Get ready, because JANN is back! Bigger, bolder, and wilder than ever before, Season 3 of the CTV original comedy series JANN returns for its third season on Monday, September 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. That also means that award-winning singer/songwriter Jann Arden is back playing the fictionalized version of herself on screen, and the ridiculous antics continue to ensue.
Jann finds herself flailing a bit as Season 3 opens after firing her ex-manager Cale (Elena Juatco). So she hires herself a new assistant and commits to making a new album from the heart. If that sounds a bit messy, it’s nothing compared to her personal life. Fresh off of her girlfriend Cynthia (Sharon Taylor) rejecting her marriage proposal, Jann decides to start dating again and finds herself with a younger man (played by Charlie Kerr).
Arden recently chatted with The TV Junkies about returning for Season 3 and all the turmoil and upheaval happening in Jann’s life. She also gave us a peek at how some of her real-life stories got incorporated into the show, who these new characters in Jann’s world are, and what she loves the most about playing this character.
The TV Junkies: You hadn’t really acted much prior to the start of JANN, but here you are in Season 3! Do you feel like the professional you so clearly are and like you really got the hang of this whole acting thing now?
Jann Arden: I want to so much say, ‘Yes! I know exactly what I’m doing,’ but I really don’t. I still lean heavily into my acting coach, Tom Carey, because learning 10-15 pages of dialogue every day makes you feel like you’re in an alternate universe. But once I learn it, and you’re on the set in the moment, it feels good to be able to do things that scare you and rise to the challenge. That’s what being an artist is all about. It’s not about being comfortable. It’s about trying things and risking complete and utter failure. I don’t mind not getting it right. I have lots of support from the other cast members. It’s also so well-written that the jokes always feel instinctive, and the team does such a great job of defining TV Jann.
TTVJ: Part of why we as the audience keep rooting for TV Jann is that she feels so real and flawed, but always keeps trying. What kind of journey did Leah [Gauthier], Jennica [Harper], and the writers want to take her on in Season 3?
JA: More than anything, we want to make sure we strike a balance between the musical career, which people are fascinated with the behind-the-scenes glimpse, and her personal life that always seems to be in some sort of decay. She goes on the journey of wanting to make a new record, but not having a major label to support her, while still having her mother living with her and being in denial about that. Cynthia, my ex-girlfriend, is still very much in the periphery, but Jann is forcing herself to go forward and is making decisions that she knows are going to piss people off. She doesn’t feel like her heart is in them, but will do them anyways. That’s what this character does. It’s never about being truly authentic. She can be authentic, but it really has to be crammed down her throat.
TTVJ: Speaking of her dating life, can you preview who this younger man is that may get some of Jann’s attention this season? I also know you’ve spoken on your podcast about using dating apps and what you didn’t like about them. Did any of that get incorporated into JANN?
JA: Dani Kind (Workin’ Moms) talked me into going on Raya about two and a half years ago. I was on for two seconds and the people it recommended to me were the guy who played the sheriff on Stranger Things and was fantastic, Chelsea Handler, Drew Barrymore, and Leslie Feist. I wish I was lying to you, but I’m not. So I told the writers this hilarious story and immediately deleted the app from my phone. We just thought it’d be a funny premise to make up for Jann, and lo and behold, there’s an action star, Nate (Charlie Kerr), who shows up. He’s a guy that’s venturing into his own world of sobriety and the app matches us up. Charlie plays this part like JANN is a drama and it’s really so cool.
TTVJ: In addition to Charlie joining the cast this season, you guys also have Tenaj Williams playing Jann’s new assistant, Trey. Can you share a little what he’s like and how Jann goes about bringing him onto her team?
JA: Trey starts out being interviewed by Max (Zoie Palmer) and Dave (Patrick Gilmore) for their nanny and helper around their house. I basically go in and think it’s OK to poach him. Trey is extremely zen-like. He lives in a world of peace and tranquility and gets thrust into my mother Nora’s dementia, my absolutely disruptive personal life, and chaotic professional life. He walks in like, ‘What have I done?’ But Tenaj plays it perfectly and it’s really a nice foil for Jann to have.
Cale, meanwhile, is on her own journey this season. She’s very much still a huge part of the show. She’s just taking on a new aspect of her life.
TTVJ: I loved seeing so much more of Cale this season, and we actually get her as part of some really fun pairings. We see her more with Nora and then, also some with Dave. I guess that’s a nice luxury being in Season 3 to explore those relationships more.
JA: When we started writing we knew we didn’t want COVID to exist in the JANN-world. However, we were conscious of not having a ton of extras and making the set safe. So we really leaned into the relationships between the main characters together and fleshed out who these people are to each other. Safety was our first priority, but our next priority was keeping people entertained, while still moving the characters forward in a way that gives everybody a voyeuristic peak into these people they thought they knew.
TTVJ: As usual, Jann finds herself getting into some pretty crazy situations and outfits this year. What is it like getting to do all those things and get into all that silliness with her?
JA: The costume department went beyond the call of duty this year. I am doing indoor skydiving in an episode this season and of course, I actually did it! I thought I was going to perish while staying in character. I also fall a lot and am in stupid situations. I spend a lot of Season 3 just looking how most of us look at home. There’s no part of this character that’s trying to be vain, look a certain way, or have perfect makeup on. I really enjoy that and that they keep her very real. People can look at this character and think, ‘Oh my gosh, she looks just like me!’
TTVJ: I have to say there’s one outfit in particular, from a very popular 90s movie, that I don’t want to spoil, but that really made me crack up.
JA: We had a lot of fun this year with flashbacks and there’s some that just cracked me up as well. There’s quite a few flashbacks between Todd (Jason Blicker) and I that show how long we’ve had our relationship and what the 90s were really like. I know when I watch shows I love a flashback. Max and Dave have some funny flashbacks from when they were first together. This season we really do go into some flashbacks that I think are just priceless.
JANN Season 3 premieres Monday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV. Seasons 1 and 2 of JANN are currently available for streaming on CTV.ca, the CTV app, and Crave, and in the United States on Hulu.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.