Shooting has just wrapped for season 2 of IKEA-backed Easy to Assemble from creator-star Illeana Douglas. Word is that IKEA was quite happy with the show’s debut season and prompted a renewal for a second helping. The new season which launches this September, will add comedians Cheri Oteri, Ricki Lake and Tim Meadows to the already impressive cast.
Returning for the second go-round is of course Douglas herself along with web regulars Ed Begley Jr., Justine Bateman, Tom Arnold and Kevin Pollack. Where the first season was shot exclusively in the IKEA store, complete with hundreds of conveniently pre-made sets, the new season is said to be only half in-store. We’ll see the home live series regulars like Douglas and Bateman.
CJP Digital is coming on board replacing SXM for distribution, marketing and sponsorship of the series. SXM had initially landed IKEA for the project through their interactive ad agency Mediaedge. Shortly after launch, the series had inked a deal with CBS-owned TV.com for an unspecified amount last fall.
There’s been some misconception out there that Easy to Assemble was an internal creation of IKEA or its agency of record, Deutsch. From what we’ve learned however its roots were must less auspicious. IKEA in fact wasn’t involved until right before production started when Douglas and team requested permission to shoot in the company’s Burbank store.
IKEA eventually stepped in to cover the show’s reported $50,000 first season budget, but not before Douglas’ production was already under way. The show was an extension of her Illeanarama: Supermarket of The Stars show on YouTube, and taking it to an IKEA was a natural transition.
This season the budget is said to have increased, with IKEA stepping up its monetary contribution directly from Sweden. In our earlier interview with Douglas last summer, she noted how much creative freedom the company had given her in developing the series.
When I went in to meet Magnus, the head of IKEA marketing, it was one of the funniest meetings I’ve ever had. I pitched the show, and all he kept saying was, “Yah, yah,” and I was like, of course this is how they hook you in and then change everything later. Well, I sent him the script and it came back with only a single note, saying that they loved it. Everyone from IKEA was great, and they all have little cameos in the series. We even cast the real life manager of the store as the manager in the show, he was that perfect. A lot of people from IKEA were in the series, it was crazy. I’ve never had an experience like that. (Illeana Douglas)
Douglas herself headed to New York last month to pitch the show to other advertisers as part of the OnFrontNYC event, as the show is entirely owned by the actress through her Illeanarama production company. One attendee of the presentation quipped, that “she’s like the movie star version of Felicia Day.”