Parenthood Exclusive: John Corbett Returning For Major Arc

Sarah’s (Lauren Graham) about to get some juicy new material for her next play: John Corbett is returning to Parenthood as her recovering alcoholic ex Seth for a multi-episode arc, TVLine has learned exclusively.

His comeback coincides with the return of Jason Ritter as Sarah’s on-again, off-again boyfriend Mark, setting off what exec producer Jason Katims describes as a very complex triangle.

“Just when everything seems to be going well between Sarah and Mark, Seth shows up and he’s kind of in a darker place than he’s been,” Katims explains. “And so you see Sarah really having to struggle with wanting to help him and be there for him, but also at the same time [be fully present] in this relationship with Mark that’s really good and healthy.”

Katims says he was inspired to bring Corbett back after he “did such a great job with the role” last season. “Even though there’s so much pain in the Sarah/Seth relationship, there’s also a lot of love still there,” he adds. “So this year we wanted to do a story that sort of takes that relationship to another level.”

Corbett is coming off the final season of Showtime’s United States of Tara.

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  1. DL says:

    So happy to hear this! I adore John Corbett. Also, while every episode of Parenthood makes me teary at least once, the last episode he did had me choked up on several different occasions. He adds even more to the already brilliant cast.

  2. Sharada says:


  3. jen says:

    aaaaaaaahhhhhhh! so excited!!! though i cried the hardest when amber yelled at seth in the kitchen, i just *loved* the whole storyline. at the very least, it’ll give drew more to do, yes?

    • Nicole says:

      Hopefully! The actor who plays Drew is so talented and yet he’s hardly ever on screen. Really hoping he gets to do more this season. He has fantastic sibling chemistry with Mae Whitman – they remind me so much of me and my brother in high school.

      • bb says:

        agreed! Drew is one of my favourite characters. Miles does such a great job. Hopefully, Seth showing up will mean more screen time for Drew. In my opinion, the family chemistry between Miles, Mae, and Lauren is the best one on the show.

        • Julie says:

          Yes to all of the above. Big John Corbett fan and would love to see Drew more often. He does have great chemistry with Amber and Sarah. Although I agree the three of them are fabulous on the show, I don’t know if I could pick a particular fave family sub-group. The entire cast is awesome and each person has had many shining acting moments. Kudos, Parenthood. Here’s to another great season!

  4. Katie says:

    happy there both coming back! can’t wait for parenthood to return!

  5. Whee says:

    LOVE the news.

    I just hope he’s not gonna be bringing his nasty mustache back. A clean-shaven Corbett is finey-fine.

  6. Anne says:

    No! I just want Sarah and Mark to be happy lol.

  7. Mike says:

    Ughhhh….I am not a fan of the Applebees guy.

  8. Baily says:

    I love parenthood soooo much!! Sarah, Amber, and Drew’s branch of the family is my favorite because it reminds me of my mom and brother and myself, especially when Seth is around! When amber yelled at Seth in the kitchen I bawled because it felt like I had wrote it! This is such a great show and if Seth is coming back I know I’ll be bawling on Tuesday nights for sure!!!

  9. Kent says:

    I’ve already seen this storyline involving Lauren Graham on Gilmore Girls.

    • jen says:

      yeah… i have to agree with you there. but don’t you think that a) mae whitman is a much stronger actress than alexis bledel?, b) fine, christopher is cuter than seth, but c) mark is waaaay more appealing than luke.

      besides, abc family pulled ‘gilmore girls’ and replaced it with ‘secret life of something something teenager,’ so now i’m without a daily lauren graham fix.

    • lu says:

      well, I’ve already seen this storyline a gazilion of times on a gazilion of shows, so

      • lu says:

        by the way, I LOVE this storyline

      • Tweetybird1 says:

        I have enjoyed the show for the most part. I like family dramas usually. I like all the actors in the show. However, it seems as though their characters are often not consistent in the writer’s depiction of the each member of the cast’s character portrayal. The characters are not true to their convictions. They waffle to much. Most people are not like that in real life. A word to the writers:
        don’t be afraid to be true to the original character that you have laid down. If you change their direction do it in such a way as it to be believable. I know it’s hard within 30+ min., but you do have a whole season to develop them. Do it with integrity.

    • Anne says:

      lmao yeah because love triangles only ever happened on Gilmore Girls.

