It's early October, and you might think executive producer Tara Butters is totally focused on the first Halloween episode of her freshman horror-comedy series, "Reaper," airing Tuesday, Oct. 30, on The CW.
Truth be told, she has one other thing on her mind. At 37 weeks pregnant, she has her feet up, and as to the possibility of having a Halloween baby, she says, "I'm hoping for sooner.
"Actually, I'm having a good-sized contraction right now."
Don't fear, the "Reaper" co-creator makes it through the interview, done in tandem with her writing and producing partner Michelle Fazekas.
They're talking about "Leon," in which the Devil (Ray Wise) is down in the dumps because Halloween is coming, and everybody is making fun of him, wearing silly devil costumes, etc.
He pours out his troubles to his bounty hunter, big-box home-improvement store employee Sam Oliver (Bret Harrison), who once again has to track down another evil soul escaped from hell.
But when Leon (Patton Oswalt) is captured, he's not exactly what Sam expected. And to make things worse, Sam has to hold on to him for a while (trapped in his latest "vessel," a snow globe) until after Halloween, when hell's employees come back from vacation.
In the meantime, Halloween has hit the Work Bench store, and there are plenty of silly outfits to go around for Sam and his co-workers and sidekicks, Sock (Tyler Labine) and Ben (Rick Gonzalez).
"What was challenging," Fazekas says, "was trying not to do stuff that's already been done. There have been such amazing Halloween episodes. I think of the 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' episode where ..."
"They became their costumes?" Butters says.
"There's a lot of really good stuff that we didn't want to duplicate," Fazekas says.
However, the episode does feature the return of a hellhound named Spike, and that was the name of a popular "Buffy" vampire.
"That was the dog's real name, actually," Fazekas says.
"But it's one of my favorite characters from 'Buffy,'" Butters says.
"Leon" does give Wise a chance to play the melancholy side of his normally chipper character.
"Everybody in hell takes a holiday on Halloween," Wise says, "and work backs up. It takes months to catch up, especially when you have a whole bunch of blue-collar workers who don't want to really be there and don't like me much and don't like their jobs. They screw up a lot, and it's difficult to keep them in line just to get anything done at all.
"It's sad, but it only lasts for a day or two, then it's all over till next year."
Fans of The CW won't have to wait for next year for another Halloween episode, this time from the network's other horror-themed show. The drama "Supernatural" offers up "Bedtime Stories," a bloody take on "Grimms' Fairy Tales," airing Thursday, Nov. 1.
"One day," executive producer Erik Kripke says, "we want to hit the target where we actually air on Halloween. But we're coming right on the tail of Halloween, and we have a very cool Halloween episode that we're excited about.
Behind the Scenes
'Reaper' & 'Supernatural' Celebrate Halloween
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