'Fam' Star Nina Dobrev on Why the CBS Sitcom Lured Her Back to TV

Ingela Ratledge
Preview CBS

When we first met Clem (Nina Dobrev) in CBS's Fam, the NYC event planner had been basking in yuppie paradise with her fiancé, Nick (Tone Bell). But that perfectly ordered universe has been devolving into chaos since she invited half-sister Shannon (Odessa Adlon) to move in.

And now that the 16-year-old whirling dervish has made herself at home (thanks for the dirty dishes!), reality is setting in for Clem and Nick. (January 31, they will deal with the toll their new roomie is taking on their love life.)

'Fam' EP Corinne Kingsbury Says People Will See Their Own Family in New CBS Series

'Fam' EP Corinne Kingsbury Says People Will See Their Own Family in New CBS Series

Find out why Nina Dobrev was seen as the perfect choice to star on the new CBS sitcom.

"They have no privacy, their apartment is a mess — it's like they got this annoying puppy they want to give back," says Dobrev. "Every day, Clem wakes up thinking, 'What did I do?'" Here's more on CBS's newest Thursday comedy.

Funny Business

After six seasons as Elena on The CW's moody, broody The Vampire Diaries, this lighter fare is a real departure for Dobrev. "Sitcoms are such a foreign medium to me. I had no idea what it meant to tape in front of a live audience or hold for laughter," the actress says, noting that she visited the sets of Mom and The Big Bang Theory for pointers. "I wasn't looking to come back to television — but this challenge was so scary, I had to do it."

It Runs In the Family

Fam's once-estranged sibs seem like polar opposites, but they do share some deeply conflicted feelings about their ne'er-do-well dad, Freddy (Gary Cole). "They resent their father, and they also want and need him in their lives," Dobrev says.

True Self

Clem's polished and proper façade hides a long-buried wild child. "Clem has been trying so hard to get away from her past and hit reset, but we are who we are at the core," Dobrev says. "We'll start seeing the old Clem threatening to take over."

Fam, Thursdays, 9:30/8:30c, CBS