PopCulture.com — The Unicorn is not about a fantasy horse with a horn. The new CBS sitcom is really about a middle-aged man who tries to get back in the dating pool a year after the death of his wife. Sons of Anarchy actor Walton Goggins stars as the titular unicorn in this comedy about the modern online dating world. CBS released a behind-the-scenes video and the trailer earlier this week.
Goggins stars as Wade, a widowed father of two daughters whose friends think he should try to re-enter the dating scene. Wade and his friends are surprised to learn that he is popular among women online because he is the perfect single guy. He has a job, is attractive, has daughters and has a track record with commitment. Put it all together and he is a “unicorn” in the dating world.
Ruby Yay and Makenzie Moss play Wade’s daughters Grace and Natalie, respectively. Wade’s friends are played by Rob Corddry, Omar Miller, Michaela Watkins and Maya Lynn Robinson.
The series was created by Bill Martin and Mike Schiff, who are both Emmy nominees for their work on 3rd Rock from the Sun. More recently, the two worked on Fam, Living Biblically and Trial & Error.
The Unicorn gives Goggins a chance to play against type, after years of villain roles and serious projects.
“When this came along, I fell deeply in love with him and his struggles and fell in love with his friends and his community,” the Justified star said at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in August, reports Deadline. “I’m in a place at 48 years old where kindness, and sincerity and being earnest are very important to me, and this show spoke to all of that. It touched me in a way that’s deep and meaningful.”
Goggins, whose first wife died in 2004, said Wade “is closer to me than anything I’ve ever played,” adding, “Once I got past that fear of it, I said, this is what I’ve always wanted to play… I have this similar relationship with my son and group of friends.”
Martin and Schiff said the show was influenced by producer Grady Cooper, who lost his life and found his way “back into the sunshine. His life got funny. There was still a lot of sadness, but it was funny.”
The Unicorn is also Goggins’ latest comedic work. He got to make people laugh with Danny McBride in HBO’s Vice Principals and has a role in McBride’s new show, The Righteous Gemstones.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Goggins said taking these comedy roles was not an “intentional” transition. “I just go where the best writing is, and it just kind of moved in this direction,” he said.
“When there’s a strong sense of direction and a filmmaker behind it like Danny that really have a purpose for doing what they’re doing, that’s when I’m most comfortable and where I think I can contribute the most,” Goggins explained. “And so the fact that I wake up today and find myself in this new arena, somehow it all makes sense, even though it’s a big diversion from the way people normally see me — and that’s a good thing. I can’t believe it, to be quite honest with you. There is great joy in laughing 90 percent of the day as opposed to needing a shrink after work.”
The Unicorn debuts on CBS Thursday, Sept. 26 at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Righteous Gemstones airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.