PaleyFest 2013: 'Parenthood' cast talks a fifth season, tears, and ... Tim Riggins?

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Image Credit: Art Streiber/NBC

Last night, the minds and bodies behind the great Braverman clan took to the stage at PaleyFest to discuss everything from a potential season five to the reason why Mark and Sarah will never work (Hint: Jason Ritter is moving to a new show, where he’s dating Lauren Graham’s one-time TV daughter, Alexis Bledel).

Parenthood actors Craig T. Nelson, Max Burkholder, Miles Heizer, Mae Whitman, Sam Jaeger, Erika Christensen, Joy Bryant, Dax Shepard, Lauren Graham, Jason Ritter, Monica Potter, and Peter Krause joined executive producer Jason Katims for an hour-long conversation about the story lines that made us cry our eyes out for all of season four. Here are 10 things we learned:

  1. According to Graham, Sarah didn’t really make a choice: In the season four finale, Sarah chose to be with Hank, but then Hank decided to move to Minnesota. So as Graham sees it, Sarah’s romantic life was left open. But she’s pretty sure things are over for Mark and Sarah considering Ritter’s new role as Alexis Bledel’s man. “They always trade you in for someone younger, don’t they?” she joked. And despite being freaked out by the news at first, Graham admitted that, “the two of them are perfect to work together.” That being said, Graham did mention the idea that one of Rory’s exes should now play Sarah’s next love interest. Let the Dean vs. Jess vs. Logan debates begin!
  2. We aren’t the only ones who want more Matt Lauria: Turns out, Mae Whitman is very good friends with Lauria, who plays her on-screen love interest, and Katims also confirmed that the writers would love to see more Ryan-Amber time. Originally, Lauria’s Ryan wasn’t even supposed to stick around as long as he has, but Katims said that so long as he’s available, they’d love to see more of him. “I will make sure he’s available,” Whitman said.
  3. Who wants a baby? Last season, two couples found out that parenthood could be a part of their future. For Drew and Amy, that option was quickly turned down. Crosby and Jasmine, however, will have a baby if there’s a season five. And while Joy Bryant and Dax Shepard admitted that they’re “not at all” looking forward to working with a newborn, Heizer is a little jealous. When it came to last season’s abortion plot, Heizer and Graham both wanted Drew to keep the baby to see where the story would go. Alas, Heizer might have to settle for babysitting his newest cousin.
  4. You cry, you drink: As a gift at PaleyFest, the members of the audience received a small package of tissues, which is fitting for a show that made us cry just about every episode. But why is that? Turns out, the actors don’t even really know. Other than good writing, real stories, and memorable moments, they have just accepted the tears. Monica Potter has taken to playing a drinking game: Every time you cry while watching the show, you chug your drink. And it was a good thing she didn’t have a beer handy last night, because when Peter Krause started talking about one of his favorite moments on the show between Zeek and Amber (in the junkyard after her car accident), multiple cast members started tearing up on stage.
  5. Mae Whitman really wants Tim Riggins on the show: When asked if any more Friday Night Lights actors will be on the show, Katims said that it’s a possibility (assuming there’s a fifth season, obviously). The process is as follows: Step one: The writers create a character. Step two: The writers realize that a former-FNL actor might be a perfect fit. Step three: Jason Katims picks up the phone and “begs” the actor to come to Parenthood. Hey, it worked with Michael B. Jordan, Minka Kelly and Matt Lauria. Where you at, Taylor Kitsch?!
  6. There might be a gay character in the future: When a fan brought up the idea of having a gay character on the show, both Potter and Whitman revealed that they, at one point or another, wanted their character to be gay — Potter said it jokingly; Whitman not so much. But don’t worry: Ryan and Amber won’t be breaking up over her sexual orientation. The possibility of introducing a new character who is gay, however, is something Katims would love to do.
  7. Drew won’t pull a Haddie: Katims revealed that by attending Berkeley, Drew will still be around if the show is granted a fifth season.
  8. Matt Lauria’s abs are really Jason Ritter’s abs superimposed on his body: They kid, they kid!
  9. The cast members have matching necklaces: This isn’t a joke. And it’s adorable.
  10. The possibility of a fifth season: When it came to the question everybody wants answered — Will there be a season five? — Katims quickly passed things to the young Max Burkholder, who simply said that it’s always hard to know, but that he is crossing his fingers. So are we, Max. So are we.

Read more:
PaleyFest 2013: ‘Community’ cast talks paintball, puppets, and graduation
PaleyFest 2013: 10 ‘Revolution’ revelations
‘Once Upon a Time’ post-mortem: Snow’s dark path and seven other scoops from PaleyFest

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