NBC released a new preview of their upcoming comedy About a Boy, giving us a look at Jason Katims' small screen adaptation of Nick Hornby's best-selling novel by the same name. David Walton plays Will Freeman, a one-hit-wonder rocker who's living off the royalties of his sole accomplishment and enjoying single life when Minnie Driver's Fiona and her adorable son Marcus (Benjamin Stockham) show up next door and turn his life upside down.
Well, based on the trailer, he sort of invites his life to be upended by his vegetarian neighbor and her hideous-sweater-wearing son, as he uses Marcus to gain the attention and affection of Leslie Bibb's character. In the process, Marcus — who's clearly in desperate need of a friend and a male role model — and Will become friends. And there's a musical number, which gives us a great flashback of Hugh Grant awkwardly singing "Killing Me Softly" with a young Nicholas Hoult...
Yes, this book was adapted for a movie more than a decade ago and Chris and Paul Weitz's efforts were admirable. The world doesn't "need" an About a Boy series, but I still want one, and Jason Katims factors into most of my reasoning there. Because we could have said the same thing about Parenthood, and look what Katims has done with that. Parenthood has proven to be one of the best family dramas of the past decade and a large part of that is the heart Katims puts into the story and characters. See also Friday Night Lights, for which Katims was an executive producer. If About a Boy has some of that heart, we're in for something great.
Back to Parenthood, fans should expect a small crossover between the family drama and About a Boy. David Walton already dropped by Parenthood last week. According to EW, he was at Crosby's poker game. And we should expect to see an appearance by Dax Shepard at some point during About a Boy. From what Katims says, it'll be a cameo. So Shepard's appearance won't play a factor in what the episode's about. He'll just drop by.
David Walton hasn't had the best luck over at NBC, having starred in three comedies for the Peacock that went to series but didn't make it past a first season. There was 100 Questions in 2010 and Perfect Couples, which aired in 2011, and then Bent, which was a comedy with a lot of promise. NBC ended up debuting its 6-episode first season during midseason before canceling it. About a Boy looks like it has what it takes to go the distance, and NBC could really use a hit when it comes to comedies. So hopefully this one will stick.
About a Boy will debut on a special night, premiering Saturday, February 22 at 11:00 p.m. after the Olympics coverage, and then will air Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. beginning February 25.