Are you feeling lucky? Probably not as lucky as the main characters on ABC’s new drama “Lucky 7,” about a bunch of blue-collar gas station workers who hit the multi-million dollar lottery jackpot. While the premiere focuses mainly on establishing the daily lives of each of the lottery pool members right before they win big, the rest of the series will examine the aftermath of such a windfall.
Based on the British series “The Syndicate,” “Lucky 7,” premiering Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 9/8c on ABC, follows the framework of the original show, but expands the story to 13 (or 22, depending) episodes. Another similarity: Lorraine Bruce, who starred in the original series, will star in the American version too. The rest of the diverse crew includes Summer Bishil, Alex Castillo, Stephen Louis Grush, Matt Long, Anastasia Phillips, Luis Antonio Ramos, and Isiah Whitlock Jr.
Here are five things you can expect from “Lucky 7″ throughout its first season:
1. Diversity. The workers at this gas station are an extremely diverse group of people, but their casting is in no way contrived. They really feel like a group of co-workers. “Queens is, I think, the most culturally diverse place on the planet,” producer Jason Richman told reporters at a panel for the show during the 2013 Television Critics Association summer press tour. “I think there are more languages spoken in Queens than anywhere else on Earth, and that’s something that really attracted us to do some storytelling there. There are some great mixes of cultures in scenes coming up and great storylines where cultures are colliding in a really fun way in future episodes.”
2. Realized characters. It reeeeally sucks to be the guy at work who doesn’t contribute to the pool, but instead of making Luis Antonio Ramos’ character the token angry dude, he’s actually the most compelling character — no threats involved. Ramos said he’s happy to be playing an upstanding family man. “I’m a Latino from New York, and I’ve been in the business, like, 34 years. I’ve done a lot of different shows. I’ve played bad guys in, like, every show on every network,” Ramos told reporters. “To represent somebody with a heart and soul and integrity, that’s big for me. I was tired of playing bad guys and stabbing people in the neck and doing those kinds of things. It was wearing me out.”
3. The 99 percent. While plenty of TV shows focus on the wealthy one percent — “The Real Housewives of” Wherever, pretty much anything else on Bravo too — “Lucky 7″ is a show for everyone else. “It’s about the 99 percent of the people in the world and what they do and what they are about and how they get through a day when things aren’t really going their way,” Ramos said. Added Bruce, “It’s not necessarily so much even about the money. It’s just about the fact that we’ve got these people, and they’re regular people, and they’ve got stuff going on in their lives, like everyone has stuff going on in their lives. And then boom, this thing happens, and it just makes everything a bit brighter, a little bit more intense.”
4. Problems aren’t solved. As Bruce noted, the money is nice but it’s not going to solve everyone’s problems. “There are definitely elements all throughout the show and throughout the episodes that we’re planning to do now that go toward that theme of, ‘Oh, you think the money is going to fix this, but it doesn’t fix this at all,’” said executive producer David Zabel. “And at the end of the day, people are who they are, and does money only bring out their true character even more? … A lot of it is about that give and take of hoping in some ways for the money to change somebody’s life and make it better, but also studying and tracking the ways in which the money is not the solution.”
5. You could win too. In the spirit of the show, ABC is sponsoring a contest that will award a grand prize of $100,000 to one lucky viewer. If you enter at www.ABCLucky7.com, you’ll receive a randomly generated “lottery” ticket with seven numbers. Tune in to the premiere at 9/8c on Tuesday, Sept. 24 to find out if you hit the jackpot.