After 11 mockumentary styled episodes of NBC's "Trial & Error," the jury will finally reach a verdict on Tuesday’s back-to-back 2-episode finale.
"Trial & Error" is a documentary spoof about an adored poetry professor named Larry Henderson (played by John Lithgow) from a small, strange town in South Carolina who was accused of murdering his wife by pushing her through a plate glass window. Henderson hires a young defense attorney named Josh Segal (played by Nicholas D’Agosto) from New York to prepare the case for his hot shot boss, until Segal became too emotionally involved in the case to hand it over.
D’Agosto and Sherri Shepherd, who plays his researcher on the defense team, stopped by Studio TooFab for an interview in which they revealed that only one actor knew how tonight's season finale would play out.
“You’re going to get to find out everything,” D’Agosto told TooFab.
“You’re going to find out if he’s guilty or if he’s innocent, which doesn’t necessarily mean he did or did not do it. They were really clear about how they wanted the show to have a satisfying ending, whether they were sad or confused how things came about in the sense that they didn’t predict it to happen in this certain way, that it would be satisfying and I think we achieved that.”
The cast which also includes “Glee” star Jayma Mays and “Smash’s” Krysta Rodriguez have a history in theater, which opened the door for improv in the dramedy. And one of those moments occurred when the cast was filming a 14-hour courtroom scene and Shepherd fell asleep during the scene. The writers incorporated the snoozy moment into her character’s long list of issues.
Shepherd’s character suffers from numerous disorders such as facial blindness, fainting when she sees a beautiful painting and foreign accent syndrome.
“I think walking backwards was probably the most fun because I really committed to walking backwards and it was the most dangerous so everybody really wanted to help me, but you have to be fearless when you’re walking backwards. I ran into everything,” Shepherd told TooFab.
“My poor butt cheek, yeah the left butt cheek is still sore, but you have to commit to it because it has to be so natural. Oh and the fainting! I think he was worried that I might have hurt my nose, but I was like with all of this padding, my nose would never touch the mat.”
“It’s like a banana boat,” D’Agosto joked.
But D’Agosto was quick note that thought some natural off-the-cuff moments have made the show, the script is still the king at the end of the day.
“Our show has to stay on the rails because it has to work as a 'Whodunit?' mystery and those have to be really sculpted to keep the storyline feeling interesting and dramatic for people,” he said.
And the one person who does that is Lithgow, who was the only actor in the cast who knew how the story would play out.
“Well John is the coolest, let’s just say that,” D’Agosto said. “But the main thing is that he is the centerpiece and he really needs to know if he really did it or not as a character so John is talented enough to just walk back and forth within the series indicating at times that he is violent and at times that he’s too aloof to have taken this sort of approach to the situation, but as an actor he wanted to know and I think it makes perfect sense that he would want to know this because Larry knows ultimately, but he should know whether or not he did it so John based his entire performance based upon whether or not he did it.”
As for the defense team in “Trial & Error” they hope their loved ones and fans don’t ask them for legal advice because they will probably lead you in the direction of jail time.
Shepherd told TooFab she had a little brush with the law herself after an unpaid traffic ticket situation escalated when she was pulled over on her way to The Comedy Story in Los Angeles.
“I had all of these bench warrants and they arrested me,” Shepherd said. “I was wearing a mini skirt, a little top and I was wearing these thigh-high boots and so when they took me to jail, they chained me up on the bench and I kept trying to tell the cops, ‘I’m not like all these other girls.’ And then I looked at all the hookers and I was like, ‘Yeah I am. We’re all dressed exactly alike.’ So I was in jail for eight days because I didn’t have the money to pay the bench warrants.”
"Trial & Error" season finale airs Tuesday (April 18) at 10 p.m. ET/PT after "The Voice."