In the spoof “What Just Happened??! With Fred Savage” (debuting Sunday), Fred Savage returns to Fox (home to his hilarious but short-lived 2015 comedy “The Grinder”) as host of an after-show for the hot new sci-fi drama “The Flare.”
In the ruse, Savage presents himself as a longtime fan of fictional author T.J. Whitford’s book series “The Moon Is the Sun at Night,” which follows the residents of the small, blue-collar town of Milford, Illinois, after they witness a devastating solar event and battle for survival in the resulting post-apocalyptic world.
It’s the absurdity of television at its finest.
Savage doesn’t break character when we ask him about why after-shows are so ripe for spoofing.
“We’re not spoofing anything,” Savage says. “Fox is doing a show called ‘The Flare,’ which is based on a series of books by T.J. Whitford called ‘The Moon Is the Sun at Night’ — which were books that I read when I was a kid, that I loved — and so we’re on after that.
“We’re not spoofing anything. We’re completely embracing this idea of fandom and the celebration of those things in pop culture that we love so much.”
In reality, “The Flare” doesn’t exist, and Savage’s new series is a playful parody of after-shows such as Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” and AMC’s “Talking Dead,” where stars, producers and mega-fans gather to discuss each episode and share tidbits about upcoming episodes.
Each week, Savage sits down to explore the fandom of the fake series with celebrity interviews, visits to the set of a TV series that doesn’t actually exist, interviews with the concocted cast, superfans and more.
Since life imitates art so often, is there any possibility of “The Flare” actually becoming a real show some day?
“That’s the hope,” Savage says. “People are already talking about it. They’re very excited!”