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He wants to bring back ‘Family Values’ to TV

Jami Williams (from left) JaysBernard Jaiden Hidalgo play around set 'Family Values' sitcom series. Williams 13 Frankfort plays part Dakotcheerleader;

Jami Williams (from left), Jayson Bernard and Jaiden Hidalgo play around on the set of the "Family Values" sitcom series. Williams, 13, of Frankfort, plays the part of Dakota, a cheerleader; while Hidalgo, 10, plays Trevor, the "little Casanova" of the series. Bernard, of Chicago, is the producer, writer and lead actor. | Supplied photo

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Updated: January 19, 2014 11:51AM



Jayson Bernard says he’s hoping to bring family values back to television.

The 38-year-old Bernard was in Mokena this week filming his project, “Family Values,” a situational comedy that draws on fond childhood memories. It uses “well-rounded” communities, such as those in the Lincoln-Way area, to make it real, Bernard said.

“I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s when sitcoms were family shows,” said Bernard, the show’s executive producer, writer and lead actor. “There was always something funny going on, but in the end, it was about relationships.”

His cast and crew were at 191 South in Mokena for a taping of an episode Sunday.

Bernard said his intention is for “Family Values” to maintain a PG-13 rating, fueled by a “snarky smart-mouthed” comment by a teenage boy or a bit of innuendo that adults may pick up on as the type of situations parents might have to discuss with their children.

There won’t be any foul language or “filthy jokes” for a “cheap laugh or shock value,” Bernard promises.

“It’s a sitcom that kids can watch with their families,” said Bernard, who plays the role of Matt in the series.

The show takes place in the fictional town of Victory Valley Falls, but Bernard is using real communities in Illinois to film episodes for the series. Bernard said he will give some recognition to places like 191 South that allow him to film on the premises.

His goal is to “reach out to communities and get them involved,” and to that end, he’s also using local talent wherever he goes.

His fourth show of the series, “Bake Sale,” uses the talents of Jaiden Hidalgo, 10, of Lockport. Hidalgo will play the part of Trevor, a character Bernard describes as a “little Casanova.” Hidalgo’s most recent work has been on NBC’s “Betrayal.”

Jami Williams, 13, of Frankfort, a Summit Hill Junior High in real life, said she’s excited because her role as a cheerleader on “Family Values” is a larger role than that of her previous work with NBC’s “Chicago Fire.”

Bernard, who plays the role of “Matt” in the series, said the sitcom is in the process of being marketed and he’s hoping to release it this spring. He said there have been interested buyers, but he won’t make any decisions on his own.

Bernard is one of seven partners in the production company, and in true “family values” style, they plan to ask for input from the entire staff and crew as well.

“Everyone’s going to make the decision,” Bernard said. “The production company will look at all the votes and then we’ll do what’s in the best interest of everyone.”

To check out “Family Values” on Facebook, visit Family Values: the series.



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