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NBC Insider Scrubs

Scrubs Star Donald Faison on His New Show Extended Family and His Podcast with “Best Friend” Zach Braff

Two’s company, three’s a (happy) crowd on the new NBC sitcom. 

By Stephanie Gomulka

Donald Faison rounds out the trio at the center of NBC’s Extended Family. He stars alongside Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men, Pretty in Pink) and Abigail Spencer (Suits, Timeless).

How to Watch

Watch Extended Family Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c on NBC and next day on Peacock.

Similar to the confessionals on the show, Faison chatted with NBC Insider with his fellow cast members by his side from the studio set. They dished about their characters, the younger actors on the show, and even Faison’s Scrubs podcast.

Who does Donald Faison play on Extended Family?

The actor plays Trey, a new fiancé to Julia (Spencer), recently divorced mother of two. They initially met because Trey gets into a PR debacle and hires Julia, a professional crisis manager.

“Listen, Trey Taylor owns the Boston Celtics and he’s very proud of it,” Faison said of his character. “It’s his team that he grew up watching, he’s always been a fan and somehow he convinced the former owner to let him buy it and he’s bought it.”

RELATED: 4 Fascinating Anecdotes From Jon Cryer's "Wry, Funny, and Self-Deprecating Memoir"

Abigail Spencer Extended Family4

Not only is Taylor a winner on the court with the Celtics, but he’s also really smart, according to Faison.

“He attended MIT,” Faison said. “He’s just the met the love of his life who just happens to have an incredible amount of baggage.”

And what would that baggage be?

“Me,” Jon Cryer added cheerfully. “I am the baggage, right here.”

Cryer takes on the role of Julia's ex-husband Jim in the comedy. 

Who are the child actors of Extended Family on NBC?

The former couple share two children Grace (Sofia Cappana) and Jimmy Jr. (Finn Sweeney).

Spencer highlights the kids as the reason their characters are “all in this together.” 

“They are fabulous,” Spencer said of the pair. “To watch them develop and grow over time, I mean…they are lovely human beings. They have wonderful parents."

Watching his on-screen kids “get their legs” in front of a studio audience made Cryer feel like their dad, he said.

A scene of a family in their living room from Extended Family.

“The original conception of the show had a lot of stuff happening with the family, a lot of stuff happening with the Boston Celtics, but the kids weren’t gonna be on camera that much, but the actors turn out to be so wonderful, Finn Sweeney and Sophia Capanna,” Cryer said. “They are fully, 100 percent ensemble members of the cast.”

Cryer envisions a bright future for them both.

“Finn in a few years could be on stage with a microphone with his own Netflix special,” Cryer said. “Sophia is on her way to being the next teen queen kind of thing.”

RELATED: Jon Cryer Returns to TV: Why He Said Yes to NBC’s “Incredibly Unusual” Sitcom Extended Family 

Donald Faison and Zach Braff's Friendship

While Faison has chemistry with his new co-stars, many Scrubs fan will recall his rapport with Zach Braff from his time on Scrubs. The duo co-host their podcast Fake Doctors, Real Friends with Zach and Donald together. They played J.D. and Christopher Turk for several seasons on the beloved sitcom.

But their relationship extends beyond the sitcom with Faison describing Braff as his “best friend."

“So it’s easy to keep up with him” Faison said. “Right before the pandemic happened, we just so happened to say let’s do a rewatch podcast and it turned out to be successful. We didn’t know that were that man people that liked Scrubs.”

Faison joked they thought just their moms would listen.

“It did better than we imagined and so it’s great to, you know, talk to Scrubs fans with your best friend who just so happened to be also on the same show that you were on," Faison said.

Dr. Elliot Reid, Dr. John Dorian, and Dr. Christopher Turk posing together and smiling in scrubs.

Cryer poked fun at the commercials the longtime pals do together like their T-Mobile spots, calling them “ubiquitous.”

“Every now and then I’ll be like on my phone going, wow, I’m not getting any coverage in here, boy, wouldn’t it be great if somebody I knew had some sort of attention to a gigantic cellular company that could help…that would be great,” Cryer said.

In a true Extended Family plan fashion, Faison was quick to respond: “I’ve got you, come on down to T-Mobile.”

You can stream all episodes of Scrubs now on Peacock.

Watch the first episode of Extended Family on Saturday, December 23rd at 8/7c on NBC. New weekly episodes return Tuesday, January 2nd at 8:30/7:30c on NBC. All episodes will be available to stream next day on Peacock.