David Walton recently appeared on “Parenthood” as Will Freeman, his songwriter character from new NBC comedy “About a Boy.” Both shows are created by Jason Katims, who tells the 2014 TCA winter press tour that the crossovers are only natural because they’re set in the same area.
“I think just because both shows are set in San Francisco and the Bay area, it sort of makes sense that there would be [crossovers],” says Katims. “… because Will is in the world of music and Crosby’s in the world of music, it made sense to me.”
Walton’s recent turn on “Parenthood” revolved around a poker game, which is the way that “Parenthood” will be crossing over to “About a Boy” as well, initially.
“It turns out in ‘About a Boy,’ Will also has his own poker game, so Dax Shepard will be making an appearance as Crosby Braverman,” says Katims.
Much like “Parenthood,” “About a Boy” is a family story at its core, though it centers around a much smaller ensemble than the Braverman clan: Minnie Driver is Fiona, mom to Marcus (Benjamin Stockham), who moves them in next door to Walton’s Freeman, where Will quickly becomes an important figure in Marcus’ life.
“It’s a story about a family that will never in their lives admit that they’re a family,” says Katims. “In a weird way, it takes a little bit of Fiona and a little bit of Will to make the best version of Marcus. Will and Fiona will never admit that they need each other to raise this boy.”
However, the Will-Fiona relationship is not “becoming a romantic relationship any time soon,” says Katims. “What I’m really interested in seeing, as far as Fiona’s character, is watching her as she slowly begins to accept Will’s role in Marcus’ life, to see many different sides of her.”
Walton adds that the beauty of the Will-Fiona relationship is that they both care about Marcus and are both “right” even if they don’t agree. The two perspectives make for some complex arguments, with Will “balancing out” Fiona’s “over-protectiveness.”
“About a Boy” premieres Friday, Feb. 21 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT following the Olympics, then it moves to its regular night on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 9 p.m. following “The Voice.” Watch the trailer below.