At age 20, Tyler James Williams was adamant about swearing off television roles.
There was no compromise on how far he was drawing the line. "I knew I didn't want to be the lead on a TV show," says Williams.
He had already done it. As the star of "Everybody Hates Chris," which ran for four years on UPN and then CW, Williams played a teen version of Chris Rock. It was his first time fronting a series, and Williams, a Louisiana native, wasn't interested in going back down that road.
But then he read the script for "Go On," the NBC comedy starring Matthew Perry and one of the network's better success stories this season. The story revolves around the eccentric personalities in a grief counseling group.
Williams plays Owen, whose brother is in a coma after a skiing accident.
The subject matter sounds dreadfully serious, though the show is not bleak or morose.
"I could get into being in an ensemble," Williams says, "and I love the character."
Williams was 12 when he landed "Chris." He says he had no idea how difficult being the star of a half-hour sitcom would be.
"It was a lot of pressure," Williams says. "I look back now and wonder how I did it. I was oblivious and ignorant about so many things and how it all worked back then."
Working alongside Rock and now Perry is helping Williams sharpen his comedy teeth.
"Go On" also represents Williams' first "adult" role. In many ways, "Go On" is the next step in Williams' career evolution.
"I am definitely done with the 'teenage' years," Williams, the son of a New York singer and a policeman, says. "I've learned so much. It's time to move on."
Other highlights for the week of Dec. 2-8. All times Eastern. Listings subject to change. Check local listings:
— "Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas" (7 p.m. ABC Family). Every year the Grinch steals Christmas. You have to wonder why the security tags don't make noise as he darts through the stores' doors.
— "Shahs of Sunset" (10 p.m. Bravo). Another season comes over the horizon on this reality show about rich Middle Easterners living the high life in Hollywood.
— "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (8 p.m. ABC). The design team comes to the aid of a female firefighter, who lost her own home in a blaze that destroyed her community.
— "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" (8 p.m. CBS). Thank goodness the magical reindeer hasn't considered rhinoplasty.
— "In Vogue: The Editor's Eye" (9 p.m. HBO). This documentary looks at the dog-eat-dog world of putting together the world's best-known fashion magazine.
— "Restless" (9 p.m. Sundance Channel). In this two-part miniseries (the conclusion airs next Friday), a daughter discovers her mother was recruited to be a spy during World War II.
— "12 Disasters of Christmas" (9 p.m. SyFy). Disasters predicted by the Mayans, in this film, has a father thinking his daughter is "the chosen one" and can make all the world right again. Some parents are so delusional about their brats.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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