With Father’s Day fast approaching, it’s perhaps fitting that Barry Watson believes his new series, “Date My Dad,” can unite families in unique ways.
The Up dramedy stars Watson (“Samantha Who?”) as Ricky Cooper, a former baseball star tasked with raising three daughters on his own after his wife’s death. Things get complicated when Ricky’s mother-in-law, Rosa (Raquel Welch), moves out of the family’s home, not to mention that the girls are eager to set their dad up with a special someone.
“There’s the stuff that [young viewers] are going to enjoy, following the storylines of the girls, but there’s very much a grown-up element to it,” Watson told TheWrap. “There’s not much on TV like that right now — this show is going to bring everybody together in one room.”
Watson said he had been looking for a single-father project for the past four or five years, but hadn’t previously found the right fit.
“All the ones I was reading were bumbling-idiot fathers, or fathers who were too perfect,” the actor said. “[Before ‘Date My Dad,’] I hadn’t read anything that made me laugh and cry all within the same scene. There were such funny moments in the script, but some touching moments as well. I think we got lucky with casting, and I think it’s all come together.”
This is just one of many memorable roles over the years for Watson, who made an early-career turn on a 1996 episode of “Baywatch.”
“I was the first character to ever actually drown,” he said proudly of the campy David Hasselhoff-led series. “That was the first [episode] that the Coast Guard wouldn’t sign off on on being a part of, because they like to think that they always save lives.”
He is also known for playing Matt Camden on “7th Heaven,” the family drama that ran for 11 seasons before signing off in May 2007.
When asked whether he wants to see the show rebooted, Watson said, “I know there were talks a few years ago about that — with ‘Gilmore Girls’ and all these other shows that are doing these reboots, I think that’s always going to be something that’s discussed. Maybe [creator] Brenda Hampton is doing something right now as we speak — I’m not aware of it.”
He added, “But I’d be open to doing something. I love all those folks.”
“Date My Dad” airs on Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Up.