Canadian actor Michael Seater admits he’s a bit taken aback by the response with which his “18 to Life” series has been greeted since its unveiling on the CW earlier this month. “The reception in Canada was a lot different from the reception in U.S. No one thought of it as controversial,” he says of the series in which 18-year-old neighbors run off and get married fresh out of high school – then must cope with life in too-close proximity to their wildly different parents.
“No one ever said, ‘No, they’re too young.’ ‘They’re not pregnant; why should they get married?’ ‘The show is endorsing young sex’ and all these sorts of comments that have come out here. They thought Stacey (Farber) and I were cute together.”
That’s not the only difference. Plopped onto the schedule with little time for fanfare, “18 to Life” has been struggling in the ratings cellar here – while its success north of the border shows in its renewal by CBC for a second season.
No matter how “18 to Life” fares with US audiences, it’s already a success for Seater, 23. Having done three kids’ shows (including “Life With Derek”) over the last eight years, “I was definitely ready to move into something different. I was 21 when we did the pilot, getting old enough where I don’t want to play kids anymore. Still, I’m not 28. I saw this character as that good stepping stone an actor needs to go from boy to man. Much of what my character, Tom, is going through is what I’ve gone through. The age and the concept of the show worked really well for me.”