‘Council of Dads’ Clive Standen: ‘We Need More of This on TV Right Now’

Council of Dads NBC
Seth F. Johnson/NBC

The emotional new drama Council of Dads, about a very modern family is set to inspire more weeping with its third episode. But don’t worry: This time, they’ll be tears of happiness.

“People have been like, ‘It’s quite depressing and sad,'” admits Clive Standen (Vikings), whose restaurateur Anthony is one of three men recruited by late pal Scott (Tom Everett Scott) to care for his widow Robin (Sarah Wayne Callies) and their five kids. “And it does make you cry. But [the May 7 episode] is when you start to see the joy of moving on from grief.”

Along with Scott’s AA sponsee Larry (Michael O’Neill) and Robin’s best friend Oliver (J. August Richards), Anthony has been trying to be there for the Savannah-based brood since Scott’s loss to cancer — a responsibility made tougher by his work four hours away in Atlanta.

This week, issues regarding the future of Scott’s eatery, the Crab Shack — as well as the lingering effects of his own lonely past — force Anthony to reevaluate his limited ability to support Robin and the children. “I think he’s never really had anyone, so that’s the thing: He needs this family just as much as they need him,” Standen explains.

council of dads

(Credit: Seth F. Johnson/NBC)

The actor also loves the unlikely brotherhood forming between Anthony, Larry and Oliver. “These men are a fraternity with equal parts kinship and rivalry, and they end up becoming a community,” he says. “So he has to make the decision now to give [some things] up and step into Scott’s shoes.… I’m very passionate about the show because I think we need a little bit more of this on TV right now.”

Council of Dads, Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC