“The Family,” a mystery about the sudden return of a politician’s presumed dead son, premieres at 9 p.m. Friday on ABC.

Creator Jenna Bans said “The Family” was inspired by her learning there was a sex offender in her neighborhood about five weeks after she moved into a new house.

Bans said the discovery made her want to move, but her husband said, “We can’t move, we just spent all of our money on this house.”

Bans said she adamant about wanting to move and her husband said, “Write a television show that’s like a hit television show,” Bans said during ABC’s portion of the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in January.

“The Family” stars Oscar-nominee Joan Allen as Maine gubernatorial candidate Claire Warren, who is attempting to keep her family together after the return of her son Adam (Liam James), and Rupert Graves as her husband John.

The cast also includes Alison Pill as Claire’s daughter and political adviser; Zach Gilford as the Warren’s cynical eldest son; Andrew McCarthy as a neighbor who was convicted of abducting Adam; Margo Bingham as the detective who cracked the case; and Floriana Lima as an ambitious young reporter covering the case.

“I think the caliber of the acting, the intricacies of the mystery and the character development as we move forward in the series are really what set us apart,” said Bans, who has been a producer and writer on the ABC medical dramas “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” and the network’s political drama “Scandal.”

“None of these people are exactly who they seem to be when you first meet them. We’re exploring these characters 10 years ago, at the time of Adam Warren’s disappearance, in the present as he returns and ongoing throughout the series as the family continues to try and heal from the incredible trauma they’ve experienced.”

“The Family,” which will regularly air Sundays at 9 p.m. beginning this Sunday, marks a return to acting for McCarthy, best known for his roles in such 1980s films as “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Weekend at Bernie’s,” “Pretty in Pink” and “Less Than Zero.”

“I had no intention of acting in the near future, but when it came up, I thought it was so compelling that I wanted to do it,” said McCarthy, who has concentrated on directing in recent years, working on such series as “Orange Is the New Black” and “The Blacklist.”

“I like this kind of guy, this wounded animal.”

Executive producer Laurie Zaks said she was “pretty surprised when we saw his audition.”

“We had been looking at so many actors,” Zaks said. “It was not an easy role to cast and people had different interpretations of the character when they came in.”

The humanity McCarthy brought to Hank Asher, who he described as “basically a sexual pariah,” won him the role, Bans said.

“I think that was so necessary for that this part,” Bans said. “To follow his story over 12 episodes you have to sense the humanity in him.”

—City News Service

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