Berkeley Stars in Premier of NBC's 'Parenthood'

Photo: Peter Krause (top left), Craig T. Nelson (seated, center), Lauren Graham (top row, third from right) and others star in NBC's new drama 'Parenthood,' which is set in Berkeley and the East Bay.
NBC Universal/Courtesy
Peter Krause (top left), Craig T. Nelson (seated, center), Lauren Graham (top row, third from right) and others star in NBC's new drama 'Parenthood,' which is set in Berkeley and the East Bay.

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Berkeley officials said they hope the city will benefit from the premier of a new NBC television drama called "Parenthood," in which a financially unstable single mother moves her two reluctant children to Berkeley.

Michael Caplan, the city's economic development manager, said the city may profit from the publicity the show would bring.

The pilot episode for the show was filmed in Berkeley for five days in April and May 2009. A number of local sites-including the North Beach Pizza restaurant in South Berkeley-will be featured in the show, according to Barbara Hillman, the film commissioner of the city's Berkeley Film Office.

While the show's plotline is based in Berkeley and other cities in the East Bay, Hillman said the majority of the filming will likely be done in Los Angeles.

But she added that the cast may return to Berkeley if a specific location or landmark is needed.

According to Caplan, local businesses may have already seen an increase in revenue due to crew patronage during filming and may also profit from the city's national exposure.

He added, however, that it may be difficult to discern any tangible effects.

"(The show) could-if it's impressionable and if it's popular-make people curious and encourage them to visit, but it's all very speculative," he said. "There's no scientific way to know at this point what the effect might be."

Having the show centered around the city also reflects Berkeley's national prominence, Caplan said.

"A city of 100,000 people like Berkeley being chosen as a location for a show says something about our visibility and our identity, and that we're a place people know about and think about," he said.

Berkeley has proven to be a popular location for television programs, feature films and commercials in the past as well, Hillman said.

"We've had quite a few movies filmed here," she said. "We did 'Junior' back in 1994 with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. We filmed 'The Kite Runner' here, the ending scene."


Contact Claire Perlman at [email protected]

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