Season Two and Once Upon a Time - Page 2, blogcritics.org, retrieved June 17, 2012
- Marechal, AJ (March 27, 2013), CW Offers ‘Husbands,’ More Web Fare from Digital Studio (Exclusive), variety.com, retrieved March 27, 2013
- Gutelle, Sam (March 27, 2013), CW Digital To Add ‘Husbands’ To Its Web Series Offerings, tubefilter.com, retrieved March 28, 2013
- Rosenberg, Alyssa (March 28, 2013), Jane Espenson and Brad Bell’s Marriage Equality Comedy ‘Husbands’ Moves To The CW, thinkprogress.org, retrieved March 29, 2013
- Whitney, Alyse (July 19, 2013), Husbands Season 3 Official Poster Revealed For CW Seed Debut! — Exclusive Photo, wetpaint.com, retrieved July 20, 2013
- Brad Bell & Allan Loeb Matthew Aaron Show (8/21/13), blogtalkradio.com, August 22, 2013, retrieved August 22, 2013
- Season Three of Husbands Gets Premiere Date, Paley Center Showcase, whedonopolis.com, July 26, 2013, retrieved July 26, 2013
- McIntyre, Gina (August 5, 2013), Jane Espenson’s ‘Husbands’: Watch exclusive Amy Acker clip [video], latimes.com, retrieved August 6, 2013
- Whyte, Marama (July 31, 2013), ‘Husbands’ creators Jane Espenson and Brad Bell talk season 3, Kickstarting a film, and more, hypable.com, retrieved August 1, 2013
- Ellwood, Pip (October 14, 2013), New Husbands episodes to be released internationally, entertainment-focus.com, retrieved October 14, 2013
- Carter, Ricky (September 7, 2012), The GLAAD Wrap: Keep the Lights On Opens, In The Life Ending, and Melissa Etheridge's New Album, glaad.org, retrieved September 9, 2012
- Kennedy, Ed (September 3, 2012), Morning Meme: PETA Slams Lady Gaga Again, "The New Normal" Finds a New Home In Salt Lake, and James Franco Rocks Dreads, afterelton.com, retrieved September 4, 2012
- Jane Espenson’s 'Husbands' Gets Comical, mtv.com, November 26, 2012, retrieved November 14, 2012
- Chan, Ron (September 2, 2012), Husbands the Comic, ronchan.net, retrieved September 2, 2012
- Portwood, Jerry (September 5, 2012), EXCLUSIVE: 'Husbands' Comic Art Revealed, out.com, retrieved September 5, 2012
- Townsend, Megan (October 24, 2012), Husbands Digital Comic Spinoff Releases First Installment 'Drawn In', glaad.org, retrieved October 25, 2012
- Wieselman, Jarett (September 4, 2012), 'Husbands' Becomes A Comic - Exclusive Photo, theinsider.com, retrieved September 5, 2012
- Nussbaum, Emily (January 2, 2012), Warming Trend, newyorker.com, retrieved March 19, 2012
- Rothmuller, Sheryl (August 16, 2012), What to Watch: 5 Web Series Worth Checking Out, tvline.com, retrieved August 17, 2012
- Ryan, Maureen (August 20, 2012), Joss Whedon, Jon Cryer Join 'Husbands,' A 'Buffy' Veteran's Frisky Web Series, huffingtonpost.com, retrieved August 22, 2012
- Krochmal, Shana Naomi (August 7, 2012), Meet Brad Bell & Sean Hemeon, America's freshest comedy duo., out.com, retrieved August 7, 2012
- Poniewozik, James (August 16, 2012), Husbands: Do You Take These Men? We Do!, time.com, retrieved August 17, 2012
- Best Web Comedy (Episodic), tv.com, retrieved March 20, 2012
- VanDerWerff, Todd (October 30, 2012), Is an indie television movement on the verge of breaking through?, avclub.com, retrieved July 24, 2013
- Wieselman, Jarett (August 30, 2012), 'Husbands' Creators Take You Inside Season 2, theinsider.etonline.com, retrieved August 24, 2013
- Rosenberg, Alyssa (August 8, 2012), Why ‘Husbands’ Matters: An Exclusive Look at the Marriage Equality Sitcom’s Second Season, thinkprogress.org, retrieved August 10, 2012
- Gallagher, Brenden (March 4, 2013), The 25 Best Web Series Right Now, complex.com, retrieved March 4, 2013
