Fox’s new fall series Almost Family is about an only child finds her life turned upside down when her father reveals that, over the course of his prize-winning career as a pioneering fertility doctor, he used his own sperm to conceive upwards of a hundred children, including two new sisters. As these three young women slowly embrace their new reality, they will attempt to form an untraditional bond as sisters, even as they must welcome a tidal wave of new siblings into their rapidly expanding family.
“The origin of wanting to tell this story came from this idea that we’re living in a world now where widely available genetic testing just makes it possible for people to suddenly discover that the story of who they are is not the real story,” said writer and executive Annie Weisman during the show’s turn on the TCA stage today. “I felt like it was very much in the zeitgeist. It was very much in the experience of a lot of people we know. It felt like the right time to tap into it and tell an unconventional family story through it.”
Watch a sneak peek of Almost Family below.
Acknowledging the controversy over tackling a story about a man who inseminates women without their consent, Weisman promised that the show is “going to take very seriously the consequences of his actions.”
“There’s going to be a very serious contending with what it meant to the people who didn’t consent to this behavior,” he said. “We’re also going to get into more complex motivations. In any story, it’s important to feel empathy and understanding for a character so we plan to get into that.”
Tonally, Weisman approached the dark storyline with humor. “I think that’s how we live our lives,” he said. “There’s laughter in tragedy and there’s tragedy in heavy moments. I really try to be reflective of reality for me in the tone of the show.”
Weisman was joined by stars Brittany Snow, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Emily Osment, Mustafa Elzein, Mo McRae, Victoria Cartagena and Timothy Hutton as well as executive producer Jason Katims, who also acknowledged “ethical and moral implications” or the show’s premise.
But ultimately “it is a story about identity and a story about family and a story where we’re asking the question, what is family?” said Katims
Almost Family, based on the Australian series Sisters, premieres October 2 on Fox.