There’s an instant appeal to the premise of “Girls5Eva,” the new musical comedy series from Meredith Scardino coming to Peacock. The series follows a former girl group who reunite only to find out they’re each in search of their own voice. The show is set to have a stacked cast, from actress Busy Philipps to Broadway stars Sara Bareilles, and Renee Elise Goldsberry.
The series is a blend of comedy and music, with a female empowerment theme that’s heightened, yet based in reality. The goal was to get good actors first and fake the singing if they needed to, according to executive producer Tina Fey. She had seen Bareilles in “Waitress” and was struck by her acting, and Bareilles said working on “Waitress” onstage helped her deal with the rigor of a television schedule. “The discipline and the structure of that…..people in theater understand the stamina of that,” she said during Wednesday’s Peacock virtual panel at the CTAM Winter 2021 Press Tour.
There are several full-length songs throughout the series, according to executive producer Jeff Richmond. Scardino would hand him the weirdest lyrics, only to have him translate them into unique songs. Bareilles also wrote an original song that will debut in the first season.
Scardino wanted to write a show about women in her age group and talk about the things women in their 40s go through. “It would be amazing to do it through this backdrop of pop music,” she said.
And she said it was certainly a challenge making a series during a pandemic. “I felt like I was always behind a mask and shield, which writers usually are anyway,” she said. The cast would have bonding moments only to have her show up in a full protective uniform. “I was so proud that we pulled it off,” she said.
“We all have our strengths,” Philipps said. Her character doesn’t exactly harmonize, which is true to the actress herself. “I can sing them pretty and loud but it’s probably the note the person next to me is singing,” she said. (Philipps felt she got better as things went along.)
“With humorous material, to take it seriously as a singer and as a performer is the magic trick of it all,” Bareilles said. The group onscreen will realize that the songs they’ve been singing aren’t necessarily what they want. “The appeal is that it’s about these women who are at a different stage of their life,” Philipps said. They weren’t able to push back against the lyrics, costumes, dances they were doing. “The question becomes how do you take ownership of your own story,” she said.
“Girls5Eva” is set to release on Peacock sometime this year. You can see the exclusive teaser below: