*NBC presented eight of their new fall shows today at the TCA Summer 2012 Press Tour, with seven of the eight programs containing at least one African American cast member.
Anthony Anderson and Tempestt Bledsoe play husband and wife in the comedy “Guys with Kids,” while Kim Whitley stars opposite humans and non-humans in the sitcom “Animal Practice.” Giancarlo Esposito plays a bad guy (or is he?) in the post-apocalyptic “Revolution,” and NeNe Leakes pretty much plays her abrasive self in the half-hour comedy “The New Normal.”
Also British actor Eamonn Walker runs a fire and rescue squad in Dick Wolf’s new drama “Chicago Fire,” Bill Cobbs and Tyler James Williams are in group therapy for the Matthew Perry comedy “Go On,” and Terry Crews, Dolvett Quince and Laila Ali go through military exercises for charity in “Stars Earn Stripes.”
All of the actors and actresses (except for Cobbs), were on hand today to discuss their new shows, a roundup of which is featured below.
Bledsoe and Anderson, both NBC veterans (from “The Cosby Show” and “Law & Order” respectively), play a married couple with four children in “Guys With Kids,” a comedy about men balancing their parental duties with everything else going on in their lives. Below, the two explain their interest in the joining the project.
“Chicago Fire,” a drama about the lives of firefighters and paramedics at a Chicago firehouse, stars Eamonn Walker as Chief Wallace Boden, a complicated character that the actor is happy to portray. Listen below.
Kym Whitley says she relishes her role as a nurse in NBC’s upcoming “Animal Practice,” which follows top veterinarian Dr. George Coleman (Justin Kirk) who runs his animal hospital and its eclectic staff in an unorthodox style. Below, the comedian says her character, Juanita, is the backbone of the office.
“Revolution” follows one family as they struggle to reunite in the wake of an unexplained worldwide blackout that happened 15 years ago. This means no computers, planes, cars, phones, lights or anything else requiring electricity. One of the family members is kidnapped by an insurance adjuster-turned-militia leader played by Giancarlo Esposito. The actor, fresh from his memorable bad guy seasons in AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” talks about his duplicitous character in “Revolution.”
NeNe Leakes gets her full NeNe on in Ryan Murphy’s comedy “The New Normal,” which follows a male gay couple looking for a surrogate, and the broke single mother who agrees to carry their baby. NeNe, who guest-starred last season on Murphy’s “Glee,” plays Rocky, the no-nonsense assistant to one of the fathers. She’ll often go toe-to-toe with the surrogate’s racist and homophobic mother, played by Ellen Barkin. Below, Ryan tells EURweb about the first time he heard of NeNe Leakes, and NeNe explains how she hadn’t heard of the writer-producer until he called her for “Glee.”
In his first grown man role, Tyler James Williams plays a reluctant member of a “life change” support group in the comedy “Go On.” His character, Owen, is a non-participant in the therapy sessions until radio host and recent widower Matthew Perry joins the group and pulls Owen out of his shell. Below, Williams, last seen in the Disney Channel film “Let it Shine,” says this character is another “step up” in his budding career.
Billed as a love letter to our men and women in uniform, “Stars Earns Stripes” pairs eight celebrities with law enforcement trainers in combat missions inspired by real military exercises. Each team competes for a cash prize that will go directly to a military, veterans or first-responder charity. NFL player-turned-actor Terry Crews, “The Biggest Loser” trainer Dolvett Quince and four-time undefeated boxing champ Laila Ali are among the eight celebs, and all spoke of being humbled by their missions on the show. Below, Laila says one of the challenges had her crying like a baby.