There aren't many surprise castings in television these days, as actors are usually pigeon-holed into "hunky doctor/cop/lawyer," "goofy single-dads," and "creepy sex offenders/Ben Linus" types. So kudos to Scrubs' John C. McGinley for pulling a Bryan Cranston and moving from a long comedy run to a new dramatic role.
McGinley, who has been hilarious for eight seasons as Dr. Cox on Scrubs, will now stop the goofing off in the CBS drama Back, says The Hollywood Reporter. How serious is the new role? Back stars Skeet Ulrich (Jericho) as Richard, a man who was thought dead during the events of 9/11 only to return to family and friends almost a decade later. McGinley will play a firefighter who is now married to Richard's former wife and raising his teenage kids. Eeek! Can he pull it off?
If that's a little too grim for your taste, you may want to check out NBC's retake on the 1989 film Parenthood, which starred Steve Martin and Diane Wiest. Peter Krause (Dirty, Sexy Money, Six Feet Under) and Maura Tierney (ER, NewsRadio) have signed on to play Martin and Wiest's roles in the television show, about the hilarious joys of raising a family.
Also negotiating for roles in Parenthood are Craig T. Nelson (Coach) and Dax Shepard (Idiocracy). Nelson would play the grandfather, and Shepard would play the slacker brother--great casting, if you ask me.
I believe the McGinley news means that Scrubs' already-slim chances for coming back next season are now almost zilch. Now we need to find a role for the Janitor!