Scott Baio Surprised to be Back in the Series Game

Scott Baio says he was not looking to get back into sitcom TV when first presented with the idea of “See Dad Run” — his Oct. 14-debuting Nick at Nite show.  The former “Happy Days,” “Joanie Loves Chachi” and “Charles in Charge” star admits, he’d pretty much given up on that idea.  “I thought, ‘Oh, to hell with it.  I’m not going to worry about this stuff.  I’m not going to get my hopes up.”

However, since it was his long-time pal, actor-producer Jason Hervey (“The Wonder Years”) that brought him the script, Baio says, “I told him, ‘If you like it, I’m in.’  Then stuff happened, and it snowballed.  It was very shocking, nice, unexpected.  The pilot script was really good.  The show we’re doing is a fairly traditional sitcom — nothing gratuitous, gross or offensive — and the hope is that families can watch together.”

“See Dad Run” has Baio as an actor who has been starring on TV shows for 10 years — then becomes a stay-at-home dad after his soap star wife lands a new gig.  Of course, “There are many things that are relatable.  I certainly understand the TV actor mindset.”

Relatable indeed.  Baio confesses that he’s called TV wife Alanna Ubach by his real-life wife’s name rather than her character’s name on the set.  “I go, ‘Renee — .’  It happens more than you would like,” he says.  “The other scary part is that the girl who plays my youngest daughter is named Bailey (Bailey Michelle Brown), which is also my daughter’s name.”

Baio, who’s TV successes also include his two VH1 reality shows (“Scott Baio is 45…and Single” and “Scott Baio is 46…and Pregnant”) and his stint on “Diagnosis Murder,” says he’s focusing his full attention now on the show.  However, the conservative actor was one of the few Hollywood faces at a Mitt Romney fundraiser at the Beverly Hills Hotel this past summer.  He says, “I’ve done a bunch of stuff already” in support of the candidate, and “I get invited to do a lot more.  I do what I can.”

It’s a hectic time, particularly in contrast to the recent past when “for three or four years I did nothing and stayed home.  It was fantastic.”