'Mike and Molly': EP Mark Roberts looks to make show 'a bigger ensemble'

gardell-mccarthy-getty.jpgTV programs often run into challenges when the lead characters finally get together or, worse, get married. These moments often mark the high point of a series and everything after that goes down hill. So it was a surprise when, at the end of Season 1 of " Mike and Molly," that the title characters decided they're going to get hitched. As for how the show will keep up the tension and evolve, the show's EP Mark Roberts has the answer.

"I'm married and it comes with plenty of problems," Roberts says at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. He adds that other members of the cast, which includes Reno Wilson, Nyambi Nyambi and Rondi Reed will have expanded roles. Roberts says they're making the show into "a bigger ensemble with other interesting characters. We're going to follow their lives too...Mike and Molly, in some story lines, can become supporting players."

Reed's role as Mike's ( Billy Gardell) mother Peggy is bound to have a larger role in the series. And Roberts has a great reason for wanting to build out her character.

"It's loosely based on my mother," Roberts says. He adds that her character brings a lot to the series. "I think [she's] a great counterpoint for Mike and she's ended up being a great counterpoint for Molly ( Melissa McCarthy) too. I think it explains a lot of the insecurities that Mike has in his life."

As for the quick engagement on the series, Billy Gardell offers an honest assessment.

"It has a different tone than any other show because of that...These are about human moments," Gardell says. "This is a story, beyond anything else, about two people falling in love...If you can't root for that, you're a little dead inside." 

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