  10. Sarah says:

    This should make for great TV. I thought he was wonderful as Seth and did a good job making the character complex-someone you were disgusted with yet also sympathetic for. Plus his scenes with Zeek were super intense. Would love to see a couple more of those!

  11. jw says:

    So glad Parenthood will be on TV soon.
    Best Show on TV!!!!

    • Liz Johnson says:

      Me, too! I can’t get enough of it! The beginning of the last season seemed a little frantic and noisy, but the writers got their act together and I remember why I loved it. When does it return??

  12. cyndi says:

    I’m hoping he kicks the bad habits for good! We need the encouragement if seeing some one break bad habits and come out successful. We always see them go back to bad habits but rarely see them victorious. Like most others each episode has me in tears so well written!

  13. lipsticksocialism says:

    love love love this news!!

  14. Alexis says:

    *stares at the picture of Jason Ritter for an hour*

  15. rosalie says:

    this is one of the best shows on tv. perfectly written… perfectly casted… perfectly directed! bravo once again to ronnie howard and the crew!

  16. kyle says:

    Stop screwing around and bring back Minka Kelley.

  17. Jason says:

    Dear Lauren:

    One guy is gross and old. The other is young and hot. Make the correct decision, and let’s stop this “triangle” talk, shall we?

  18. Shannon says:


  19. Carol says:

    I absoluely love John Corbett. He’s got the sexiest voice of any man (besides Sam Elliot) on tv. He was great in Northern Exposure back in the 70’s and he is great on anything that I have seen him in so far. I don’t necessarily like the character that he is portraying in Parenthood, as an alcoholic and drug addict, but I totally think that he is trying to turn in the right direction. He doesn’t have to get back with Sarah, but be there for his children. I do like Jason Ritter for Sarah. He is also cute, although young for her, they do make a cute couple.

  20. Jeanne says:

    70s??? LOL… love them both and can’t wait!

  21. Lauren says:

    I love all three actors involved in this potential triangle. Besides, I like Sarah has great chemistry with both Mark & Seth. Their arc should be excellent to make the third season of this awesome show even better!

  22. bisi says:

    Pls when is parenthood coming back to sky 177 am missing it so much. Always lookin forward to thursdays• Pls bring it back•

    Bisi uk

  23. Saracen Riggins says:

    Ahhh :) As much as I *LOVE* Mark Cyr (Jason Ritter) for Sarah and truly hope she has a happy ending with him someday, I am ecstatic they are bringing back Seth. His stories were so rich with raw emotion (his and those involved with him). This will be a GREAT arc for all involved.

  24. Kaczula says:

    I love Corbett´s character on Parenthood, so I´m glad they are bringing him back. It will bring good drama. I just don´t want him to mess up anything between Marc and Sarah. I love them together. I want Sarah to be happy for once.

  25. Mary says:

    So excited! Love both Laura & John. Can’t wait to see more of them. Absolutely one of the best shows on TV just got even better!

  26. Xmogirl says:

    Adored John Corbett in Northern Exposure (saw every episode). He was wonderful in Sex in the City and everything else he’s done. Super happy he is coming back in Parenthood this fall. It will definitely bring the kind of emotional drama we are all addicted to!!!

  27. Sharon says:

    I am so glad he is coming back, I feel in love with John Corbett in Northern Exposure and Big Fat Greek Wedding, and anything else he is in. Parenthood is one of my favorites left since they cancelled Friday Night Lights.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    I love John Corbett. I’m still so sad United States of Tara was canceled.
    He was awesome on that.

  29. Faith says:

    Oh, yuck. Seth is gross and drippy. I don’t want him around any more than is strictly necessary. I wish they’d give Sarah an interesting new love interest instead of recycling boring characters.

  30. Theresa says:

    Great news! I love John Corbett so glad to see him more on a show I like.

  31. ALICIA says:



  32. Carol says:

    I’d love to see John Corbett land a permanent role on this show in some form – he’s a fantastic actor and has been for more than 20 years – including his superb role as Chris in the Morning on KBHR in Northern Exposure. He’s just gotten better with time.

  33. Marge says:

    Northern Exposure was a hoot of a show and I still call John “Chris in the Morning.” Remember the episode when he read “Paddle-to-the-Sea”? What a great voice. And may your animals talk to you this Christmas Eve.

  34. Charles says:

    Learn proper grammar and maybe people will take your opinions more seriously.