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Peter Krause on Parenthood

Published February 17, 2010 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of NBC
Parenthood Parenthood

Peter Krause has spearheaded many memorable families. He held the Fishers of Six Feet Under together and cleaned up after the Darlings of Dirty Sexy Money. Now he’s front and center with the Bravermans, the new incarnation of the family in Parenthood.

Peter Krause Talks Parenthood

“No comparisons between this family and the Darlings,” Krause said. “Here, we have an agreement about what this show should be on the part of the network and on the part of Jason [Katims] and the producers, Ron [Howard] and Brian [Grazer]. And on that show, there was not an agreement about what the show should be. So there was a lot of creative battling behind the scenes.”

Things are harmonious on the set of Parenthood but the show is about the drama every limb of the family tree experiences. “I think it's a multi-generational piece. It's about everybody. The younger members of the cast are really terrific in the show. And it's about all of the relationships between the siblings, between parents, grandparents, and grandchildren. It's an entire web of relationships. I think that's what makes family comedies and family dramas work, whether it's going back to The Waltons or a cartoon like The Simpsons. I think that what happens between people or between characters is what's fascinating to an audience.”

The show has already preserved over tragedy, losing Maura Tierney due to her health issues, and other behind the scenes figures. “It's been a difficult journey getting to where we are now, but it is a terrific cast. Nora O'Brien, who is a good friend of mine, I received two phone calls at the same time. One was from Tommy Schlamme, and one was from Nora O'Brien about Jason Katims' script for Parenthood. And I worked with Ron and Brian before on a project called Sports Night. So Tommy, Ron, and Brian and I were all very familiar with each other. Jason I found to be a fantastic writer, and I've made all of my TV decisions based upon the script and the writer.”

Unfortunately, O’Brien passed away on a night when production was in session. “Losing Nora was very difficult, but at the same time, she was a large part of the reason why I took the job, along with Tommy and Jason's script. And that was definitely a turning point on this show about life, about family, about things that you do go through. Even though that was difficult, the show has gone on to be quite funny. I was wrestling around with a possum not too long ago on the show. It reminded me of the day my son saw a bobcat up by the Grill and asked me if he could go pet it. This show is about the lives that we lead and the relationships that we do have and the comedy and the drama that we find in life, and I am repeatedly drawn to just that.”

Parenthood premieres March 2nd on NBC.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of NBC

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