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E! offers a strong new drama with The Arrangement

Interviews, ProgrammingMerrill Barr

Josh Henderson & Christine Evangelista - The Arrangement
Image - E!

In a world where every mid-sized cable network is trying to break in with their own hit drama in the vein of Mr. Robot and UnReal is where we find E!’s newest offering, The Arrangement.

The series follows a young actress who is offered the chance of a lifetime when the biggest actor in the world asks her to take part in a “red carpet marriage” for the sake of the press and the rest of the outside world.

Inside, though, she is facing struggles of her own, mostly thanks to the actor’s association with an organisation doing the best it can to control every part of the actor’s life.

“I think that we all have that hope,” says actress Lexa Doig on how everyone on set feels about the show potentially becoming E!’s UnReal. “There’s a lot of intelligent writing.” Continued actor Michael Vartan, “I’ve been doing this for a long time, and being on set, the tone feels very dark and dramatic. It certainly doesn’t feel like your typical E! show. I think that’s a good thing for us.” Adding actor Josh Henderson, “It’s kind of unique in it’s own right. For us, it’s something that’s exciting. For E!, it’s exciting that we’re very unique.”

The young actress of the series, Megan Morrison, is played by Christine Evangelista, and on the matter of the show’s potential connection to real life counterparts that share eerie similarity to the likes of Tom Cruise and The Church of Scientology, and her character seemingly being based on the life of Katie Holmes, the actress stated,

“I understand [the comparison], but no. She’s got her own thing going on. I was surprised, after doing some research, to see how many relationships there were like that in Hollywood.”

Similarly, Michael Vartan explained he does not feel like his character is based on David Miscavige at all.

“It doesn’t feel that way to me. I certainly haven’t done any research into him. The way I base my character and The Institute for the Higher Mind is to really look at the world we live in today. There are so many groups devoted to self help. I’ve got friends on retreat every other weekend. Especially in the world we live in today, we need a little more of that. I really think in our story, my character’s main goal, initially, really was to just help people and provide a platform where they could come and get right with themselves. As [Terrance] gets more powerful, and more money comes into [the organization], he maybe looses his way a bit, but I really don’t see any comparisons [to Scientology].”

As for whether Megan believes there’s love at the end of the tunnel, Evangelista says,

“I really think so. You have to believe there’s a relationship at stake. You have to believe they really care about each other. Of course [the arranged marriage] seems like a plus. Her life changes. Everything is magnified on this whole other level, but you realize very soon that it comes with a lot of strings.”

The Arrangement (10 eps) premieres March 5th at 10/9c on E! in the US.

An Australian airdate is yet to be confirmed.