Now in its sixth season, "Parenthood" has amassed a small but devoted group of fans. And all those who enjoy NBC's weekly version of a therapeutic bawling session should pride themselves on knowing the following eight facts:
1. Lauren Graham and Peter Krause are actually a real-life couple.
Though they play siblings on the show,
Sarah and Adam Graham and Krause have been dating for almost five years. Graham addressed wedding rumors in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres back in March, admitting she and Krause don't have such plans for the near future. "I don't know. We are very happy as we are and I never have a good answer for this question," she said.
Krause previously spoke of his relationship on "Today," explaining that they don't take work home with them. "We keep the two things separate," Krause said of playing his lover's older brother on the show. "We don't call each other by our character's names at home or anything."
2. Mae Whitman and Miles Heizer are real-life roommates.
Despite a six-year age difference, it appears Whitman and Heizer are as close as Amber and Drew IRL. Whitman spoke sweetly of her BFF in Glamour magazine last October, saying: "[Heizer has] lived with me for two years. He's pretty special. I'll kill him before I let him leave. He's the most talented musician and actor."
She added: "I see him taking off -- not to mention he's crazy hot, which is gross 'cause he's like my little brother. I envision wanting to live in a house next to him for my whole life and grow old down the street from him. I want our families to always be entwined."
3. "Parenthood" is based on a 1989 movie by the same name.
The ensemble comedy featured a lot of known faces, starting with Steve Martin as patriarch Gil Buckman (which sounds kind of like Braverman?), Mary Steenburgen, Keanu Reeves, Joaquin Phoenix (then known as Leaf Phoenix) and in an uncredited role, little Bryce Dallas Howard -- daughter of the movie's director, Ron Howard. It was nominated for two Academy Awards. Here's its trailer:
4. Max Burkholder does not have Asperger's.
"I love being able to play something that not everyone gets to play," Burkholder, whose character is also named Max, told Buzzfeed in March 2013. "I'm playing pretend that I have Asperger's. I love being able to really get into that mind-set and just do something different."
He added: "In the beginning it was certainly more difficult to play him. I had to really think about every little thing I was doing. As I've progressed, I've sort of been able to understand who Max is more. It's been easier to play him, but I definitely have been trying to develop his character."
5. The childhood photos in the opening credits are real photos of the cast as kids.
In a 2011 interview with Under the Radar magazine, Heizer (Drew) talked about his photo in the theme song sequence, admitting: "I don't know where that picture came from. I think it's on set ... They asked for family photos to put in there, and I gave them a lot, but definitely not that. I think they took that of me unknowingly, and now there it is. And I'm smiling with my teeth, which is such a shock, 'cause I never do that." You can see it here.
6. Maura Tierney was supposed to play Sarah Braverman.
During casting in 2009, the former "ER" star made headlines when she had to leave the series to undergo breast cancer treatments. In 2012, Tierney spoke to Fox News about her illness and recovery, and said she passed on the role of Sarah Braverman to concentrate on her treatment.
Graham replaced Tierney, claiming her first series regular role since "Gilmore Girls."
7. Drew and Amber's dad wasn't always Aidan from "Sex and the City."
The role of Seth Holt, the absent father who sometimes comes back to make an even bigger mess of things, was played by actor Darin Heames in the 2010 pilot. He has since been replaced with John Corbett.
8. Reddit thinks Crosby is going to die.
It's been hinted for some months now that the series will wrap on a very difficult note, perhaps to extract every last bit of emotion from our tear ducts. Though many like to speculate (possible spoiler alert) that Zeek will pass on, since he's shown to be battling heart disease this season, Reddit thinks it's highly likely Crosby will actually be the one to flash a final smile.
Reddit user VeteranG wrote last month in the "Parenthood" subreddit that Crosby will "probably" die, "Either because he didn't go to a doctor and his condition after the accident got worse, or maybe because he will have another accident. The guy didn't wear an helmet at the end of the last episode -- That's a big red flag. Having tha most cheerful character in the show die sucks, but it's an evolution from young and careless crosby to the annoyed buisnessman that we see now." [sic]
Redditor mendie1977 followed, writing that he's got a "sinking feeling" the one to go will be Crosby as well. "First they show him getting into a motorcycle accident as Zeek was in surgery and then tonight we see him drive off without a helmet. I'm going to cry just thinking about it."
Optimistic Reddit user tunersharkbitten countered, writing in response to "all of you that keep saying that Crosby is going to die..." that "it goes against the whole dynamic of the show. the show will finish on a CHEERFUL, HOPEFUL, and MEMORABLE note."
Bonus: The show may be set in Berkeley, California, but it's not shot in Berkeley.
The show was originally set in Philadelphia, but the logistics of traveling with such a large ensemble were prohibitive. Since the show is set in Berkeley but shot mostly on the Universal Studios lot in Los Angeles, great effort goes into making sure no palm trees are visible.
All photos courtesy of Getty Images and NBC.