visits the Psych Set

Psych recently wrapped its sixth season on USA Network in the States with a doozy cliffhanger and while we wait for the seventh season to kick off in the fall, the super folks at the network invited a merry band of bloggers to Vancouver last week for a set visit. We were thrilled to be included, and while we can’t divulge any top-secret intel just yet, we can tease you with some tidbits about how very awesome this cast, crew, and production staff are who welcomed us with open arms. Short answer: so awesome!

We spent a day on set for the filming of the series’ 100th episode (and you’re not the only one with a “What? Already?” reaction to that number). Our base camp was the sound stage that’s been home to the Santa Barbara Police Department for the series’ run. Interspersed throughout the day, we were granted roundtable access to the series stars and creative team, who all spoke reverently about what the show has meant to them.

For stars James Roday and Dule Hill, the series has been a personal and professional game changer. The “boys,” as they’re affectionately called, have evolved into producers on the show, and Roday has picked up the writing and directing reins as well, helping shape not just his character but the overall show. Their camaraderie is the real deal.

When the Psych pilot came around, Roday had done several that were never greenlit and he was just about at burnout. But he nailed the first Psych audition and when he agreed to come back in for a second read, he shed what the producers call his hiatus mountain man beard and they knew they had their Shawn. After he had the role, Roday in turn went to Hill’s house to help him prep for his first meeting as Gus and the producers were surprised and thrilled when Hill was ready to do a read-through with Roday in the room and their dynamic duo was born.

We asked about the show’s continued thread of joy throughout the years and executive producers Kelly Kulchak and Chris Henze say that stems directly from Psych’s creator, Steve Franks, who executive producer Mel Damski likens to a giant Labrador Retriever. When you meet all six and change feet of Franks, you realize Damski is exactly right—he is that optimistic and his buoyancy carries over into the world of Psych. Damski also added that the show has a “no assholes” policy that starts with Roday and Hill at the top and trickles all the way throughout the entire team who put the show together.

That was evident when we were welcomed by everyone we met, as we toured the production offices and the studio lot in North Vancouver that the team has called home for seven years (during which they’ve lived relatively anonymously because the show hasn’t aired there consistently—it’s just now getting on the lineup again via Global).

We’ll bring you more behind the scenes interviews this fall when the show returns for its seventh season. For now, you can catch episodes on Hulu, DVD, and USA.

Photo by Heather M. Copyright © 2012

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