‘Are We There Yet’ Crews discusses fathers

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Athlete-turned-actor Terry Crews is confident that the TBS sitcom, “Are We There Yet?” will be on the list of Classic African-American comedies like “The Cosby Show,” “Living Single,” or “A Different World.”

“This show is a throwback to comedies that have gone before. This is just a new DNA change. It crosses generational boundaries,” explained Crews who plays the lead role of Nick Parsons. “TV has changed in a lot of different ways. There are not a lot of sitcoms on. There’s been a space in the genre and I told myself not to shun the change but to go with it.”

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CAST—From left: Teala Dunn, Essence Atkins, Terry Crews and Coy Stewart.

Since the show has been renewed for 90 episodes—Crews is happy that he and his cast mates get the chance to fill that void

“Nick is a role model for Black men and fathers in general. I’m a father and I know plenty of people who love and raise their kids. Hopefully this inspires people. You don’t have to be a part of a particular race.”

“Are We There Yet?” is vaguely based on the 2005 movie by the same name that starred West Coast rapper/actor Ice Cube and Nia Long. The television show is executive produced by Ice Cube who also has a recurring role in the show.

The show revolves around a family adjusting to the new edition of a stepfather as they try to cope with family situations that seem to crop up. It debuted in June 2010.

“‘Are We There Yet?’ has proven itself to be an extremely strong addition to the TBS comedy lineup,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programing for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies to tvseriesfinale.com. “Are We There Yet?” attracts a young, diverse audience, making it an especially good fit for our Wednesday night slate of original sitcoms.

Crews believes the new episodes of the show will attract a wider audience because they will delve deeper into who the members of the Kingston-Persons family are.

“Nick is newlywed in the first episodes and now he’d going to let loose and it’s going to be funny to see it happen. Once people get into it and invest in it you can get into the comedy,” said Crews, the married father of four. “The show is about getting into what the family is about and I’m just honored to be involved. I’m 100 percent into making this show the best that it can be.”

Crews takes cues from his own personal experience as a stepfather to his role as Nick Persons.

“When I married my wife she had a six-month old baby. I knew that my wife loved me but that baby didn’t,” Crews recalled. “It’s a thankless job, but a lot of people are into the blended family right now. You can easily be the wicked step mom or dad at anytime.”

Crews, who was born in Flint, Mich. in 1968, began pursuing an acting career after retiring from the NFL in 1996. He spent four seasons in the NFL including playing for the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins.

His first film was “The 6th Day” starring opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. Following that role, his movie career began to flourish as he took on beefcake roles in “White Chicks,” “Friday After Next,” “Soul Plane,” “Norbit” and “Lottery Ticket.” Most recently he took on more serious roles with appearances in “Street Kings,” “Harsh Times” and the action movie, “The Expendables.”

However, Crews may be best known for playing the role of Julius the hard-working tightwad father on the CW hit, “Everybody Hates Chris” for four seasons.

In addition to his role in “Are We There yet?” Crews is currently starring in his own reality show “The Family Crews,” alongside his wife and children.

When he isn’t performing Crews enjoys spending time with his family, working out two hours daily and reading scripts.

“I would do this for free, but my agent won’t let me,” laughed the 6’2  245-pound  former defensive end/line­backer. “I love what I do. You have to learn that it’s going to be a struggle and there may be failure but you are going to get better. With the failure you learn what not to do. You’ve got to be willing to go through all that to be great.

“Always be open to criticism,” Crews continued. “It doesn’t feel good to hear that you are not doing well, but the greatest people are listening to someone. Listen to someone who you trust and take in what they tell you. That’s the difference between success and failure.”

(New Episodes of “Are We There Yet?” will begin airing on TBS on January 5, 2011 at 10 p.m.)

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