'Parenthood' Producer on Using Comedy to Teach


The NBC comedy Parenthood has gained a loyal following by using humor and strong family bonds to spotlight serious social issues, while at the same time entertaining. At an event recognizing these aspects of the show, co-executive producer Brian Grazer and others spoke about combining comedy and drama to educate the audience.

"Jason is a very, very talented and engaging writer. So he writes and produces stories that get your interest, but you also learn something," Grazer said on the red carpet of Thursday's 6th annual Television Academy Honors, referring to Parenthood writer/producer/director Jason Katims.

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While accepting an award from the Academy for using television to promote positive social change, Katims recalled some of the serious topics the series has tackled over its first four seasons. "Our stories have looked at teenage alcoholism, infidelity, unemployment, infertility, the complications of adoption, racism, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, abortion and autism."

He added, "And yet when you watch the show, it doesn't seem to be a show about issues. What you feel from the show is the tremendous love in the Braverman family."

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Watch the video for more from the red carpet and to also hear writer/producer Aaron Sorkin give his acceptance speech when his drama The Newsroom was also honored.