The versatile Anthony Anderson, last seen as Det. Kevin Bernard on the hit NBC drama “Law & Order,” before the long-running crime series was cancelled in 2011, returns to primetime television in “Guys with Kids,” premiering at 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 26 on NBC.
In this whimsical half-hour sitcom from Emmy winner Jimmy Fallon, an executive producer of the show, three “thirty-somethings” try to “hold on to their youth while holding their new babies’ hands.” According to the network, Gary (Anderson) and Nick (Zach Cregger) have each other to help navigate their survival as new dads while still trying desperately to remain “dudes.” Their pal Chris (Jesse Bradford), who also has an infant, recently divorced his wife Sheila (Erinn Hayes), although she remains determined to keep a tight rein on things, particularly the raising of their child. Fortunately, Gary and Nick are more than happy to share their unsolicited advice.
Anthony Anderson, whose early comedic performances in “Me, Myself & Irene,” “Barbershop” and “Two Can Play that Game” had movie-goers asking, “Who is that guy?” is equally outrageous as Gary, a harried “Mr. Mom” with four kids, who keeps the home fires burning while his wife Marny, played by former “Cosby Kid” Tempestt Bledsoe, brings home the bacon.
Anderson, who formerly starred in the sitcom “All About the Andersons,” had a development deal with the FX Network to do a half-hour comedy when the “Guys with Kids” offer came along, courtesy of a longtime friend, Jimmy Fallon.
“The ‘Guys with Kids’ script fell into my lap,” Anderson said during a recent teleconference. “I read it. It came from Jimmy. They offered it to me. It was great. I could see where this show could go. Everybody jumped off the page at me, and it was just a no-brainer.
“So I contacted FX, and was like, ‘Thank you for the opportunity, but I have this opportunity here.’ They were gracious enough to say [that] if that opportunity didn’t work out, they would love to have me back. Fortunately, for me, ‘Guys with Kids’ worked out, and here we are talking about it now.”
In the season premiere titled “Chris’ New Girlfriend,” Nick realizes that Chris’ new girlfriend is someone he used to date, and if the sneak preview that aired on Sept. 12 is any indication, Anderson will have plenty of opportunities to flex his formidable comedic chops. Even so, he gives plenty of credit to his kiddie co-stars saying, “The kids are the real stars to this show. That’s where the magic happens, with them, and you know, we’re kind of handcuffed and forced to go where they lead us. And that’s where we have a lot of the fun doing these episodes.”