The Neighborhood is coming back around this coming Monday, April 15th at 8:00 PM ET/PT, only on CBS. The Neighborhood stars Cedric The Entertainer, Tichina Arnold, Max Greenfield and Beth Behrs as two families from very different backgrounds become accustomed to living next door to each other. It was recently announced that the show will be picked up for a second season.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Cedric The Entertainer ahead of next Monday’s episode to discuss receiving the good news about season two, his on-set family and what’s to comes for the residents of The Neighborhood.
MW- Good morning Cedric!
CTE- Matt, what it do?!
MW- I’m doing well over here man, pleasure to talk to you today! First off I want to congratulate you on The Neighborhood getting picked up for a second season, great news of course. What were you doing when you heard the news?
CTE- We were actually on set, it became one of our popular instagrams that we posted, we were all on set and the executives came by and we thought it was weird they were on set. From my understanding they were planning to do a dinner or something on set so we thought they were coming by to set that up and instead they asked us how we felt about doing a second season; everybody went crazy.
MW- No surprise here that the show got picked up, you’re such an accomplished performer obviously and you have a great cast around you. What’s it been like working with Tichina, Max and Beth?
CTE- It really has been a fast forming family. We kind of hit the ground running, especially for Beth and Max who came on when they did. We shot the original pilot with different actors and then when they came on it was go time. It was like picking up two great draft picks and then heading right into the season without any preseason warm up.
Because they’re both pros and really beautiful people I think that’s the energy that shows up on set. We have a really great time, everybody gets along. The writing is always solid. It’s all about making sure everybody’s voice is heard and that’s what I like to do as an EP. I like to make sure that if the actors are having any issues with their character that I’m able to convey that to the people upstairs that it’s something we need to work on.
MW- That’s great that you’re able to serve as that leader on the floor; much like your character, Calvin, who is the figurehead of the neighborhood. What are your favorite and least favorite things about Calvin?
CTE- My favorite thing is that Calvin has that freedom to just say it the way he means it and the way he thinks he means it. What I mean by that is he thinks he’s just being fun and it puts him into a trap. I always love the idea of characters who are people that don’t put a lot of filters on. For the most part that’s the thing I love most about him because it puts him in these crazy situations; it’s that freedom that you never know what’s going to come out of his mouth. It’s a fun character to play.
Then of course, the thing I like least about him is that he feels very hard on his oldest son. He gives him the blues but I know he’s trying to be a good parent and that he’s trying to lead from that old school “grab your bootstraps.” He doesn’t understand the new age of self awareness and development and then finding yourself. He could also be a little more accepting to all changes in the world and that’s the main character arc for me.
MW- I’m glad you mentioned finding yourself because that’s a major plot point in the new episode coming out. There’s a situation in the the town that makes Calvin re-evaluate somethings about himself. What can you tell us about the new episode and the journey Calvin is about to go on?
CTE- In this episode we see an older, even more cantankerous neighborhood character pass away and it’s this whole thing about how nobody liked him and no one will be there to send him off. So the Butlers have people over to give him a proper burial and in the process I find out people think I’m the next guy in line to take his place as the mean person in the neighborhood that nobody really likes.
Calvin never saw him like that, he sees himself as the reason why it’s such a great neighborhood. That growth and the comedy there is when you discover people think you’re a meanie and you’re like, “Whoa not me, I’m a nice guy!”
MW- And what about the rest of the season going forward, what else is in store for the citizens of The Neighborhood?
CTE- We have the finale coming up on April 22nd and we are getting another interesting episode where we wanted to explore this idea of white privilege. We don’t show it from the racial point of view but instead from an advantage that Calvin decides to take. Calvin takes advantage of Dave in a situation and use his white privilege and Dave is in denial that something like that even exists. That’s where we try to have fun with these cultural point of views without always banging you over the head and having people being mad and upset all the time.
MW- Thank you so much Cedric, it’s been a pleasure talking to you and good luck the rest of the way!
CTE- Alright man, thank you. Holla!
The Neighborhood returns with a new episode this Monday, April 15th at 8:00 PM ET/PT, only on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.