Terry Crews, Essence Atkins, Coy Stewart and Teala Dunn in...

Terry Crews, Essence Atkins, Coy Stewart and Teala Dunn in "Are We There Yet?" Credit: Turner Broadcasting System

Former pro football player Terry Crews, who played young Chris Rock's father for four seasons on "Everybody Hates Chris" and headlined his own BET reality show, "The Family Crews," stars in the new family sitcom "Are We There Yet?" premiering Wednesday night at 9 on TBS.

The show joins "Meet the Browns" and "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" on the TBS Wednesday lineup. Crews plays Nick Persons (who was played by Ice Cube in the 2005 movie version of "Are We There Yet?"), once a playboy bachelor who now has settled down with his new wife, Suzanne (Essence Atkins), and her two kids, Lindsey and Kevin (Teala Dunn, Coy Stewart).

"It's definitely a spinoff in that here the characters have changed, but, in essence, it's everything the movie had and I think a little bit more," Crews explains. "You get to delve into who the characters are and what happens to each and every one of them after [the movie]."

HIS OTHER SIDE Crews also loves showing off his wackier side in "Are We There Yet?"

"I was the solid guy in 'Everybody Hates Chris,' but when you look at [Nick], it's good to play a character that plays in the now and is not so serious in a lot of ways. He's not so concerned with money and that kind of thing. He's kind of almost like a big kid. He's one of the kids in the family. It's a real big departure from Julius but a lot more of who I am," Crews says.

CREWS AND CUBE Ice Cube is an executive producer of "Are We There Yet?" and will have a recurring on-screen role. "He plays my brother-in-law, and we have a real antagonistic relationship," Crews explains. "It plays into vintage Cube. He is awesome. Cube knows comedy, which is the greatest thing. People forget. Yes, he is the godfather of gangsta rap, but he's funny, funny, funny. Over the years, he's tapped into many different personas. He blows this character up. I'm just telling you, it's going to be really, really entertaining for everybody."

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