The Neighborhood is a comedy, but new showrunner Meg DeLoatch plans to take the series, starring Cedric the Entertainer and Max Greenfield, in a more serious direction in Season 4. In the upcoming Oct. 11 episode of the CBS sitcom, Beth Behrs' character Gemma will suffer a miscarriage, inspired by DeLoatch's own experiences. DeLoatch defended using a multi-camera sitcom to tell this story, noting it helps normalize the discussion of a tragedy millions of parents face.
In the episode, Gemma and Dave (Greenfield) will ask Calvin (Cedric the Entertainer) and Tina (Tichina Arnold) for emotional support. The episode is titled "Welcome to the Porch Pirate," reports TVLine. In a statement to the outlet, DeLoatch noted that she also miscarried a child and has firsthand experience with the grief and sadness felt. She decided it was an important story to share, showing that it can happen to anyone.
"As a person who's experienced miscarrying a child, I know firsthand the profound sadness that accompanies such a loss and how it's compounded by the feeling that it should be a private grief that you don't talk about," DeLeotch wrote. "Having such a joyous couple as Dave and Gemma experience such a painful tragedy illustrates that unfortunately, it can happen to anyone, that it's normal to grieve and with the loving support of Calvin and Tina, it's important to talk about it. Also, by dealing with it on a multi-cam comedy, it makes it an ordinary human condition, worthy of attention, discussion, and normalization."
DeLoatch, who created Netflix's Family Reunion, took over the show before Season 4 after creator Jim Reynolds stepped down due to complaints of his leadership style. In a previous interview with TVLine, DeLoatch said she planned to tackle serious topics in the sitcom. The show centers on Greenfield and Behrs as a white Midwestern couple who move to a predominantly Black neighborhood in Pasadena, California, with Calvin and Tina Butler as their neighbors. Although some of the stories in future episodes will "go a little bit deeper" into the characters' relationships, DeLoatch assured fans the changes will work "without changing the heart and spirit of the show."
The decision to have Gemma suffer a miscarriage will also be heartbreaking for fans, especially after Season 3 ended with the news that Gemma and Dave were expecting their second child. "I don't know anything at the moment other than I know it's going to be so much fun and so ridiculous to play out Gemma and Dave - even Gemma's relationship with the Butlers too, on camera with her being pregnant," Behrs said in a June interview with PopCulture about Season 4. "It's going to be so much fun; it's going to be so funny."
New episodes of The Neighborhood air at 8 p.m. ET on Mondays. The Oct. 4 episode is titled "Welcome To The Sister From Another Mister," and features guest star Nicole Sullivan as a new teacher. Past episodes of The Neighborhood are available to stream on Paramount+.