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Exclusive! Hart of Dixie Creator Reveals Trio of Love Triangles, Major Casting Change

In the CW's Hart of Dixie, Rachel Bilson’s character, Zoe Hart, is a big-city doctor who moves to a small-town Alabama and, in the process, deals with love, life, and barnyard animals. Throw in some Scott Porter from Friday Night Lights and Jaime King with a southern drawl, and you have the recipe for fall’s cutest guilty pleasure.

Wetpaint Entertainment chatted up creator Leila Gerstein to find out what’s coming up and why she’s in love with her new show.

Wetpaint Entertainment: The pilot is so cute. How hard is it to conceive something where you’re introducing an entire town in an hour, but then have to slow it down for a weekly show?

Leila Gerstein: Luckily, I feel like our show is a comedy, so we're relying a lot on the really fun storylines of the fish-out-of-water stuff. There are parades, gumbo contests, and tomorrow, we're shooting a black-eye turtle race. We're going to just keep on doing really fun stuff. I feel like this show is exactly what it promises to be, a fish-out-of-water romantic comedy, and it continues to be that way every week. Rachel is delightful, and the town we've created, I find delightful.

What are some of the arcs that will carry through the season?

We're going to carry on the three love triangles. We're talking about them in some way, shape or form in every episode. I would say the main arc for Season One is about Zoe finding her heart, learning to be a better doctor, learning to connect with people, learning to be a better person. That continues to be the kind of overall theme.

In the show, Zoe inherits a clinic from a father she didn’t know she had. How much do we continue learning about her past and her mother?

Her mom comes back for one episode, but I think she's going to be dealing with this legacy, kind of psychologically.

Are there new cast members that you're really excited about?

We have some amazing new characters! Eisa Davis is going to play the new nurse in the doctor's office, who is incredible. She's taking Nancy [Travis]'s position that she vacated in the doctor's office [after Travis was cast in ABC’s sitcom Last Man Standing]. She’ll be the kind of mother figure in Zoe's life. Tim Matheson continues to appear as Britt Breeland, who is incredible. One of the stages that we built on set is called the Rammer Jammer — it's like a University of Alabama fight song title, and not dirty in any way. They all hang out there so we get a lot of locals. You see the same people all the time. We will meet a lot of locals who continue to add flavor and expand the world.

What about the show do you especially love?

It's very funny. And every time I show up to set, our actors are all brilliant and delightful. I'm in love with all the men, and Rachel and I are really good friends; and I'm in love with Jaime. Every time I show up, I’m like, “Oh, I want to live in Bluebell. It's amazing!” We had a pancake breakfast last week in the middle of town square, with all these gorgeous Chinese lanterns. Everyone was all dressed up. I was just like, “This is amazing.” It's really fun!

09.9.2011 / 01:17 AM EDT by Carita Rizzo
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