BOSTON (AP) — When Boston Celtics proprietor Wyc Grousbeck felt like his life might be the premise for a tv sitcom, he knew simply the place to show: His good friend Tom Werner, a Pink Sox proprietor and TV veteran who was behind megahits like “The Cosby Present,” “Roseanne,” and “That ’70s Present.”
The result’s “Prolonged Household,” which premieres on NBC on Saturday evening (8 p.m. ET, following the soccer) starring Jon Cryer (“Two and a Half Males”), Donald Faison (“Scrubs”) and Abigail Spencer (“Gray’s Anatomy,” “Fits”) in a love triangle based mostly on the real-life dynamic that developed between Grousbeck, his new spouse and her ex-husband — a lifelong Celtics fan.
“He checked out her like: ‘There’s 1,000,000 guys in New England you would be courting,’” mentioned Werner, who suggested the three on growing the present and joined them as an government producer. “What am I going to inform my pals?”
The following hijinks play off the choice by Emilia Fazzalari and George Geyer to comply with their divorce with an association known as nesting: As a substitute of constructing the kids bounce round throughout custody swaps, the children keep within the household house and the mother and father transfer out and in.
“The nest is someplace the place Julia and I’ve tried to present our children the misunderstanding that nothing has modified,” Jim Kearney (Cryer) says within the pilot, which revolves round a real story wherein Geyer was left answerable for his daughter’s goldfish “Googles” whereas she was at summer season camp. The fish dies, they determine to switch it with a look-alike, after which wackiness ensues.
Fazzalari and Geyer mentioned the unusually amicable divorce was an try to attenuate the disruption for his or her two kids.
“We determined to get divorced, and we determined that we should always pay the value for that, not the children,” Geyer mentioned in a current interview. “You possibly can select two routes while you get divorced. You possibly can select to be horrible or you can also make the very best of it. And we selected to make the very best of it.”
And every little thing was nice – till Fazzalari began courting Grousbeck.
Within the pilot, Jim hits Celtics proprietor Trey Turner (Faison) up for tickets and his ex-wife Julia Mariano (Spencer) says: “Appears to be like like we each met the person of our desires.” However in actual life, there have been extra combined feelings for Geyer, who grew up outdoors of Boston, went to Boston Faculty, and raised his children as Boston sports activities followers whereas residing in New York.
“It has to sting, proper?” he mentioned. “I’m a Celtics fan and she or he begins courting the proprietor of the Celtics? To not point out being Irish and rising up in Boston and having all my Boston pals — you know the way they like to present individuals a tough time. You possibly can think about the grief I’ve taken from them so far as my spouse being now married to the proprietor of the Boston Celtics.”
On a current Zoom name, Grousbeck, Fazzalari and Geyer banter good-naturedly, simply because the characters do. When Geyer refers to Fazzalari as his spouse, she corrects him: “Ex-wife”; Geyer provides Grousbeck a tough time concerning the commerce of NBA championship-winning level guard Rajon Rondo.
“It’s not a documentary,” Geyer mentioned. “However in case you watch the best way the three characters work together on display screen, it’s fairly related.”
And although there are some concepts taken from their lives, a lot of the tales are created within the author’s room, the place Geyer, who is usually retired after working 30 years for Bloomberg LLP, sits in two weeks a month as a contributor. “I even have gotten one or two traces into the present,” he mentioned.
Werner mentioned he’s usually approached by individuals who suppose they’ve good concepts for a TV present, very like Pink Sox followers make lineup ideas. (“It’s sort of like when somebody says, ‘Why didn’t you’re taking that pitcher out within the seventh inning?’” he mentioned. “Everybody thinks they’re smarter than the supervisor.”)
However he was offered on the premise for “Prolonged Household” when he was on trip in Mexico with Grousbeck and Fazzalari and he overheard her speaking — and laughing — to Geyer on the telephone.
“I cling up and Tom goes, ‘I believed you had been going to have a dialog along with your ex-husband.’ I’m going, ‘No, that was my ex-husband,’” Fazzalari mentioned. “Wyc, at that time, mentioned, ‘Let me inform you about this attention-grabbing state of affairs. I really suppose it’s a sitcom.’”
Werner despatched them some previous remedies as examples, after which gave them notes on their effort. Grousbeck and Fazzalari — who additionally created the tequila firm Cincoro with NBA nice Michael Jordan — and Geyer are government producers of the present and are concerned within the casting, set design, costumes, and scripts.
“After they name you to do one thing like this, you’re excited since you suppose you may get some good tickets,” mentioned O’Malley, who additionally labored with Werner — and NBA star LeBron James — on the collection “Survivor’s Regret.” “However then you definitely understand: If I blow this, I may be persona non grata.’”
Comic Lenny Clarke brings his genuine Boston accent to his half as Jim’s father. Former Celtic — and Laker — Rick Fox, who has a number of dozen appearing credit, performs the workforce’s basic supervisor. The present, which has been picked up for 13 episodes, is scheduled to maneuver into an everyday timeslot on Tuesday nights at 8:30 p.m. ET beginning Jan. 2.
A technique “Prolonged Household” does maintain it actual: It makes use of the Celtics title and different precise NBA mental property. There’s an exterior shot of the TD Backyard, the place the Celtics play, and a scene that takes place in a luxurious suite festooned with framed jerseys — the No. 00 of Robert Parish, the No. 20 of Ray Allen, and the No. 41 of … Kelly Olynyk?
“The present wasn’t going to be the identical if it was the Boston Bluebirds,” Grousbeck mentioned. “The NBA mentioned: ‘Go for it.’”
The pilot was shot in the course of the 2022 NBA Finals, when Grousbeck and Fazzalari occurred to be spending a while in California to observe the Celtics play (and finally lose to) the Golden State Warriors.
“It was wonderful for the three of us to sit down there and have a look at three individuals taking part in variations of us, free variations of us,” Grousbeck mentioned. “It’s such as you’ve out of the blue gone into the tv. I imply, it’s only a loopy feeling.”