Q&A: Hulu’s ‘Casual’ creator Zander Lehmann gleeful over Golden Globe nomination


Just a week after Hulu’s “Casual” aired the final episode of its first season, the series scored the company’s first Golden Globe nomination, courtesy of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

The series, which boasts Academy Award-nominated director Jason Reitman as executive producer, received kind critical notice on its debut and had scored a second-season renewal long before Thursday’s nominations were announced.

“Casual” is creator and showrunner Zander Lehmann’s first series and focuses on the trials of a newly divorced single mother (Michaela Watkins) and her deep bond with her brother (Tommy Dewey) and her strained relationship with her teenage daughter (Tara Lynne Barr.)


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Lehmann took a moment out of his exciting morning to speak with The Times by phone about his happiness for Hulu, why streaming content is so popular and how, precisely, someone calms down after a morning of such excitement.

How did you get the news?

It was very nice to wake up to, very exciting. Lauren texted me, and I woke up, which I’m actually really surprised I did because I never wake up this early. And then about 15 text messages and emails came in and a couple of calls. And now I’m taking a walk around my block.

To process it?

It’s more that I don’t know what to do this early in the morning. I figured I’d get my blood circulating and get a coffee. I’m really excited. I couldn’t be in my apartment. I was just walking around in circles. I’m in West Hollywood, just north of Beverly.

Obviously it’s a big moment for you and the show. But it’s also a big moment for Hulu. This is their nomination. There had been awards talk surrounding the show. What’s it like being the first for Hulu?


I’m so excited for Hulu. They have been supportive of us and have done such great work on our behalf. I feel like we are part of their family and they’ve treated us so incredibly well. I feel almost happier for them than I do for the show because they were on board with us from the start and they gave us everything we needed. They were so smart. And we’re happy to be a part of them. I’m glad we could be the first one for Hulu, and hopefully there will be many more.

Four out of the six nominees in just your category were from streaming services. What do you think this signals?

I’m so happy it turned out that way because I think the originals on streaming services right now are so good. I know we’re always a little slow to adopt new technology or new formats, but I think the Hollywood Foreign Press is right in the middle of it and they are not judging based on what network these shows are on.

There’s no idea that traditional network’s have more prestige, so therefore their shows have much more prestige. It’s really refreshing that they can look at a network like Hulu that has content streaming online and see that it can be just as good as FX or HBO or anyone else.

Look, I watch a lot of streaming TV, so I would’ve voted for these other streaming shows in this category if I were making the nominations myself.

What was the last thing you binged?


The last thing I binged was “Master of None.” I thought that was quite good. And I didn’t binge “The Leftovers,” but “The Leftovers” is a show that I watch every Sunday.

Where are you at in the writing process for Season 2?

We are in the middle of it right now. I’m heading over in four hours, and we’re going to get back to breaking Episode 8 of Season 2. We’ve written the first five scripts, and I feel very good about those. We start production in February. Hope to get many of them or all of them finished before we get started.


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