Part of the cast of Parenthood reunited with series creator Jason Katims and executive producer Lawrence Trilling on Friday night at the ATX Festival in Austin.
And while excited audience members relished hearing Dax Shephard, Erika Christensen, Joy Bryant, and Monica Potter share memories, Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Craig T. Nelson, Bonnie Bedelia, and Mae Whitman were certainly missed.
Among the highlights was insight from Katims as to how the 1989 film of the same from Ron Howard and the series Friday Night Lights played a role in Parenthood‘s inception.
“I was very much inspired by Friday Night Lights in thinking about what the show could be,” Katims, who executive produced the sports drama, shared. “One thing I was enjoying about Friday Night Lights was the big ensemble cast—many, many people with different points of view. So I thought, ‘What if I did a show like that focusing on family and extended family?’ That’s how it started.”
The cast spent time talking about their shared past, but also where they think their characters would be today. Like Shephard who suggests his character, Crosby Braverman would’ve opened a gym, and Potter who thinks her Kristina Braverman would be pregnant.
Bryant thinks her character Jasmine Trussell, who was married to Crosby, could similarly be in the family way.
“I would probably have two more kids. Wasn’t I pregnant?” asked Bryant. “In real life, not by choice, I tend to play moms. I think throughout my career I’ve had like 10 TV kids and one grandchild. I’m doing pretty good.”
Christensen, on the other hand, thinks her character Julia Braverman-Graham and husband Joel Graham (Sam Jaegar) were good with the children they already had.
“In the final moments of the show, we learned that they have four kids now. So, I think they would stop at four but I have no idea. Parenthood is the name of the game,” she shared.
But the man behind the story admits he views it from a different perspective.
“I don’t really give that a lot of that,” said Katims. “We did over 100 episodes of the show and I felt like one thing I wanted to do was by the end of the series was to give the show resolution. I wanted to feel like they all landed somewhere. So I feel like it’s all resolved.”
Katims and the cast were aware they’d be wrapping up the series with Season 6 after having received word from NBC, something Christensen called “a blessing.”
Then someone in the audience seemingly brought up a recently wrapped NBC series that followed Parenthood that is similar in a few ways.
“She just asked is anyone mad at This Is Us for trying to do the exact same thing?” Shephard shared referring to the Dan Fogelman series. “Why is it that NBC made the exact same show after killing our show? We don’t think about it and we don’t care.”
He added, “It’s like if AMC cancels Breaking Bad and brought out Meth Lab: Santa Fe. Euphoria‘s has been axed—Extasy on HBO.”
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