Interview: Austin Winsberg on Making ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas’ and What’s Next for Zoey

Courtesy of Roku.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist was a signature delight from NBC that only got better as time went on, following Zoey (Jane Levy) as she worked through her newfound powers that allowed her to hear people singing their heart songs. Sadly, the show was cancelled by NBC at the end of season two, but fortunately the Roku Channel came in to save the day and commission a movie continuation and keep the magic alive.

Awards Radar had the chance to speak with creator Austin Winsberg about exactly how short the timeline was from the announcement of Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas and its premiere date:

“Roku swept in at the last minute and said, we want you guys to make a movie, but it has to be on the air by December 1st. And this was like, end of July, something like that. So literally we had four months between me pitching them a four-line, this is what it could be, and the movie actually coming out. Four months total, or something insane like that. And then it was a lot of trying to figure a lot of things out. They wanted people to be able to come in and watch it who had never seen Zoey’s before. They also wanted it to feel a Christmas movie, but also we wanted to honor where we left off. For Zoey fans, it should be continuation, which could also feel like something people could watch cold, and also they wanted it to be close-ended enough so that it could serve in some ways as a cap on the series, but also open-ended enough in case we wanted to do more.”

Courtesy of Roku.

Fortunately, Winsberg has two slates of ideas, should more Zoey be on the table:

“One version is to continue with different movies that take place on different holidays, like Zoey’s Extraordinary Halloween, Zoey’s Extraordinary Valentine’s Day. You certainly could do a lot of love songs around Valentine’s Day or a lot of spooky Halloween songs. The other version I was really pitching was Zoey’s Extraordinary Proposal, Zoey’s Extraordinary Wedding, Zoey’s Extraordinary Baby, that you could keep following the evolution of Zoey and Max and their relationship over different periods of time, and still how her powers inform that, and try to get as many of the other characters back, keeping track of her trajectory and their trajectory through their relationship.”

Listen to the full conversation below:

Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas is streaming exclusively on The Roku Channel.

For more about Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas and other Roku content visit the Roku FYC page.


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Written by Abe Friedtanzer

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