- Morgan, Joe (June 30, 2012), Director of The Avengers and creator of Buffy Joss Whedon is supporting the show, gaystarnews.com, retrieved July 1, 2012
- Suehle, Ruth (September 11, 2012), Jane Espenson and Brad Bell on Husbands, Creating a Web Show, and TV’s Future, wired.com, retrieved September 12, 2012
- Wagner, Curt (August 19, 2013), 'Husbands' review: Do you take these men? I do!, chicagotribune.com, retrieved August 24, 2013
- Gray, Ellen (August 16, 2012), Ellen Gray: 'Husbands' ready for prime-time spot, philly.com, retrieved August 25, 2012
- Rosenberg, Alyssa (September 12, 2011), 'Husbands': Gay Marriage Gets the 'Mad About You' Treatment, theatlantic.com, retrieved March 20, 2012
- Broverman, Neal (October 27, 2011), TV Mastermind Jane Espenson: From Ellen to Buffy to Evil Queens, advocate.com, retrieved March 20, 2012
- Whittaker, Richard (June 7, 2013), Untangling the Web, austinchronicle.com, retrieved June 6, 2013
- Pierce, Scott D. (November 8, 2012), Online comedy » Web hit that has inspired a comic-book series is coming to Utah for benefit screening, panel discussion., sltrib.com, retrieved November 11, 2012
- McIntyre, Gina (August 5, 2013), Jane Espenson’s ‘Husbands’: Watch exclusive Amy Acker clip [video], latimes.com, retrieved August 24, 2013
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 12, 2011), Jane Espenson's Web Series Husbands at Meltdown's Nerdist Panel: Taking the Gay Sitcom to Another Universe, laweekly.com, retrieved October 22, 2011
- Riley, Jenelle (December 14, 2011), Some of TV's Best Talent Moonlight on the Webseries 'Husbands', backstage.com, retrieved August 24, 2013
- Kennedy, Ed (July 13, 2012), Interview: Jane Espenson and Brad "Cheeks" Bell on "Husbands" Season Two, thebacklot.com, retrieved August 24, 2013
- Hogan, Heather (August 22, 2012), Morning Brew - Tues. Aug. 22: Tricia Helfer gets in bed with Dichen Lachman, "Pretty Little Liars" promises dirty secrets in a web series, afterellen.com, archived from the original on January 16, 2013, retrieved August 25, 2012
- Kane, Matt (August 15, 2012), Avengers Director Joss Whedon Guest-Stars in Season Premiere of Husbands; GLAAD Interviews Creators Brad Bell and Jane Espenson, glaad.org, retrieved August 16, 2012
- Husbands The Series Cracks 100,000 Views in Ten Days, husbandstheseries.com, September 26, 2011, retrieved October 22, 2011
- Husbands on YouTube, youtube.com, retrieved October 22, 2011
- CW Seed on YouTube, youtube.com, retrieved November 13, 2013
- "NOMINATIONS: 3rd Annual Indie Soap Awards". welovesoaps.net. December 19, 2011. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
- "16th Annual Webby Awards Nominees". webbyawards.com. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
- "International Academy of Web Television Announces Nominees for the 2nd Annual IAWTV Awards". iawtvawards.org. January 8, 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- "3rd Annual Nominees". streamys.org. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- Ng, Philiana (February 5, 2013). "Streamy Awards Unveils Audience Choice Nominees and Presenters". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
- "WINNERS: 4th Annual Indie Soap Awards". welovesoaps.net. February 20, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Nordyke, Kimberly (December 5, 2013). "Writers Guild Awards: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Orange is the New Black' Among TV Nominations". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- Portwood, Jerry (September 10, 2012), EXCLUSIVE: Buffyverse Gets Its First Gay Male Slayer, out.com, retrieved September 11, 2012