Ted McGinley Calls The Baxters ‘Melrose Place Meets the Bible’

Will The Baxters be a blessing for Prime Video? Some folks are praying on it. Based on the Redemption literary series from No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury, The Baxters follows Elizabeth (Roma Downey of Touched by an Angel) and John Baxter (Ted McGinley of Happy Days, The Love Boat, Married… With Children), along with their five adult children. Season one revolves around daughter Kari (Ali Cobrin), who uncovers the shocking truth that her professor husband, Tim (Brandon Hirsch) has been having an affair with one of his college students. As her relationship is tested, Kari is forced to lean into her faith and family and discover if love is a choice and if her marriage can be saved.

With more than 25 million books sold, Karen Kingsbury’s fans most likely will tune into the adaptation, along with newbies to The Baxters universe who are seeking some family drama or faith-based entertainment. Watch our interview above, and dive into excerpts from our interview with Ted McGinley below to learn more about the series, his thoughts on working with Downey and Harrison Ford from Shrinking — and what’s ahead in season two of the popular show.

On Working with Mrs. Baxter, Roma Downey

The Baxters

Release Date
March 28, 2024


Characters By
Karen Kingsbury

I love the fact that this show deals with some brutal issues,” said Ted McGinley in an exclusive MovieWeb interview. The Shrinking costar plays John Baxter, the family patriarch opposite Roma Downey. “It’s very real in… that all of us deal with difficulties in our life and sometimes making bad decisions and feeling shame and sometimes hurting people. All of those things come to fruition in the show.” He added:

I haven’t come across a show like this ever, because it’s brutally in your face. There’s no escape. A lot of times in the faith-based world, they will sort of round off the edges because it’s hard to watch. This one, they slap you across the face with it, and you have to sit and watch it.

Related: 12 TV Shows With Deities as Main Characters

On working alongside Roma Downey, who also serves as executive producer and didn’t initially intend to star in the series, McGinley happily shared, “Roma is a massive beacon of light in the darkness. She is a warm blanket. When you sit next to her, she’s kind, she’s comforting, she’s generous. She has so many great things. I love working with her. We have great chemistry.” He continued:

“Roma identified this series of books by Karen Kingsbury, knowing that Karen sold 25 million copies. There’s an audience for this series of books. Roma, in her wisdom, fought to have this show made, got it made. As far as working opposite Roma, everybody should be so lucky. It’s just a wonderful place to be. We have real chemistry and real friendship. And it’s just not always that way.”

Insert Prayer at Will

Like The Waltons, 7th Heaven, and Touched by an Angel before it, The Baxters aims to inspire. But it’s bound to turn heads, too. In this series, characters regularly break out into prayer. How does McGinley feel that will land with audiences?

In the faith-based arena, that’ll be fine, because that’s not going to be that shocking,” explained McGinley. “But you’re like, ‘Well, they’re praying again.’ But it is sort of how they come together. The throughline of that family is their faith, and John Baxter and especially Elizabeth, walk the walk. He is a man of conviction. He’s a man of faith, a man of love and respect for all people. And above all, his family.” He added:

So yeah, there is a lot of prayer… On the other side of it… Mark Burnett has coined it as “Melrose Place meets The Bible.” You got all these hot young kids that are beautiful and adorable. And they go through these difficult things in life.

Whether there will be pushback remains to be seen. McGinley added: “If the faith thing isn’t for you, [the show] is still interesting. You still might watch the next one. And maybe people will see that you can get through anything in life if you have people around you who will support you and love you for who you are. A faith-based audience won’t have a problem with praying because that is who they are. But if it’s difficult for other groups, it might be. We’ll see.”

Bottom line: art is art and great storytelling stands on its own. To that end, should any new series have to defend its existence?

Related: Best Movies with Religious Themes, Ranked

What to Expect in Season 2 of Shrinking

Ted McGinley in the Apple show Shrinking season one
Apple TV

Ted McGinley also stars in one of Apple TV+’s breakout new series, Shrinking. The hit psychological friendship dramedy starring Jason Segel and Harrison Ford was renewed for a second season. We asked McGinley about the upcoming season, to which he shared:

“Well, so we’re right now [shooting] in the fifth show, and of course, I can’t tell you anything, but [my character] Derek is going to have a little more to do. It’s going to be fun… funny. There are a lot of crazy storylines, and I think it’ll be compelling television. I will say, going to work every day is just an absolute pleasure. I can’t wait to go to the set. You don’t get that every day on different shows, even though I’m really good at that. I will always find a reason to enjoy a job and a certain group of people within that space.”

He praises the professionalism of the cast and crew and adds, “I did have my first…I think I can say this… I had a scene with Harrison that was one-on-one, because our worlds don’t really interact, so that one’s going in my book.” The Baxters premieres on Prime Video March 28. You can watch it through the link below then.

Watch The Baxters


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