‘Little America’ Creative Team on the Making of Their Daring Silent Episode

     February 17, 2020

Listen: Ya gotta watch Little America. Streaming on Apple TV+ now, it’s an anthology series telling self-contained half-hour stories based on the real experiences of immigrants to America. I gushed about it in an official review, but I’m just gonna reiterate here: Watch it! Every episode boasts stylishly rendered, beautiful, funny, and humane stories from a new collection of writers, directors, and actors — all spearheaded in part by the dream team of creators/producers Lee Eisenberg (The Office), Sian Heder (Orange Is the New Black), and Joshuah Bearman (Argo, EPIC Magazine).


Image via Apple

The entire show is based on a series of EPIC Magazine articles, of which Bearman is the founder, and it was great finding out the initial inspirations for the stories and the series. Plus, we got into the fun filmmaking experimentations an anthology series gives you — especially a nearly fully silent episode, a highlight of the series that gave Heder her dream of working with a monkey. And, we explored what the show itself says about America at this point in time and beyond.

Check out what Eisenberg, Heder, and Bearman had to say in the player above, and below is a list of everything we talked about.

  • What was the first spark that the EPIC Magazine stories could make a TV show?
  • What are the storytelling strengths that come making an from an anthology series?
  • How watching the show makes you fall in love with America again.
  • Where did the idea for a silent episode come from, and what were the challenges making it? Was Zachary Quinto okay with having, like, no lines?
  • Is the entire show an excuse for Sian to work with a monkey? (Yes and no)
  • What tones are you interested in exploring in season 2?
  • What is this show’s thesis statement about America?

Make sure to check out our interview about the show with fellow EPs Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Here’s the official synopsis for Little America:


Image via Apple TV+

Inspired by the true stories featured in Epic Magazine, “Little America” will go beyond the headlines to look at the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and surprising stories of immigrants in America, when they’re more relevant now than ever.

“Little America” is written and executive produced by Lee Eisenberg, who serves as showrunner, and Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Alan Yang executive produces through Universal Television. The series is also executive produced by Sian Heder, and Joshuah Bearman, Joshua Davis and Arthur Spector executive produce for Epic Magazine. Heder also serves as co-showrunner alongside Eisenberg.