Cosby star: New show about 'positive black family'
FILE - This April 10, 2011 file photo shows actress Tempestt Bledsoe arriving at the 2011 TV Land Awards in New York. Bledsoe says she's thrilled to be returning to network television on a show that portrays "a positive black family" similar to the long-running hit sitcom she was a part of in her childhood _ "The Cosby Show." Bledsoe and co-star Anthony Anderson will star in a new NBC series called, “Guys with Kids,” this fall. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, file)
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Actress Tempestt Bledsoe says she's thrilled to be returning to network television on a show that portrays "a positive black family" similar to the long-running hit sitcom she was part of for roughly eight years — "The Cosby Show."
"That show was my childhood," said Bledsoe, who played middle child Vanessa Huxtable in the NBC show that also starred Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Lisa Bonet and Keshia Knight Pulliam. "It did so many things. It greatly influenced the kinds of projects I did. It helped form my core values, like my work ethic."
Bledsoe and actor Anthony Anderson spoke Friday at the Essence Music Festival about the new show they're starring in, "Guys with Kids," which premieres this fall on NBC.
In an interview after their appearance, the co-stars told The Associated Press they were thrilled the show will spotlight a "positive black family on network television."
"We just don't have that right now, not on network television," said Anderson, who has two children of his own. "Like the Cosby Show, this will be an opportunity to see the love, support, humor and beauty of a black family on TV."
This image released by NBC shows actors Anthony Anderson as Gary, left, and Tempestt Bledsoe as Marny, in a scene from the series "Guys with Kids," premiering Sept. 26, 2012 on NBC. Bledsoe says she's thrilled to be returning to network television on a show that portrays "a positive black family" similar to the long-running hit sitcom she was a part of in her childhood _ "The Cosby Show." In an interview during the Essence Music Festival, both actors said they were thrilled the show will spotlight a “positive black family on network television.”(AP Photo/NBC, Vivian Zink)
The show, produced by Jimmy Fallon, is about three 30-something new dads trying to hold on to their youth. "Guys With Kids" will also star Jamie-Lynn Sigler of "The Sopranos" and actors Zach Cregger and Jesse Bradford. One of the characters is a single dad, another is a working father and Anderson's character is a stay-at-home dad raising four young sons.
Bledsoe, who plays Anderson's working wife, chuckled as she spoke about his character's daily challenges wrangling the children, including twins under the age of 2.
"There's nothing funnier," Bledsoe said. "This role was tailor-made for Anthony."
Anderson said he was drawn to the role for several reasons, including his strong feelings about the importance of having a father figure and that his character "chooses" to stay at home with his children rather than being forced to do so because he lost his job.
He said he also recognized that in these tough economic times, more dads are choosing to stay home in part because of child care costs.