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The Real Reason Ted Danson Was Wracked With Guilt On The Good Place

The NBC fantasy comedy series "The Good Place," created by Michael Schur, premiered on September 19, 2016, and, after a successful four-season run, aired its series finale on January 30, 2020. Season 1 introduces Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), a woman who has just died and is welcomed into the Good Place, one of the two afterlife options (the other being, aptly, the Bad Place). Afterlife "architect" Michael (Ted Danson) explains to Eleanor that the utopia-like Good Place is reserved for only the best of the best humans as a reward for their ethical behavior on earth. At the end of the first episode, Eleanor reveals to her assigned soulmate Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper) that she has ended up in the Good Place by mistake because she was a terrible person while she was alive. Chidi, who was a professor of ethics and moral philosophy, agrees to help Eleanor become a more ethical person in order to earn her place at the Good Place.

While Eleanor is scared of it being discovered that she doesn't belong in the Good Place, she isn't exactly guilty about her actions as a human on earth (at least not at first). However, there was someone behind the scenes who had some guilt in relation to the show — as it turns out, star Ted Danson had a bit of guilt while filming the first season of "The Good Place." Here's why.

Danson felt guilty for revealing the show's twist

By now, the show's big Season 1 finale twist is pretty widely known. But, for those of you who don't know (and don't mind being spoiled), it's revealed that the characters are actually in the Bad Place, disguised as the Good Place, so that Micahel can emotionally and psychologically torture them for eternity as punishment for their bad behavior on earth. It's a major — and extremely well done — twist, so it makes sense that even some of the cast members would be left in the dark about the reveal until it came time to film it. However, creator Michael Schur did let two actors in on the secret: Ted Danson and Kristen Bell.

During a 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Danson revealed that being in on the twist actually led to him feeling a bit guilty after he couldn't help but spill the secret. Danson explained that when he told friends the show's premise, without giving away the twist, they seemed bored by it. Danson continued, "I could just see that flicker in their eyes and it pissed me off, so I immediately told them the twist ending and they were totally impressed. And I became that guy — that guy who cannot keep a secret ... But to tell you the truth, I was wracked with guilt, but luckily the people I told, I called them and said, 'Please, dear God, [don't tell anyone].'"

Luckily, Danson's friends were able to keep the secret and the big reveal was able to maintain its impact and become one of the best TV twists of recent years.