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Back for a second season on Disney XD is "Lab Rats," the
live-action, sci-fi comedy adventure series starring actor / comedian / musician
Hal Sparks as Donald Davenport, the billionaire-scientist inventor who created
three bionic superhuman kids. Excited to
be back for a new season, Sparks
calls the part, tongue-in-cheek, "the role I was born to play."
Photo by Bruce Birmelin. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
"Labs Rats" was ranked as Disney XD's number one series
following its 2012 premiere. It also has the distinction of being the most
watched show on the network in January and is the second most watched show
overall in total viewers 2-11 and kids 6-14.
The hit show was created by Chris Peterson and Bryan Moore
who worked together previously on "That 70's Show." Sparks
says given the success of "Lab Rats" in its first season, Disney has told the
creators and cast to "go for it" and be more like "That '70s Show
" and "Family
Guy." He adds that to Disney's credit
the writers have been encouraged to "go for the jokes and make them smart for
the grown-ups" who watch the show along with their children.
(L to R) Hal Sparks, Tyrel Jackson Williams, Kelli Berglund, Spencer Boldman and BillUnger, Photo by Bruce Birmelin. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
Sparks, who has
enjoyed a career in television, movies, stand-up comedy and music, is
encouraged by Disney's commitment to the show.
He says from his experience, "Disney has been very focused. They get behind an idea and stick with it all
the way through."
And for an industry that often times consumes young talent and spits them out
as an after-thought, Sparks says
Disney "sees these kids as really talented. They almost find shows for the kids
they like and work with them." He says
it has been his observation that the young stars make guest appearances on
other shows before "they graduate to having their own show." He believes the studio invests in the young
talent adding that "they kinda grow these Disney qualified-larvae into big
(L to R) Spencer Boldman, Kelli Berglund, Tyrel Jackson Willams, Bill Unger & Hal SparksPhoto by Bob D'Amico. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
As for some of the child stars who have tarnished their own
image over the years with unruly behavior, Sparks
chalks it up to the intense scrutiny that they are under. He believes the reality of the situation is
about the same as any other group of teenagers growing up, maintaining that the
difference is that child and teenager actors "are under a microscope all the
He uses Lindsay Lohan as example of a young actress whose
one-time brilliant career was sidetracked by bad choices and surrounding
herself with bad people. Sparks
says if Lohan had not been singled out at an early age for her "party-type
behavior," her lifestyle would not have spiraled downward into what he calls,
"the extremity that it became."
Photo by Bob D'Amico. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
For Sparks he
credits the success of his career on the fact that he "doesn't smoke, drink or
do drugs," adding that he never has and never will. At the age of 18 and after graduating high
school, Sparks moved from the
comfort of his home in Winnetka, Illinois
to Los Angeles where he managed to
build a career for himself without any safety net or support group. He hopes that his positive experiences in
show business will serve as a role model for the young actors he is working
with on "Lab Rats."
The fourth episode of the second season of "Lab Rats"
airs tonight on Disney XD at 9 / 8 p.m. Central. In this episode, fail a mission. Bree is exposed to a dangerous
toxic chemical and winds up being quarantined. Adam and Chase must go on a
mission to find the antidote.