Showrunner Jason Katims discussed the sixth and final season of Parenthood at the Television Critics Association press tour yesterday. Based mainly on live tweets from the critics, here’s a summary of what he said. Each tidbit links back to its original source.
Katims said that while Parenthood has always been a bubble show, this year it was trickier than before to get a renewal. However, he never envisioned a season without the full cast. “To me, the show is everybody in the show.” He’s happy that the show has gotten the 13 episode order. “For a show that I am personally so invested in…I think of it as a gift to know we get to tell this last part of story.”
He would love to do cross-overs again, like the web series about Landry’s band (from Friday Night Lights) at the Luncheonette, or Crosby’s appearance in About a Boy.
He considers his showrunner career to be a journey in “[embracing] the collaborative nature of making a television show”. “You have the opportunity of working with these immensely talented people…and my feeling is the idea of embracing that & giving everybody the idea that they are not there to execute your vision, but share in creating.” On casting ensembles, like the Braverman family: it’s about putting together people that have “magic" together. The ensemble nature of the show does not mean that everyone always has to have equally big storylines. "Everyone is carrying the ball” at a certain point and will rotate to the center of the story. He considers the Parenthood roles to have become richer because of the actors playing them. “You can throw these actors anything; they almost sort of demand it of you”.
For the final season, he wanted to find a larger story that would inform and influence all the characters. “I feel like we’re going to be telling a story this year that we haven’t told before and I’m excited about that. (…) There will be as many storylines going on as there always are, but this will be something that tracks through the entire year”. Of the thread for the season, he said: “It’s a huge challenge for this family, of the kind that we haven’t seen before.” He explained to TVLine: “When we did Kristina’s cancer storyline, I thought it was one of our strongest stories that we did — and obviously some of the best performances — so we want to do a story that again is one of those biggies that the family has to deal with.”
Ray Romano will likely be around for the full season.
Via Danielle Turchiano: Katims used to want to be a short order cook— the assembly of a variety of dishes is not that different. His wife said “You got your dream”. The show allowed him to explore a wide variety of subjects, such as marriages and raising kids.
What’s the deal with Amber and Ryan? They did have sex at the hospital, and by the time of the premiere - which jumps two to three months ahead - we will know whether Amber is pregnant.