Working behind the TV scenes as a producer, Bryan Cranston faced his biggest challenge when he created an imaginative screen adaptation of popular book “Dangerous Book for Boys,” an Emmy contender for Best Children’s Series that’s now streaming on Amazon.
“It’s a how-to book,” he notes in our webcam chat. Watch above. “There are no characters. There’s no plot. I had to come up with something from scratch.”
To do so, Cranston had to stretch beyond the traditional producer roles as fundraiser and employer of cast and crew: He needed to rescue the project creatively by coming up with a way to stage it as a drama. As a book, “Dangerous” is a giant, overstuffed scrapbook created by a loving dad who wanted to teach his three boys how to build a treehouse, talk to girls and grow a crystal. Upon his death, the book suddenly becomes a bible he left behind to guide his sons through a hazard-bedeviled life without him.
But it turns out that dad, even dead, gets to go along for the ride through the six episodes crafted by Cranston and co-creator Greg Mottola, appearing now and then as a gung-ho ghost cheerleading his kids to safety as they attempt various tasks he set out for them in the book called Dangerous.
The boys’ adventures are often thrilling or hilarious and always heart-warming. If their program catches on with viewers and/or breaks through at the Emmys, Amazon will surely order more episodes, thus encouraging the hope that Cranston may have that producer’s dream come true: a hit on his hands. Meantime, it’s a top priority for him to get it seen widely by Emmy voters.
Cranston also competes at the Emmys as producer of drama-series contender “Sneaky Pete” and “Electric Dreams,” rival for Best Limited Series. Even though he appears as an actor in one episode of “Electric Dreams,” he did not submit the role for Emmy consideration, prefering to promote his profile as a producer to TV academy members. However, he did submit himself as an actor in one category this year – for his critically hailed guest turn on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Why? Cranston discusses his thinking on all of these matters in our webcamchat.