‘Parenthood’: Maura Tierney Almost Played Sarah Instead of Lauren Graham

Parenthood was a popular dramedy that aired on NBC from March 6, 2010, to January 29, 2015. The plot of the television show revolves around the concept of three very different generations of the same family as they attempt to navigate life. Parenthood’s format allowed the cast/crew/writer as well as fans to explore the generational differences families face which included aging, raising children, and even fertility problems. Both the writers and actors did an excellent job of presenting the sometimes challenging material in a way that was relatable, respectful, and sometimes even humorous.

 Fans loved Parenthood so much that even now, years after the final episodes, they clamor for new and exciting news about the show and the cast.

Parenthood is a spin-off of itself

One of the interesting things about Parenthood is that you can learn a great deal about a person based on what version of the program the person you’re speaking to is familiar with. Some people will instantly think about the 1989 movie which starred Steve Martin, Keanu Reeves, and Dianne Wiest, and Joaquin Phoenix. It was directed by Ron Howard. The movie, which was presented as a family portrait, was both a box office and critical success. It eventually grossed $126 million worldwide and earned a 91% rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

Ron Howard went on to direct a spin-off of the movie. The original Parenthood television show starred David Arquette, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jayne Atkinson. The show didn’t generate enough interest and ended after a single season.

Sarah nearly had a different face

Lauren Graham
Lauren Graham | Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

There’s no denying that Lauren Graham did an excellent job in the role of Sarah Braverman. She was so natural, it’s difficult to believe that she almost didn’t get the role. At one point, the creators of Parenthood anticipated that Maura Tierney, who was best known for ER would take on Sarah. Those plans were cut short when after Tierney’s breast cancer diagnosis. 

Some fans don’t realize Tierney was actually in the original pilot episode for Parenthood. Her diagnosis not only forced a cast change, but it also meant refilming the pilot. She covered the topic during an UPROXX interview where she told the interviewer that she felt that her stepping away from the project might have made the show even stronger than if she’d stayed.

Parenthood wasn’t originally set in Berkley

Fans of the show know that the Braverman’s live in Berkeley. What you might not know is that the creative team originally wanted the family to live in Philadelphia. The reason the decision to ultimately make Berkley the Braverman’s home was made when the logistics of trying to figure out travel plans and accommodations for a massive ensemble cast, many of whom were juggling multiple projects at the time, became too complicated. According to HuffPost, Using Berkley as the setting made it possible to film it on the Universal lot in Los Angeles.

The Sex in the City connection wasn’t planned

Lauren Graham as Sarah Braverman wasn’t the only last-minute casting change. John Corbett, who is most famous for his role as Aidan Shaw in Sex in the Citydid an excellent job with re recurring role of Seth Holt, the mostly absentee father to Amber and Drew, was also a change the creative team made after shooting the original pilot. The first choice was Darin Heames. Digital Spy announced the recast, but it didn’t explain why Corbett replaced Heames. 

Even though fans didn’t get to Corbett in the Parenthood finale, he told Hollywood Reporter that he was there, but due to time constraints, his small but emotional scene had to be cut from the show. 

RELATED: John Corbett Almost Passed on ‘Sex and the City’ Because He Was Busy Doing Something Completely Different