Starting this Friday, AMC will air "Friday Night In with the Morgans," a half-hour series the couple is hosting from their farm in upstate New York. Conducted completely over video chat, the two will connect with their celebrity friends, local community members, their own kids and, yes, even animals as they open up about life in quarantine.
Speaking with TooFab from inside their home, Morgan said the idea for a show came to him after he did a remote hit for "Talking Dead" just as pandemic shutdowns were starting. After hearing Howard Stern talk about utilizing Zoom and Skype on his show, the spark ignited.
"I just had this thought that there was something that maybe we could do, we could put together," he explained. "I didn't know what it was, but I emailed the head of AMC and I said, 'Hey, what do you think about doing something -- and I'm not sure exactly what it is -- but, you know, we could kind of talk to our friends and check in, see how people are doing, the people that are doing good out there and doing something with the coronavirus. Check in with them and see exactly what they're doing."
"And [Sarah Barnett, president of AMC Networks' Entertainment Group and AMC Studios] was like, 'Great, because I wanted to do something. I didn't know what. And this is as good an idea as any,'" he continued. "And literally, it was green-lit within an hour."
"I didn't know about it," interjected Burton, who said she found out about the show from someone else at the network who texted her a celebratory message about it. "We don't know what we're doing," admitted Morgan, who said everyone involved has been finding "a little footing together."
The show will film in a garage on the duo's property, dubbed "The Mischief Farm," in a studio Morgan put together himself "in like three days." The locale will hopefully help shield them from their kids; daughter George, 2, and 10-year-old son Gus. "As much as we love our kids, they're loud," said Morgan. "We're in the house right now and I've got a dozen ducks sitting in front of me, a dog waiting for a duck to drop to the ground. I'm not even joking."
To prove his point, he even picked up one of the ducks, which you can see above. "We're raising ducks in our living room, our dog Bandit is obsessed and he's covered in pink lipstick because of our daughter," he added, "We had to build a studio just to get away from the madhouse for 45 minutes to film the show."
Life on the farm has been keeping them busy, with Morgan saying "there's never a dull moment" and they're never bored. "There's always something to do," he said, "and as long as [George] is outside and in a princess dress, she's having the time of her life." The two said their son Gus has been helping Hilarie make masks for nearby hospitals.
"She's kicking ass," Morgan said, applauding Burton's work. "My job mostly has been to take care of the farm and the kids because she has been behind her sewing machine or on the phone with the hospital for weeks. I'm just trying to support her efforts." She, however, credited him with dropping off the masks when they're completed. "It's teamwork," he said.
Burton said the show is happening during "literally the most hectic time of the year," with Morgan adding that "it's never been more chaotic ... and it's always chaotic." That being said, they hope the show can be as much of a distraction for viewers as it is for them.
"It's important in this situation, in terms of creating a show or trying to help out your community, it's important to be creative and to be ambitious right now," said Burton. "Always thinking like, how can I be a helper? How can I do more? And I think Jeffrey saw that the news was really bothering me, so he started changing the channel to other things when I would come in the room. And now he's gone so far as to create a TV show, a create a safe space for people who are overwhelmed because there is a lot of overwhelming information. So we'll try to create a half hour of nice."
While there's only been four episodes announced so far, they're packed with guests. Morgan's "Walking Dead" costar Christian Serratos and show alum Sarah Wayne Callies will appear, as well as Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, Mark Duplass, Katie Aselton, "Supernatural" star Jensen Ackles and his wife Daneel, who set up the Morgans in the first place. Also expect family friend and local physician Dr. Sharagim Kemp.
"It's fun for us to introduce our friends," said Burton, "This is our friend from this TV show and this is Ed. He runs the feed store. He's real grumpy." Promised Morgan, "You get your celebrity fix along with the f--king reality."
Their kids will also almost certainly pop up -- with Burton quipping, "We don't have a choice" -- as well as a few of their farm animals.
"The problem is that it's a half hour show, so it goes by in a blink of an eye," said Morgan. "We may have to do just an episode of our life here, kind of a day here at the farm with the kids. I think that might be a fun thing to do. But, you know, we don't know how many we're doing."
The two also teased appearances from Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos and said -- should the network want more from them -- they have a wait list of stars ready to go, including Norman Reedus and partner Diane Kruger and Paul Rudd and his wife Julie.
"Friday Night In with the Morgans" kicks off April 17 at 10pm ET.