*Morris Chestnut’s “Rosewood” on Fox returned for its second season March 2, and the premiere episode, ‘“Paralytics and Priorities,” picks up where the series left off after the fall finale – in search a serial killer. The investigation takes a personal turn, as Rosewood and Villa must follow a trail of clues left for Rosie, before another victim falls prey.
EUR/Electronic Urban Report chatted with Morris and series creator Todd Harthan ahead of the S2 premiere to learn if Rosewood has any secret, personal failures from his past that weren’t explored last season but will be highlighted this season. Failures that will help shape the way he works investigations to solve crimes.
Todd Harthan: Yes. There are—I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s certain things in his past. It’s not like he has any deep, dark secrets. But, what we try to do is with each case that comes up each week, there are certain challenges within those cases that sometimes can expose a moment where Rosewood thinks he’s made a huge mistake, and a mistake that could hinder their chances of solving a case. Those are things that weigh on him and would cause him to question whether or not he is the absolute best at what he does.
We have a pretty cool episode coming up, without tipping anything, where he has to go up against another really great private pathologist, and that challenges him. That makes him, sort of, analyze whether or not he is the best at what he does. So, it’s more of like secrets and challenges or—it’s not really secrets, it’s really challenges within cases and stories we’re telling present day rather than secrets of his past, if that makes sense.
Last season “Rosewood” averaged a 2.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.8 million viewers overall in Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates for its first three episodes. Fox paired the show with “Empire”on Wednesdays, which allowed its audience to consistently grow, per Variety. With the surprise phenomenal success of Season 1, Morris described if that put any additional pressure on him when it was time to start filming the next set of episodes.
Morris Chestnut: I actually love pressure. I like to be able to function and operate when it’s most important. When it comes to the numbers, when it comes to shooting a scene, those things keep me going. I really like that feeling that I get inside. I enjoy the pressure.
Cop crime dramas and serial killers are quite popular with viewers, so when asked to explain how he and his writing team manage to keep the show from going too dark – Todd revealed they do so by analyzing how real-life cops and real-life doctors personally handle the trauma they endure daily as part of their jobs.
Todd: I think that one of the things I’ve found that was consistent with all these people that do these really hard jobs professionally, that can really weigh on you and can take you to a really dark place, is they use humor to keep themselves from falling apart and from letting the stress of the job and the darkness of the job and the things that they have to deal with on a day-to-day basis, overwhelm them. That’s the, sort of the—the crux of the Rosewood viewer relationship is they’re not joking around dead bodies at a crime scene (or) being disrespectful to the deceased. We usually try to keep a really close eye on that.
On the series, Chestnut stars as Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr., a private pathologist working in Miami and in high demand with law enforcement. Morris has appeared in television and film for the past two decades, and said that he attributes his longstanding career to “a number of different factors,” including a firm belief in his abilities as an actor, and a drive to always push himself to get better.
Morris: I think there are a number of different factors. I believe, for myself, a) I try to be a nice person. I come to work on time. I try to be prepared. But I think first and foremost, is I always try to get better. I still see acting coaches. I still go to acting classes. Even if I’m not in them, I go to watch them, because, I think as an actor, the more experiences we have, the more we need to be able to incorporate them in our work and use them for our work.
I know a lot of actors, once they get a movie or once they get a show, they think that, that’s it. They’ve made it, they don’t need a coach, they don’t need an acting class, they’re good, but I feel that every actor can always continue to get better. I mean, Tiger Woods, the best golfer in the world, he had a golfing swing coach. Michael Jordan had a coach. So, you know, I would say first and foremost, you’re just continuing to try to get better each day.
Taye Diggs and Nicole Ari Parker return in their guest starring roles this season, along with newcomers Sam Huntington (“Being Human”) and Sherri Shepherd. “She’s doing an arc as medical examiner. That’s exciting and she’s been hilarious and a blast to work with,” Todd said.
Chestnut and Diggs co-starred in “The Best Man,” and while there has been talk of a third installment in the franchise being released in April, Morris said don’t count on.
Morris: We never shot the third movie. Basically, what happened, the studio, they announced the release date prior to knowing if we were available or have any deals done or anything like that. Unfortunately, we weren’t ever able to come together, most of us. I mean, Taye’s on the show, Terrence is, obviously, on Empire, now Sanaa has her show. So, we have not been able to put the schedules together to be able to do the third installment of that franchise, but, hopefully, we can soon. That release that’s been in the press, or been online, was a release that the studio put out prior to us shooting or even having any deals closed.
There’s no doubt that Chestnut and Rosie are stylish men, but Morris notes that “I don’t believe that you can define my style in one word, because I like to wear different types of styles. I can wear a suit and a button-up shirt, too, but then there’s also the ripped jeans with a tank top or a t-shirt, or something of that nature.”
“Rosewood” airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on FOX.