How NBC's Guys with Kids Is Making Fatherhood Cool
Guys With Kids, Jimmy Fallon
When Jimmy Fallon got the idea for his new NBC comedy Guys with Kids, he knew exactly what he wanted to call it — and it wasn't Guy with Kids.
"[My producing partner Amy Ozols and I] were just talking about all the guys we were seeing around New York City and Times Square with the Baby Bjorns and [babies] on the backs of their bikes," Fallon said via satellite at NBC's Television Critics Association fall TV previews Tuesday. "We were just like, 'These are like young, good-looking guys embracing the roles of dad.' We both said at the same time, 'DILFS'! When we pitched the idea for DILFS ... NBC said, 'Yeah, we probably can't call the show DILFS, so we'll have to change that.'"
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The comedy formerly known as DILFS stars Jesse Bradford, Zach Cregger and Anthony Anderson as three thirtysomething friends learning — and most importantly, enjoying — the adventures of parenting. Erinn Hayes (Worst Week) co-stars as Bradford's ex-wife, Jamie-Lynn Sigler as Cregger's wife, and Cosby Show alum Tempestt Bledsoe plays Anderson's wife. Fourteen kids are used to play all of their seven children, injecting the multicamera series with an unpredictability and joy that Fallon is going for.
"It's young parents. It's very positive, very fun. It's very much like Late Night," Fallon said. "We just want to have a good time. It's not about what a drag it is to have kids. It's more about bringing the kid to the baseball game and I forgot diapers. How do I make a diaper out of a hot dog wrapper and a napkin?"
It's that gung-ho, positive approach to fatherhood these guys have that the producers and cast believe is missing from TV portrayals of dads. "You usually see that if a father knows how to change a diaper, he doesn't necessarily want his boys to know he knows. It wasn't cool to take care of your kids and get into the nitty-gritty," Bledsoe said. "You pick them up like a football, you kinda play with them, mess with their cheeks and then you hand them off to the wife. I think that this show really exposes this new trend, if you want to call it that, that fathering your children is cool. ... There are a lot of dads at home who feel like they haven't been given their due for what they do do with their children. I'm glad someone's finally admitting it: This is hip and cool to take care of your kids!"
After starring on one of the most iconic family sitcoms ever, Bledsoe said she was happy to return to the network that made her a star with a "dream job." "It's a rare opportunity to have a script like this come across where it's something positive, it's funny, it's warm. It's a true ensemble cast."
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But her on-screen husband thinks there's another reason Bledsoe — his childhood crush — took the gig. "Be honest, just tell them that [NBC Chairman Bob] Greenblatt called you and said, 'Tempestt, we need you to save the network," Anderson quipped.
"I didn't wanna put it out there like that," Bledsoe responded. "I was a lucky charm before and I hope to be again!"
Guys with Kids premieres Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 8:30/7:30c on NBC.