"Guys With Kids" (Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC) might not be reinventing the sitcom wheel -- HuffPost TV's own Mo Ryan is not a fan for those reasons -- but it does get points for having some much-needed diversity in the main cast with stars Anthony Anderson and Tempestt Bledsoe.
NBC had their strongest premiere week in almost a decade, and they responded by already picking up full seasons of three of their new shows ("Guys With Kids" was not one of the three). But NBC is still struggling to find a line-up that works, something the stars know all too well. "That's why they brought Tempestt on -- to save the network again," Anderson said. "They're like, 'She saved it with 'Cosby,' maybe she can save it with 'Guys With Kids'!"
Mediocre ratings so far mean it's unlikely that "Guys With Kids" will be the show to save NBC, but could a "Cosby Show" reunion help save "Guys With Kids"?
HuffPost TV caught up with Anderson and Bledsoe -- neither one a stranger to TV -- to talk about why they chose this show, how much more diversity we might see and what blasts from their TV pasts they'd love to have come guest star.
You both know that TV can be a huge commitment, so what was it about this show that made you say yes?
Anderson: "What attracted us both to do this was to see a positive African-American family on network television now, with a dad who decides to stay at home to raise his kids, while he encourages and empowers his wife to go out and do what she wants to do. That was one of the main reasons."
Bledsoe: "So many fathers are doing that now, but it's still kind of under wraps. With the economy the way it is, it's not about the man does this and the woman does that -- it's whoever's going to attract the bigger check, you do it, and whoever's equipped to stay home, you do that. It's not about gender roles. I think there's nothing funnier for me than watching him with these four boys."
Another of NBC's new sitcoms, "The New Normal," also deals with guys with kids, but it's a gay couple wanting a baby. I found it a little shocking that with all the attention paid to making this cast diverse, there isn't a gay couple on "Guys With Kids" ... might we meet one soon?
Bledsoe: "You have these kids and they're going into daycare situations, into scouts, into birthday parties ... all these different things that take you out of your little bubble at home, and you encounter all different kinds of families. I absolutely think you will see yourself reflected on the show in same way. It's another take on 'The New Normal,' because there really is no normal -- it's what works for you."
Anderson: "You're going to see all walks of life in this. It's a reflection of what America really is."
Do you have any dream guest stars? Maybe some blasts from the past?
Bledsoe: "I haven't worked with Keshia [Knight Pulliam] in a long time -- I'd like to work with her again. I think that'd be funny. And she's such a lovely young lady now, I want her to come on and be really mean or evil or manipulative. [Laughs.] And really hot and sexy at the same time. Maybe she can try to steal my husband."
Anderson: "I like that. One of my fantasies ... now that they're both legal. [Laughs.] Jeremy Sisto wanted me to come on 'Suburgatory' -- which is a great show, even though we're in direct competition with it -- but I would love to see him on our show. We've got that whole 'Law & Order' connection, and we'd be playing two completely different characters here."
Tell us: Are you watching "Guys With Kids"?
"Guys With Kids" airs Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC.