HOLLYWOOD (CNS) – “Lucifer,” an adaptation of the comic book series, premieres at 9 tonight on Fox, the same time as the debut of the teenage alcohol abuse recovery drama “Recovery Road” on cable’s Freeform.
“Lucifer” stars Tom Ellis as a bored king of hell who moves to Los Angeles and becomes a nightclub operator. After an acquaintance is murdered, he becomes determined to help Los Angeles police Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) find the killer.
“We take our cues from the (DC Comics) comic book character… which is the devil is the fallen son of God,” said executive producer Joe Henderson.
“He’s not evil. He’s just a rebellious son who decided that he wanted what his dad had and he doesn’t understand why he didn’t get it. He is mischievous. He’s playful. He’s also honest and embraces his desires.”
To Henderson, “Lucifer” is “all about exploring humanity and exploring desires.”
“When he talks to people in Los Angeles, there’s no pretense,” said Henderson, who was a writer-producer on the 2009-14 USA Network crime drama “White Collar,” the 2013-15 USA Network crime drama “Graceland”and the 2013-14 Fox science fiction series “Almost Human.”
“He just wants to do whatever he sees in front of him and whatever seems most interesting.”
The cast also includes Kevin Alejandro as Decker’s soon-to-be ex-husband and LAPD colleague who is wary of Lucifer’s intentions, especially when their daughter Trixie (Scarlett Estevez)takes a liking to him; Lesley-Ann Brandt as a fierce demon and Lucifer’s best friend; DB Woodside as the angel Amenadiel, sent to Los Angeles by God to persuade Lucifer to return to the underworld; and Rachael Harris as Lucifer’s therapist.
The producers include Jerry Bruckheimer, and Jonathan Littman, whose extensive credits include CBS’ “CSI” franchise.
“Recovery Road” is based on the young adult novel about Maddie Graham, an alcohol-abusing teenage girl (Jessica Sula) forced to live in a sober living house when she is threatened with expulsion from her high school after a water bottle containing vodka is found in her locker and a test reveals she has an elevated blood-alcohol level.
“It was pitched to us as Romeo and Juliet in rehab, really, two people who shouldn’t be together,” said Bert V. Royal, who co-wrote tonight’s episode and is one of the show’s executive producers.
The 10-episode season on the network that until earlier this month was known as ABC Family will deal with Graham’s first 30 days at the sober living house, Royal said.
“Maddie’s journey in the first 10 (episodes) is figuring out whether or not she is an alcoholic,” said co-executive producer Karen DiConcetto, who also co-wrote tonight’s episode. “Having her blood-alcohol level being that high and her being that high-functioning, I think in many ways is indicative that she does have a problem.”
Royal said one of his goals for the series is to “destigmatize” the recovery process from alcohol addiction.
“It’s not just a bunch of sad people in bathrobes, with coffee cups, which, I think, is what’s often shown on television… usually in humorous situations, but it doesn’t have to be like that,” said Royal, who wrote the screenplay for the 2010 high school romantic comedy “Easy A.”
Sula said she hopes “Recovery Road” causes viewers to question “what addiction is” and to think about “addictive tendencies and (have) empathy towards those who suffer from the disease.”