THIS IS 40

Barry Wat­son plays a wid­ower start­ing over on Uptv’s DATE MY DAD

CBS Soaps In Depth - - We Speak Out! - — Kelli M. Lar­son

In Uptv’s DATE MY DAD (pre­mier­ing Fri­day, June 2, at 9 p.m. EST), 7TH HEAVEN alum Barry Wat­son stars as Ricky Cooper, a wid­owed for­mer Ma­jor League Base­ball player who, with the help of vi­va­cious mother- in- law Rosa (Raquel Welch), has been rais­ing three daugh­ters and do­ing quite well, thank you very much! How­ever, on the morn­ing of his 40th birth­day, Ricky learns that he might be again los­ing his sta­bil­ity even faster than he’s los­ing his hair. Wat­son, to­gether with showrun­ner/cre­ator Nina Col­man, re­veals why this one- hour dram­edy will keep fans laugh­ing, cry­ing and com­ing back for more.

They’re All In It To­gether

“Ricky met his wife, Is­abella, in ninth grade, so un­til her death three years prior, she’d al­ways been his other half,” says Col­man, adding that Rosa’s an­nounce­ment that she’s mov­ing out to re­sume her own life puts him in an-

other tail­spin. “The se­ries ex­plores how he moves on. There will be tri­als and tribu­la­tions, but in the end, it’s about Ricky rais­ing his girls, while they are also rais­ing him.” The daugh­ters are as dif­fer­ent as night and day, and Col­man says that “none of them are what they seem.” How­ever, they do have a com­mon agenda: They want their fa­ther to find new love. “Ricky has trep­i­da­tion about it,” Wat­son ac­knowl­edges. “But some­where in­side, he knows that it’s time.”

The Bach­e­lor

In the sea­son pre­miere, the girls come up with a clever way to vet po­ten­tial ladies for their fa­mous dad. “It’s em­bar­rass­ing, to say the least,” Wat­son says. “Ricky is def­i­nitely not happy about it.” Over time, Dad will at­tempt to meet women on his own. But Rosa might get her groove back first! Re­veals Col­man: “She’ll have a love in­ter­est” — Wat­son’s re­al­life fa­ther-in-law, Robert Wag­ner.

The Won­der (How It All Gets Done) Years

Along the way, Ricky has to deal with every­thing from house­keep­ing to school plays and from boys to bul­ly­ing. Need­less to say, it’s a lot for the sin­gle dad to han­dle — and he doesn’t al­ways get it right. “It’s messy, much like every­body else’s fam­ily,” Wat­son ob­serves. “Ricky screws up some­times, but he’s not a bum­bling id­iot or any­thing like that.

“He’s just real,” he con­cludes, “and I think peo­ple are go­ing to re­late to that.”

“Raquel Welch lends an amaz­ing amount of warmth to Rosa,” Col­man ob­serves. “She’s not your typ­i­cal grand­mother.”

“Each of the girls has a way in which they rep­re­sent them­selves to the world, but in­wardly, it’s not who they are,” Col­man pre­views. “The fun is in dis­cov­er­ing that.”

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