Five Things to Know About Season Three of ‘Raising Hope’

by | August 31, 2012 at 11:54 AM | Fall TV Preview 2012, Raising Hope

Garret Dillahunt, Martha Plimpton, Baylie/Rylie Cregut, and Lucas Neff in "Raising Hope" (Matthias Clamer/FOX)

Raising Hope” will be back for its third season in October when the Chance family will get the opportunity to meet Sabrina’s (Shannon Woodward) mother Tamara Collins for the first time. We learned in season two that Sabrina came from a family with money, so it will be interesting to see if the two families can find any common ground.

Unfortunately, the meeting doesn’t take place at a happy event. Rather, it is at Sabrina’s Nana’s funeral — an occasion that on “Raising Hope” is most likely rife with opportunities for laughs. Then, the will is played — Nana recorded a video of her last wishes before she died — and, the results surprisingly, turn out to have a big impact on Jimmy (Lucas Neff) and Sabrina’s relationship.

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“Maybe the Chances will come into money, maybe they won’t, but maybe they will,” teases Garrett Dillahunt, who plays Burt Chance.

Preview the Season 3 Premiere:

At a party for FOX’s new Tuesday comedy night, XfinityTV.com had the opportunity to speak exclusively with Dillahunt and Martha Plimpton, who plays Virginia Chance, to get a sneak peek at what is coming up on “Raising Hope.” Below, 5 things to know about Season 3:

Real-Life Mother/Daughter Factor: Melanie Griffith (“Working Girl”) joins the cast for a few episodes as Sabrina’s mother Tamara, and Griffith’s real-life mother Tippi Hedren (“The Birds”) will also be in the season premiere as Sabrina’s grandmother, although it sounds as if the majority of her time will be spent in a coffin. “[Tamara and Sabrina] have a rather contentious relationship,” Plimpton says. “You can see that it is generational. It has gone down the line. Nobody in that family gets a long very well.”

Hot Guy Guest Stars: Wilmer Valderrama (“That ’70s Show”) is playing Griffith’s young Latin lover, while in another episode, Chris Klein (“Wilfred”) is playing a local celeb and “almost” long-lost brother of Jimmy’s. “It is extremely gratifying,” Plimpton says of the caliber of guest stars for season three. “It means we must be doing something right if all these terrific actors want to come and play with us. It is really encouraging, plus it gives us a chance to spread our wings a little bit and have fun with a lot of different actors. The most bittersweet part is they are always so sad to go, which is an indication that they are having a good time. Our set is a happy one and we make people feel at home.”

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Couples Counseling: In one of the first three episodes back, airing Oct. 16, Burt and Virginia get to show off just why their marriage is such a success when Leslie Jordan guest stars as a leader at a couples retreat attended by Jimmy and Sabrina and crashed by Virginia. “Tamara presents an opportunity for Sabrina and Jimmy to kind of spread their wings a little bit,” Plimpton says. “Tamara, Sabrina, Jimmy and Wilmer’s character end up going on a couple’s retreat and Virginia follows them out into the woods. There is a bear involved in the countryside. It is crazy.”

Saving Hope: Many TV shows recast the babies who play newborns as the characters become toddlers and then kids. But when the third season of the series premieres, Baylie and Rylie Cregut, who share the role of Hope, will be back in action with the rest of the cast. “The girls have some lines this year. It is very exciting,” says Plimpton. While Dillahunt adds, “We have stuck with the same kids because we like them, which makes me really happy. Working with them now is a lot different.”

Let’s Get Physical: Even though there are no major special effects in “Raising Hope,” there is a physicality to it that Dillahunt says is one thing he loves about the show. “I have a little whiplash now from when we have to rescue Maw Maw [Cloris Leachman],” Dillahunt tells XfinityTV.com. “That is all I will say — and we have all kinds of ‘Mission: Impossible’ plans to do that. In one of the stunts, I kind of whiplashed myself. But I kind of dig it. I like that they demand that of us physically. I think my favorite part is how much they let us do.”

“Raising Hope” premieres its third season on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 8/7c on FOX.