Exclusive Interview: Tyler James Williams of 'Everybody Hates Chris'
Exclusive Interview: Tyler James Williams of 'Everybody Hates Chris'
Next Friday, Tyler James Williams, the star of Everybody Hates Chris, will host the 2008 Family Entertainment Awards on the CW network. The awards are presented by the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) Alliance for Family Entertainment, a group of nearly 40 major national advertisers, who all support family friendly content. Awards will be presented to actors, actresses, producers, programming, and digital media that support quality family content. There will be appearances by: Ryan Seacrest, Simon Cowell, Miley Cyrus, Derek and Julianne Hough, Cody Linley, Leona Lewis, Michael Phelps’ mother Debbie Phelps, and The Jonas Brothers. Today, Tyler James Williams spoke to BuddyTV in an exclusive interview about the upcoming awards and how things are going with his hit show, Everybody Hates Chris.

Tell me how you first became involved with the Family Entertainment Awards and how you ended up becoming the host this year.

I was involved with the Family Entertainment Awards about two years ago. The show and myself was nominated, Everybody Hates Chris, for an award. It was our first time. None of us were even aware of this and from then on, we were just kind of associated with it. We presented at the next one and we were nominated again. This year, when they asked me to host, it was something that I was familiar with so I had no issue with it.

Were you nervous to host at all? Is it different than acting on a tv show or in a movie?

Not necessarily. I wasn’t nervous because it’s kind of like presenting an award and going back several times. The only thing I was nervous about was whether it was going to be funny or not. I just wanted to have a good time and make sure that it was something that people would actually laugh at.

You have a family friendly show with Everybody Hates Chris. You’ve done family friendly movies, like Unaccompanied Minors. Is it important for you to choose projects that kids can watch with their parents and that people can watch together?

In a way, it is important. It’s important to get those type of roles and those projects that people can watch together. That way, you’re not separating the families and going for one demographic.

Well, I know a lot of people as they get older, young actors, break out of that family friendly mold and try to take on edgier roles.  Is that anything you've been thinking about?

I've been thinking about it, but not... I think that there's a way to do that and also keep your fan base, to do roles that challenge you.  It doesn't necessarily have to be a film that breaks you out of it completely.  You can do just a different type of role, a bad guy role or something like that, where it can break you out of the mold that they think you were going into but still leave you in a market for the whole family.

I know you've been familiar with the awards show for a few years now.  Do you think it's difficult to find family friendly programming during the primetime hours on the major networks?

Oh, it's very difficult.  I was just doing an interview yesterday where they asked me what was another family friendly show that I like and I couldn't think of one.  It's hard to find.  There is a lot of shows now, I think networks focus more on the drama.

Is there anyone appearing on the Family Entertainment Awards that you are particularly excited about, either as a recipient or just appearing on the show?

Debbie Phelps is one that I was really excited about because just seeing that her son was in the Olympics and then have her there and to see the both of them there, it was exciting.  It was not your usual family friendly stars, people weren't working on a set.  They were real people and we had a chance to watch that and watch the moment that they had.

So will the awards just focus on tv or do they also look at movies, video games, and things like that as well?

That's why things change for the Family Entertainment Awards.  Looking at movies, television, games, and even music.  Stuff that the whole family can listen to, play, and watch.

Is there a guest that you think the fans are most looking forward to seeing on the show?

It's funny because we were just talking about this while getting ready and prepared for it, that everybody is gonna go crazy for The Jonas Brothers.  They will be the highlight of the show and everybody else is in the background.

Well, how are things going for you with Everybody Hates Chris and is there anything coming up in the future that you're excited about?

Everybody Hates Chris is going well.  We finished season 4, which is now airing.  I'm looking forward to seeing where we go with it.  We're now going into a time where Chris is learning how to become a comedian.  I'm looking forward to seeing where we go with that.

The 2008 Family Entertainment Awards will air on the CW network on Friday, December 12, from 8-9pm ET.

- Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of IMDB)