03/29/2011 04:31 pm ET | Updated May 29, 2011

'Parenthood' Struggles On NBC

"The show doesn't strain or sensationalize," says Ron Howard, who produces the dramedy along with his Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer. Imagine was behind the 1989 Steve Martin movie of the same name, which served as a loose framework for series creator Jason Katims. "Parenthood doesn't play for shock value," Howard says.

"It's about the meaning of life," Grazer adds.

Which could be why the show continues to fight for an audience -- averaging just under 7 million viewers -- as it waits for the network's decision in May about a third season (though its return on equally challenged NBC is likely).