Superstore may have had to cut season 5 short, but the April 23 finale of the show was nothing short of shocking. Amy got the Zephra job in California and decided to take it. At the end of the episode, Jonah told Amy that he would move with her. While America Ferrera already announced that she would be leaving the show after season 5, what about Ben Feldman? The people need to know!
HollywoodLife hopped on the phone with executive producers Jonathan Green and Gabe Miller to get those answers and more. From Amy and Jonah’s future to what’s in store for Dina and Mateo’s love lives, everything was up for discussion. Jonathan and Gabe also confirmed that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic would “impact the world of the show” and it will be addressed next season. Plus, we got an update on a musical episode.
Let’s just start with the end of the episode. Amy does get the job in California and she’s going. It seems like Jonah is going with her. My first question: is Ben Feldman leaving?
Jonathan Green: Ben Feldman is not leaving the show. But beyond that, we don’t really want to say too much about the circumstances that allow him to stay in the next part. We sort of got lucky in that we had always thought of the last two episodes as sort of a two-parter with the 21st episode ending on a cliffhanger that leads into what was going to be the finale. So now it just became the cliffhanger that’s going to take us from season 5 into season 6. We plan to air the second part as the premiere of season 6.
Fans obviously love the relationship between Jonah and Amy. Given that Jonah is going to be staying in St. Louis, is there any hope for Jonah and Amy to be endgame? Could they possibly do something long-distance?
Jonathan Green: I think both things are possibilities. We don’t want to say too much about what happens in the next one. We’ve seen how well these two work together and what a great relationship they have. We’re not ruling any possibilities out as far as endgame for the series, but we do have a plan of what’s going to happen in the premiere.
I’m guessing that America will come back to film that second part?
Jonathan Green: Yes.
What about down the road? Are you expecting to have her pop up here and there?
Gabe Miller: Well, as much as she’s willing and available. She’s always welcome to come back. The nice thing about the way that we’re having Amy leave is that by being in corporate she’ll still be in the world of the show. In addition to her friendships and connections to the other characters, she’ll have reasons to come back in the show. The door’s still open.
Was it always planned for this season to go this way with Amy getting this big promotion? Or was because America was leaving that you steered it that way?
Jonathan Green: We found out about halfway through the season that it was a possibility that she would be leaving. So we started talking about one version of ending the season where she stayed and another version where she left. In both of those we were playing with Amy getting more notice from corporate and getting on their radar. There were just different ways that could have resulted at the end of the season depending on whether she was staying or going. We were able to shift once we found out that she was definitely leaving. All the stuff we’d set up earlier in the season about Maya, the district manager, taking notice of her and putting a good word in for her with corporate and helping her get profiled on the corporate website. All of that still made sense and worked with the ending where she leaves, but it also would have worked with the other ending we had talked about.
With Amy’s position being open, do you plan to bring in someone new next season?
Gabe Miller: We’re interested in kind of playing with what that kind of power vacuum that Amy leaving as manager has, but we don’t have an immediate plan. For now, we’re lucky enough to have this big, strong ensemble of funny characters that we’re interested in exploring more deeply first. Naturally, the question has come up of: will we bring someone else in? We may eventually, but if we do we wouldn’t see it as replacing Amy as much as trying to find a new element to throw into this mix that might change the dynamics or activate them in a different way. In the sixth season of a show, you’re looking for ways to shake up the world a little bit anyway. So if we were to introduce someone it would be for that purpose rather than as a replacement for Amy.
Dina and Mateo both got love interests this season. Will they be back?
Jonathan Green: That’s our hope. We really love both of them, George Salazar as Eric and Rory Scovel as Brian.
Gabe Miller: We think they have really good chemistry with our Mateo and Dina. We’re interested in exploring those relationships further.
Jonathan Green: Also with the Dina relationship, we’re interested in seeing more of what that does to Garrett and his perspective on Dina having a real, normal relationship for the first time.
Gabe Miller: I was just going to say with Garrett, he’s such a confident character that it’s interesting for us to explore the times when he’s a little more vulnerable. We did that a little last season with a small arc where he was trying to prove or wondering himself whether he was a good person, and then we followed up a little more this season with him sort of realizing that maybe he did have feelings beyond just casual for Dina.
Superstore has never shied away from tough topics. Do you plan to address the coronavirus pandemic?
Jonathan Green: We’re definitely thinking it’s going to impact the world of the show in some way. It’s still probably too early to know exactly how. But the fact that employees in stores like this are deemed essential workers, and it really is affecting people in the real world who are like our characters means we’re going to have to address it in some way. It wouldn’t feel like our show if we didn’t at least see some effects of it, but it’s just a little soon to know how this is all going to shake out and what stores will even be like once this is all over.
My boss is a huge Superstore fan as well and she wanted me to ask if you’re considering a musical episode.
Jonathan Green: That’s something that has come up a few times, and we definitely have a lot of strong singers in our cast. We’ll never rule anything out, but we haven’t yet cracked a way to do it that feels organic to the tone and world of our show.
Gabe Miller: Some of that is because the show is more observational, and we don’t go into the characters’ thoughts. Often a musical episode would be like a dream sequence or something like that, but our actual characters would need to be singing in order for us to see them singing.
Jonathan Green: We’ve had a few karaoke moments. That’s the closest we’ve been able to get. Seems like your boss might be talking to our cast. They’re always pushing for it.
Next season means you will hit the milestone 100th episode. Do you have plans for that already?
Gabe Miller: If we hadn’t had our finale pushed that would have been our season premiere of season 6. So
having that schedule change took precedence over thinking about the 100th episode. But we’re definitely excited about it.
Jonathan Green: It’ll be a big episode for sure. We just don’t have a specific plan for it, but now we want that to be a celebratory episode for sure.