"Ben And Kate" (premieres Tues., Sept. 25 at8:30 p.m. ET on Fox) isn't about a couple or a will-they/won't-they partnership; it gets bonus points for sitcom originality right off the bat for being about an adult brother and sister, with all their family dysfunctions intact.
In "Ben and Kate," Dakota Johnson plays single mom Kate Fox and Nat Faxon plays her brother Ben, who moves in with his sister to help her raise her daughter Maddie, played by Maggie Elizabeth Jones. Kate's coworkers -- Lucy Punch's BJ and Echo Kellum's Tommy -- are on board with Ben's arrival since they too would love to see Kate get her life back on track, and because Ben is just a fun guy to have around.
HuffPost TV caught up with the cast to hear more about the family dynamic, dream guest stars and crossover possibilities and what it's like playing characters based on real people (creator Dana Fox modeled Ben after her own well-meaning comedy-fodder brother). Read on to find out more!
Ben is a piece of work. How do you guys describe this character?
Maggie: "He's goofy ... maybe not good at a lot of things. Except being funny."
Nat: "Yeah, don't cut her off, because the compliments were about to roll."
Dakota: "You should say he's very good looking, a total lady killer and very smart."
Nat: "I'm basically the eye candy of the show."
I love that their relationship is so special -- they're brother and sister, but they still really need each other.
Nat: "It's true -- I think there's a lot of structure that Kate provides my character that he desperately needs, and I think I provide a little looseness and the ability for her to open up a little bit and be more of who she wants to be and needs to be. It's a nice match."
Ben is based on Dana's brother, but is Kate a lot like Dana in real life?
Dakota: "Yes, absolutely. In the writing and in the moments there's definitely parts of Dana. Dana likes to cry. [Laughs.] One of the scenes in the pilot, I'm talking about love and start crying, and Dana was like, 'You're doing such a good joooooob ...' and started crying. It's all her wit."
Tommy and BJ both love Kate as a friend, but Tommy really loves her.
Echo: "Yes, he especially loves her."
Lucy: "He loves her in a different way. I'm trying to get Kate to do stuff for me ..."
Echo: "And I'd be fine with Kate doing anything for me. I just hope that Season 8, our series finale, is Tommy and Kate being like, 'Let's do this' and have a beautiful mixed baby. That would be a super pretty baby."
BJ is really trying to get Kate back in the dating game with some aggressive moves -- and of course her name is BJ!
Lucy: "[Laughs.] Right? I want us to discover that her name is something like Beatrice Johnson -- something very sensible."
What's been your favorite relationship to play so far?
Lucy: "I really love the stuff I got to do with Maggie, giving her a makeover in the pilot. I was just allowed to run free with what I said ... some of the stuff didn't end up in the show because it was probably just too awful. I love people being inappropriate with children, so I think it'd be funny to see her make Maddie do a beauty pageant or something. Something really gross like 'Toddlers & Tiaras' -- and BJ would take the winnings."
And for you, Maggie, you get to be around this really funny cast, and it's your first TV show. Are you excited? And what's one thing you can't wait to do on the show?
Maggie: "Yeah, I'm very excited. There are these cool shoes that have wheels on them called Heelies, and I have a pair of those."
Dakota: "She is a very talented Heeler."
Maggie: "I do them all over set, so Dana told me that she's going to try to do an episode about that."
Dakota: "Yeah, and if she gets to wear Heelies in an episode, I get to wear Heelies."
Nat: "As do I."
I can already picture a Heelie Roller Derby happening in the house!
Maggie: "[Laughs.] Yes!"
Nat: "If you come to set, we'll give you a pair to join in."
Do you all have any dream guest stars?
Echo: "You know who I'd like to see on the show? Nat's writing partner, Jim Rash. I know he's on NBC [in 'Community'], but that would be amazing."
Lucy: "I would love to do a crossover with another Fox show -- maybe some of the guys from 'New Girl' could come play."
Tell us: Will you watch "Ben and Kate"?
"Ben & Kate" premieres Tues., Sept. 25, 8:30 p.m. ET on Fox.