PARENTHOOD: Jason Katims and NBC’s Bob Greenblatt Reflect on the Show’s Run
November 10, 2014 by Danielle Turchiano
“In this day and age, we order a series six episodes here, 10 episodes there, and it takes longer and longer to get to 100, and many shows never do it. So it’s an accomplishment in and of itself and a testament to this great show and everyone involved [at PARENTHOOD],” Chairman of NBC Entertainment Bob Greenblatt said to kick off a very special 100th episode cake cutting celebration in Los Angeles last week.
“I think in this day and age it gets harder and harder to find shows that break through the clutter, and when you get into themes that are just universal, I think you have the best chance of that happening,” he continued. “[PARENTHOOD] is an extraordinary show. We remain very, very proud of it. I’m happy we’re sending it off in the right way. There will be, I’m sure, many tears to shed in the coming episodes.”
PARENTHOOD is, in many ways, a quiet drama. It is a show about a large, extended family and all of the issues they face trying to raise kids and nurture their relationships in today’s complicated, modern world. But you could argue that the stakes are higher on this show than most others because it is about real people — people that you’d want in your family and people that you see reflected in your family. The show makes you laugh; it makes you cry; and usually it makes you alternate between the two extreme emotions in the same scene.
Writer/producer/director Jason Katims does not apologize for this: making his audience feel has been his M.O. throughout his career and is one of the things he is most proud of. Katims addressed his cast, his crew, his network, and his audience at that 100th episode celebration. Here is what he wanted to say to everyone who made breathed life into PARENTHOOD for so long:
“People always come up to me and they say ‘Thank you for making me cry.’ And I’m never sure how to respond. ‘You’re welcome, I guess?’ I didn’t know you wanted to cry more. But I think what they’re really saying is not so much that our show makes them cry but it makes them feel. And I take that as a great compliment.
It’s amazing and surreal to be…celebrating our 100th episode.
I remember the moment I decided to name this family the Bravermans. I was writing the pilot episode in Starbucks when all of these characters — this incredible family, this beautiful house — were just notions embedded in my caffeine-laden mind. And I decided to name them the Bravermans because I wanted our characters to be brave. I wanted our characters to be brave when it came to finding out that their son was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, or they were told they had cancer, or they were a single mom raising two children on their own, or their teenage girlfriend was pregnant, or they had to decide whether or not to do open-heart surgery, or they had to fight for their marriage. And just as I wanted our beloved characters to be brave, I wanted us also to be brave. I wanted us as writers and actors and directors and editors and producers and everyone else on this team to be honest, intimate, and unwavering storytellers. What we have accomplished astounds me: the love and tenderness, the courage and beauty that emanates in every episode of the show is beyond anything I could have dreamed possible. We are all so lucky the work we get to do every day, which we love to do, not only entertains people but deeply touches their lives. That is a rare privilege that I know none of us take lightly and when this show ends…we will all sorely miss.
I think the greatest blessing of PARENTHOOD is that we get to not only portray a wonderful family in front of the camera but to be part of a wonderful family behind the camera. On behalf of our PARENTHOOD family, I thank everyone that has gotten us to this cake.
…To our incredibly passionate and loyal fans, we wouldn’t be here without you, and I apologize for making you so mad about Joel and Julia. And since I’m apologizing, I’ll also apologize for the murder story in season 2 of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS!”
PARENTHOOD is wrapping up its sixth and final season on NBC on Thursday nights at 10pm.
PARENTHOOD -- "100th Episode Cake Cutting Celebration" -- Pictured: The cast of "Parenthood," along with executive producers Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Jason Katims and NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt, celebrate the show's 100th episode at a cake-cutting ceremony on the set at Universal Studios Friday afternoon -- (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)
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