Fred Goss is the co-star, co-creator, producer, co-writer, and director of the new ABC comedy Sons & Daughters. The show is about the extended family of Cameron Walker (Goss) including his wife, children, parents, half-brothers, and half-sisters. Unlike most network comedies, Sons & Daughters features improvised dialogue and a more realistic feel.
Sterfish: How'd you get started in TV?
Fred Goss: Very, very, early on, the first thing I had to do with TV was being a production assistant for commercials. I then made my way up to production coordinator and I got into the prop department. I got into locations and I just kind of worked my way around the crew in my early-20s. Before that, I was an actor and my thought was that I wasn't really getting anywhere with it. So, I thought that if I got into production, I might be able to work my way in front of the camera...which really didn't work. That's not the way it works.
I did a lot of things in production which were beneficial, things which are really helping me now, actually. But I did eventually start acting and I acted in about 150 commercials. Then, I ended up having three kids so I stopped acting in my mid 30's. When I was 38, I did a little freebie film for a friend of mine that he called Significant Others and took it to Slamdance. He ended up selling that show to NBC and Bravo and we ran two seasons on Bravo.
It was an improvised show and I was also an editor on it because when I stopped acting, I took up editing and did it for five years. I also learned how to shoot camera and shot for ESPN and FOX, doing a lot of the sideline stuff and field segment stuff with athletes. Learning all those things really helped me.
When Significant Others was coming to an end, I went and got a literary agent, a guy named Nick Holly. I told him what my story was and he said, "You know, you'd be crazy not to try to put together a show. That's exactly what you wanna do because you could go out, shoot it, and edit it. You could have a whole lot of control over it because of all the things that you do."
I said, "Well, why don't you partner up with me?" He left the agency that he was at and came on as a co-creator with me of a show called The Weekend, a pilot. We shot a little presentation for it and we sold it to NBC. That's when I first partnered up with Nick, who is also my partner on Sons & Daughters.