Parenthood EP David Hudgins on Hank's Status and a New Path for Sarah that Will 'Let Her Shine'

ParenthoodSeason5SpoilersWith Jason Ritter off romancing Alexis Bledel on Fox’s Us & Them and Matt Lauria thisclose to closing a deal to return to Parenthood, one of the last remaining questions surrounding the NBC drama’s Season 5 is: What’s the status of Ray Romano‘s polarizing (kinda) homewrecker Hank?

“We’re currently discussing it,” executive producer David Hudgins shared with TVLine at the recent ATX Television Festival. “I love Ray Romano and thought he was so good on the show last year…. He’s great in that part and he works hard. He doesn’t just show up and do his [scenes]; he actually researched the character.”

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While Team Mark some fans didn’t take too kindly to Hank at first, Hudgins explained that from a behind-the-scenes standpoint, Romano’s appeal was undeniable.

“It was so interesting because we wrote the character [of Hank], then Ray was cast and then we shot [his first] scene. But the first time we actually saw him on-screen — and I think it was with Lauren Graham — we said, ‘Oh my gosh. Wow. This is watchable… This is kind of great!’”

All that said, the EP promised that Sarah’s Flavor of the Season will not be the driving force of her storyline this time around.

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“We definitely want to set Sarah on a path,” Hudgins noted. “Her story last year — and arguably the year before — was about a lot of things, I thought; I actually feel like Sarah Braverman’s story really has always been, ‘I’m a single mother trying to figure out my way with a husband that wasn’t really there and hasn’t really helped.’ But just naturally, because of the way the story’s developed, there was a triangle last year with Hank and Mark.”

Noting that while said love story was “good and interesting” and created necessary conflict, “There is a very conscious effort on our part to set Sarah on a path that will really let her shine — and in conjunction with that, she may still have some love interests.”

“The thing is,” he continued, “Lauren is so good at that stuff — she’s so great at acting those [love] stories — that it’s hard not to want to tell them. But your question is good because we really are thinking about ‘What is Sarah’s story now?’ And what’s interesting about her [in Season 5] is that her kids are gone. If her identity before was as a single mother, well, Amber’s been out of the nest and now Drew’s out of the nest. What would that mean for a woman like her? How is she going to find herself? What’s she going to do?

“Sarah is going to have a great arc this year,” Hudgins again assured, adding with a laugh, “and it isn’t going to be completely about her love life.”

Are you hoping to see Hank return? Does Sarah’s “new path” excite you?

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85 Comments
  1. Greg M says:

    I have an idea…How about ME as Lauren Graham’s new love interest? If Krause wants to get out of the way in real life that’d be fine too. I can handle being with her on and off camera just fine. :)

  2. karen says:

    Love Mark. Hate Ray Romano in the show.

  3. Mel says:

    I want to see Sarah become a confident, successful woman before she gets involved with a new man, and when she does, he will be one who is equal to the new Sarah. With all the years of drug use, disappointing behavior, and being a crappy father, I don’t think Seth is the right fit for her. Even though she loves him, she needs to move in a positive direction, he would only be a step backwards, no matter how together he is. I do love both Hank and Mark, but I don’t think she is the right one for either guy as they are both in different places in their lives than she. Hopefully this season will be Sarah’s season to blossom.

  4. Lynette says:

    I would like to see Sarah with Mark, I agree with most of you, Hank is NOT for Sarah!

  5. nina says:

    I love Sara and Hank together. I really liked the character Mark but NOT for Sara he looked too much like a kid. Hank and Sara belong together, I hope he comes back my husband actually enjoyed watching the show because he thought he was so great. Can’t wait I love this show!!

  6. Patti Kindle says:

    Not everyone loves Raymon…. I did not like his charactor on the show. Very slow, boring. Hated the fact that he came between Sarah and Marks relationship. Yes Mark was young but it made her feel young too. Hank is a downer…….. Couldnt stand to watch him. Love the show but hope he does not return. Let him follow his daughter. Love Sarah. What an awesome actress.

  7. Barb says:

    I loved Hank and Sarah as a couple! The quirky chemistry between them was more like real life relationships. Sometimes not all relationships start of with a clear cut view of what they end up turning into..Sometimes it’s a dance, each person carefully stepping around the other to see if what they are feeling is felt by the other! Keep Ray he is great at being able to evolve his character into a true love match for Sarah!

  8. Deb says:

    I’m a HUGE Lauren Graham fan, but didn’t like her AT ALL with Hank. No chemistry – I was delighted when he was leaving the show, and sorry to hear that his storyline will return. He seems way too “pathetic” and boring on the show to be interesting to viewers. I’m shocked that he is returning. While Lauren is still the main reason I watch, other characters have grown and matured in the past two seasons, and have become far more interesting to watch.
    Monica Potter’s storyline was so honest and real and had me in tears several times. Couldn’t wait to tune in each week, and am looking forward to season five!

  9. MARY PRESTON says:

    GET RID OF RAY. HE WHINES AND COMPLAINS AND DOESNT FIT WITH THE GROUP. I HATE WHEN HE IS ON.