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What Award-Winning Actresses Told Jon Cryer They Want to Be on Extended Family?

Jon Cryer’s reunion with fellow Two and Half Men star Holland Taylor wasn’t the only exciting encounter from the 2024 Emmys.

By Stephanie Gomulka

Jon Cryer and Donald Faison are getting requests from stars and friends alike to be on their new sitcom.

How to Watch

Watch Extended Family on NBC and Peacock.

The two currently join Abigail Spencer (Suits, Timeless) as the parenting trio at the heart of NBC’s Extended Family.  a new NBC show created by actor Mike O’Malley (Glee, Yes, Dear).

Cryer and Faison, both sitcom veterans who starred on Two and Half Men and Scrubs respectively, took time to talk to NBC Insider about the success of the show and some well-known stars who would like to appear on Extended Family.

Niecy Nash, Jennifer Hudson Want to Be on Extended Family

Cryer briefly reprised his character Alan Harper from Two and a Half Men for the 2024 Emmy Awards while presenting with his TV mother, Holland Taylor.

Jon Cryer and Holland Taylor onstage at the 2024 Emmys

He ran into Niecy Nash who had just won an Emmy for Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for her role in Dahmer—Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story. Backstage Nash told him, “I wanna do your show,” Cryer said, referring to Extended Family.

Another star who mentioned interest to Cryer is Jennifer Hudson.

RELATED: Donald Faison and Zach Braff Had an Epic Scrubs Reunion — With Jason Momoa

“I did Jennifer Hudson’s talk show and she said, I’d do that show,” Cryer said. “I was like, are you kidding? How many Academy Award winners do we want on the show?”

Faison pointed out Hudson would be the first EGOT winner on their sitcom, referencing the acclaimed status of artists who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award.

A split of Niecy Nash and Jennifer Hudson

“I am also on the quest for the EGOT,” Faison said, adding playfully: “I’m four awards away from it though.”

“Never too late,” Cryer pointed out.

The reason sitcoms may appeal to stars versus other formats is they get to play in front of live audiences and often shoot on a lot close to home with a set schedule, Cryer explained.

“You get to be funny,” he said. “You get to be funny and fun in front of real people, you know? It’s a real gift.”

Faison, meanwhile, has expressed desire for his longtime friend and former Scrubs co-star Zach Braff to be on the show eventually.

“Have you gotten phone calls, Jon, from friends yet?” Faison asked. “I’ve gotten phone calls like, 'Yo dude, put my name in the hat.'"

Who plays Jim’s dad on Extended Family?

An actor and comedian who’s already part of the Extended Family cast is Lenny Clarke (Rescue Me, Fever Pitch). He plays Bobby Kearny, Jim’s dad, who has a recurring role on the show.

“The crazy thing was he actually wasn’t in the pilot when we first shot it,” Cryer said. “He came in the second episode and we had so much fun that we reshot some stuff to put in the pilot of him because we loved him so much.”

Cryer pointed out Clarke is no stranger to sitcoms either.

Jim and Bobby on Extended Family Episode 106

“He actually had his own multi-cam sitcom many, many years ago, and he was doing Rescue Me not that long ago,” Cryer said. “He is also one of those people who just feels incredibly lucky to be able to … do this in front of a live audience.”

That's a positive attitude Faison sincerely agrees with.

“You get that one opportunity and it’s the best thing ever and you’re like you know what? I got that chance and I’m very grateful for it, but for it come back around, to be back on network television again when you thought there’s probably not gonna be a chance of that happening is great,” Faison said, reflecting on the unpredictability a career as an actor poses. “Then that people are watching is even better. It’s like…the icing on the cake ‘cause we know — I know what it’s like to not work for more than a year and not by choice.”

Extended Family airs Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c on NBC. All episodes will be available to stream next day on Peacock.