ABC’s charmingly hilarious new comedy American Housewife stars Katy Mixon as a lovably imperfect woman struggling to raise her family while surrounded by “perfect” mommies and their overachieving offspring.
In the Stepford-like world of Westport, Conn., Katie Otto has the dubious designation of being a renter (gasp!) and “the second fattest housewife in Westport” (double gasp!). Mixon describes her character as “an authentic woman living in an inauthentic world, and she’s trying the best that she can to be who she is. And sometimes she’s fearless and sometimes she’s got so many insecurities.” And it’s those insecurities — uproarious insecurities — that make Katie so lovable and the series so relatable.
Mixon snapped up the role of Katie just four days after wrapping the series Mike & Molly, and executive producer Aaron Kaplan reveals, “Katy was the very first person we saw and that we met with for this role. … And we all legitimately looked at each other and said, ‘That’s it. I mean, that’s her.’” In an industry that celebrates thinness, Mixon has become one of entertainment’s freshest stars by staying true to herself. The actress explains, “I have never let the media dictate my identity. I have never allowed it. I have just truly been unbelievably blessed no matter if I’m a size 2 or a size 14.”
Mixon explains that her character “has the best intentions for the day. And then it just goes in a whole nother different direction.” So, instead of having a perfect “yoga butt,” or the right fashion accessories, Katie’s focus is on being a good (and sexy) partner to husband Greg (Diedrich Bader) and raising their kids — blossoming teen Taylor (a role recast since the pilot, now played by Meg Donnelly), mini-capitalist son Oliver (Daniel DiMaggio), and spirited and “unusual” child Anna-Kat (Julia Butters) — to be normal, despite the snobbery and elitism that surrounds them.
The series was initially called The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport, after a conversation writer Sarah Dunn had with Kaplan in which she lamented about being the second fattest housewife in her small, affluent town. Dunn says, “After we shot the pilot, it just sort of seemed to me that [the series] seemed bigger than the title that we had.” While the original title garnered the series a lot of buzz, Dunn reveals, “I’m really happy that we changed the title. I feel like it just opens doors instead of closing them.”
Executive producer Kenny Schwartz grew up in Westport and sees a lot of his childhood in this series. “I think it’s like every parent’s goal — you want your kids to be happy. You want your kids to be safe. But I think, most importantly — and this is what my parents did to me growing up in Westport — you don’t want your kids to grow up to be @#$holes.” And with Mixon’s Katie running her family with love and humor, we think the Otto family will stand out in Westport for all the right reasons.
American Housewife > ABC > Tuesdays at 8:30pm ET/PT, beginning Oct. 11