NBC’s new drama Council of Dads has settled on a March launch date. The series will premiere on Tuesday, March 10 at 10 p.m, it was revealed Saturday before the network’s TCA panel. The timeslot sets up the series to air after similarly emotional drama This Is Us.
Council of Dads will remain in that time slot for its first 3 episodes, then move to the Tuesday 9 p.m. slot on March 31.
The new drama, inspired by Bruce Feiler’s book of the same title, deals with the fallout of a father’s death and how that father’s closest friends step in to act as a sort of dad collective for his five children, one of whom is transgender.
In Feiler’s autobiographical book, the father lives but assembles the “council” after a cancer diagnosis. In the series (spoiler alert) Dad, portrayed by Tom Everett Scott, dies at end of the tear-jerking pilot which covers the approximate year from diagnosis to death. At today’s session, married Executive Producers Tony Phelan and Joan Rater said subsequent episodes would not include flashbacks with the character.
“We will not have flashbacks as the show progresses, the show is very much in the present,” said Rater. She teased that audiences would see actor Scott in another “very emotional episode.”
Phelan and Rater were joined on today’s panel by cast members Clive Standen, Michele Weaver, Sarah Wayne Callies and J. August Richards. Phelan; and Rater said they grafted elements of their own family story onto Feiler’s story; their brood of children includes a transgender child and one adopted from China. Actors said the writers also interviewed them about their own family stories to borrow story lines.
Meanwhile, the cast and crew said they are pleased by inevitable comparisons with NBC hit This Is Us.
“We’re really lucky to get to tell these stories thanks to shows like This Is Us,” Rater said. “Well told family stories are always going to resonate with people, and this is a little bit of our family mixed up with a little bit of the writers’ families. (It’s) real family stuff on TV.”