The Pitch: Marius (Giovanni Ribisi), a con man, is on the run after being released from prison and after owing a gangster money he has no intentions of paying back. He assumes the identity of his cellmate Pete, who has told him an unnecessarily detailed story about grandparents on their Connecticut farm who he hasn’t seen in decades. Grandma Audrey (Margo Martindale) and Grandpa Otto (Peter Gerety) agree to let Marius stay and work in their bail-bonds business as a “skip tracer”—trying to catch people who skip bail, along with their granddaughter Julia (Marin Ireland). Sounds enticing? Sneaky Pete almost never happened after CBS turned down the pilot but Byran Cranston (star and creator) David Shore (co-creator) refused to give up.
After Amazon Studios heard about the show, they immediately ordered it to series, Shore left without much warning; according to Cranston, the show needed someone with a different sensibility than Shore’s. As a replacement, Cranston suggested Graham Yost, the executive producer of the FX’s Justified, who had just come off making a pilot that wasn’t picked up.
The Koalition had an opportunity to interview Graham Yost about his plans for season two, the stress of redrafting an entire season in three weeks, finding the right tone for Amazon, and how he convinced Giovanni Ribisi to star
Check out our interview below.