The Television Critics Association Press Tour kicked off Tuesday with a visit to the set of NBC’s second- best drama (after Friday Night Lights, natch), Parenthood. The entire Braverman clan, save for Mae Whitman, who was at the premiere of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, was on hand to answer questions, including one about balancing story lines for the sprawling cast. “We’re planning on killing them off one episode at a time,” executive producer Jason Katims joked in response. “I wanted to start with the [premiere], but [NBC president of prime-time entertainment] Angela Bromstad wisely encouraged me to wait until sweeps.”
All joking aside, here’s some intel we gathered on the new season…
- Adam, Sarah, and Gordon: Adam will be getting some new co-workers, as well as an expanded workplace set, next season. One of those new employees? His own sister, Sarah! “I’m sure she’s going to make a lot of mistakes and annoy her brother,” said Lauren Graham. Further complicating matters will be Adam’s boss, Gordon (the newly cast Billy Baldwin), who will begin to date Sarah. Graham described Baldwin’s character as an “appealing yet dangerous” playboy with a heart.
- Sarah and Amber: As previously reported, Amber will be getting a new, upper-crust BFF, which brings out Sarah’s jealous side. “We’re doing a story line where Amber’s always at her friend’s house and Sarah’s trying to figure out a really cool thing to take the kids to,” Katims teased. But this new friend won’t be as perfect as she sounds. “There’s the question of whether this girl might wind up having some stuff going on that starts to challenge the friendship.”
- Julia and Joel: A second child? They’ll consider it!
- Crosby, Jasmine, and Jabbar: “What we want to explore in the second season is the challenges of a long-distance relationship,” Katims said of the trio. “Is it going to work out for this family?”
- Haddie, Amber, and Steve: Steve won’t be back with Amber when the show returns. Haddie, meanwhile, will get a new love interest from the other side of the tracks.
- Zeke and Camille: The heads of the Braverman clan will be working on saving their marriage, which starts comedically in marriage counseling.
- The ex factor: There are no plans to bring back Sarah’s ex-boyfriends Jason Ritter and Mike O’Malley, who are busy with The Event and Glee, respectively, but the door remains open to them.